Towards a Model of Context Awareness Using Web Services
Recent years have witnessed the movement of many applications from the traditional closed environments into open ones. These applications, which are being accessed via web browsers, usually offer a great amount of information and services. Open environments and content explosion may affect the usability of web applications, where usability measures the degree of usage satisfaction of the application provider and the application user. If both sides of a communication (the web application and the device accessing it) collaborate to manage the various issues of context, usability could be improved. This paper focuses on modeling context awareness. We propose two models that organize knowledge in layers, and complement each other, in order to give the web applications’ developers the adequate knowledge and a visualization of what should be performed to develop a context aware application. Some of the major issues that need to be considered are: context representation and the heterogeneity that characterizes the open environment of web applications. We shall employ the object oriented approach to represent context and we shall utilize the web services to make a first step toward developing a notion of universal interoperability that aims to facilitate the communication between the server hosting the web application and the devices used to access it. We aim to enable each device to be responsible for its own context without the need of the web application to know the details of how the device is managing the context. As a case study, we present an implementation of a prototype of a university portal.
KeywordsContext awareness Context representation Web services
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