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Context-Aware Pervasive Systems: Architectures for a New Breed of Applications

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The concept of aware systems is one of the most exciting trends in computing today, fueled by recent developments in pervasive computing. This book introduces a new breed of computer applications that are termed "context-aware pervasive systems" and provides architectural blueprints for building context-aware behavior into applications. It reviews the anatomy of context-aware pervasive applications, including mobile services, and discusses the integration of context-aware computing with software agents and the Web. It also explores the use of context-awareness for addressing and communications. This text distills general design principles and a generic architecture for context-aware applications.

Context-aware mobile computing has been a topic for research since one of the earliest Ph.D. dissertations appeared on the topic in 1994. Recently, context-aware computing has enjoyed remarkable attention from researchers in diverse areas such as distributed computing and human–computer interaction. Such aware systems have become one of the most exciting concepts in early 21st-century computing, fueled by recent developments in pervasive computing (i.e., mobile and ubiquitous computing) including new computers worn by users, embedded devices, smart appliances, and sensors surrounding users and varieties of wireless networking technology. Software and hardware systems that are ubiquitous and aware of users, and their physical and virtual context (e.g., environment and circumstances), and can respond intelligently to what is perceived is an exciting, if not increasingly vital, addition to daily life and work. Whereas the idea of context has been studied in logic and the meaning of natural language sentences, the notion of context is being revisited in mobile and ubiquitous computing work. The experience economy has taught us that experience matters, and context awareness is a key idea for providing new experiences with devices, appliances and software systems, and automatic behaviors for convenience and innovative applications.

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