Prof. Dr. Paul Lukowicz

(Universität Passau)

"From Context Aware Smart Environments to Socially Interactive Computing"

Context Awareness in Smart Environment can be defined as the ability to extract high level information about human actions and complex real world situations from heterogeneous ensembles of often very simple, unreliable sensors. The talk will begin by discussing the foundations of such systems as well as issues related to sensing and empirical evaluation in complex real life applications. Such applications range from industrial process support through personal health care, sports and entertainment to the optimization of energy usage at home. Examples will be given from divers EU and national project in which I currently participate.

The core of current work on context aware systems involves small groups of devices interacting with a single user or a small groups of users in system configurations specifically designed for often narrowly defined applications. On the other hand, smart phones, home automation devices, robots and other intelligent systems are becoming ubiquitous and are increasingly equipped with flexible networking capabilities. Thus, looking at the future of context aware systems we need to consider large collectives of such devices dynamically forming, cooperating, and interacting with large user populations over a broad range of spatial and temporal scales. From the application point of view such systems are attractive for two reasons

  1. Removing the need to deploy a dedicated sensor system for each application will greatly increase the acceptance and scope of context aware systems. Thus a user may for example be reluctant to employ a dedicated sensor system to help him optimize the energy usage at home. However he would most likely have no problems paying a small amount of money for a smart phone application leveraging the phone sensors together with whatever infrastructure may already be present at home.
  2. Going beyond the interaction of a single user with his own device towards large ensembles of interacting users and devices will enable systems that are sensitive to large scale collective behaviours, social trends and developments on a broad range of scales ranging from small communities to global phenomena. I refer to such systems as being "socially interactive". They have the potential to facilitate an entire new class of applications in areas such as urban planning, sustainability and energy conservation, disaster management, public health and logistics. They can also provide invaluable tools for marketing, social sciences and economics.
The talk will provide an overview of my ongoing research with respect to the above vision including both fundamental methodological challenges and specific applications. It will present initial results from the SOCIONICAL project (an EU FET project that I coordinate) and the long term vision put forward by the FutuerICT consortium within the EU "Flagship" Initiative in which I have a leading role.

Zeit: Freitag, 04.02.2011, 09.00 Uhr
Ort: Gebäude 48, Raum 680