A Location Model for Communicating and Processing of Context

Abstract: Location is one of the most important elements of context in ubiquitous computing. In this paper we describe a location model, a spatial-aware communication model and an implementation of the models that exploit location for processing and communicating context. The location model presented describes a location tree, which contains human-readable semantic and geometric information about an organisation and a structure to describe the current location of an object or a context. The proposed system is dedicated to work not only on more powerful devices like handhelds, but also on small computer systems that are embedded into everyday artefact (making them a digital artefact). Model and design decisions were made on the basis of experiences from three prototype setups with several applications, which we built from 1998 to 2002. While running these prototypes we collected experiences from designers, implementers and users and formulated them as guidelines in this paper. All the prototype applications heavily use location information for providing their functionality. We found that location is not only of use as information for the application but also important for communicating context. In this paper we introduce the concept of spatial-aware communication where data is communicated based on the relative location of digital artefacts rather than on their identity.

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