University of Oulu

Korpipää, Panu (2005) Blackboard-based software framework and tool for mobile device context awareness. VTT Publications 579. URI:

Blackboard-based software framework and tool for mobile device context awareness

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Author: Korpipää, Panu1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Department of Electrical and Information Engineering
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Language: English
Published: Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2005
Publish Date: 2005-11-15
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Science in Technology, to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Auditorium IT115, Linnanmaa, on November 25th, 2005, at 12 noon.
Tutor: Professor Tapio Seppänen
Reviewer: Professor Martti Mäntylä
Professor Tommi Mikkonen
Opponent: Professor Martti Mäntylä
Professor Albrecht Schmidt
Kustos: Professor Tapio Seppänen


The usage needs of a mobile device vary according to context. Mobile context awareness research aims at providing the device user with a way of usage that suits the situation. Interaction based on context requires acquiring, abstracting and delivering information from multiple sources, such as sensors, to the application or application control. A generic software framework and tool for facilitating the rapid development of mobile device context-aware applications were developed in this work. The blackboard-based framework supports all tasks that are required for context-based application control, where contexts can be any events that are relevant to user interaction with the application, including explicit inputs. The core component of the framework, Context Manager, provides a publish and subscribe mechanism and a database for the applications and application control. The framework provides an application programming interface (API) for developers. As a higher abstraction-level programming interface, a customization tool enables easy end-user development of context-aware features into existing applications without changing them.

An extensible ontology is used as a uniform context representation within the framework. The purpose of the ontology, together with the API, is to enable easy access, use and reuse of human-understandable context information. Context information sources, such as sensors, often produce a continuous stream of low abstraction-level data. The framework supports the transformation of a continuous data stream into abstracted context events, described in the ontology. Context information is delivered to applications or application control as abstracted events. The main result of the dissertation is a software framework, ontology and tool, which facilitate the customization of sensor-based human-computer interaction in mobile devices. The practical applicability, scope, and computational efficiency of the implemented framework and customization tool are evaluated with performance measurements and multiple applications implemented in a mobile phone with real sensor sources.

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Series: VTT Publications
ISSN: 1235-0621
ISSN-E: 1455-0849
ISSN-L: 1235-0621
ISBN: 951-38-6670-X
ISBN Print: 951-38-6669-6
Issue: 579