Context detection and abstraction in smart environments

Pettinari, Marina (2008) Context detection and abstraction in smart environments, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Tecnologie dell'informazione, 20 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/1123.
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Context-aware computing is currently considered the most promising approach to overcome information overload and to speed up access to relevant information and services. Context-awareness may be derived from many sources, including user profile and preferences, network information, sensor analysis; usually context-awareness relies on the ability of computing devices to interact with the physical world, i.e. with the natural and artificial objects hosted within the "environment”. Ideally, context-aware applications should not be intrusive and should be able to react according to user’s context, with minimum user effort. Context is an application dependent multidimensional space and the location is an important part of it since the very beginning. Location can be used to guide applications, in providing information or functions that are most appropriate for a specific position. Hence location systems play a crucial role. There are several technologies and systems for computing location to a vary degree of accuracy and tailored for specific space model, i.e. indoors or outdoors, structured spaces or unstructured spaces. The research challenge faced by this thesis is related to pedestrian positioning in heterogeneous environments. Particularly, the focus will be on pedestrian identification, localization, orientation and activity recognition. This research was mainly carried out within the “mobile and ambient systems” workgroup of EPOCH, a 6FP NoE on the application of ICT to Cultural Heritage. Therefore applications in Cultural Heritage sites were the main target of the context-aware services discussed. Cultural Heritage sites are considered significant test-beds in Context-aware computing for many reasons. For example building a smart environment in museums or in protected sites is a challenging task, because localization and tracking are usually based on technologies that are difficult to hide or harmonize within the environment. Therefore it is expected that the experience made with this research may be useful also in domains other than Cultural Heritage. This work presents three different approaches to the pedestrian identification, positioning and tracking: Pedestrian navigation by means of a wearable inertial sensing platform assisted by the vision based tracking system for initial settings an real-time calibration; Pedestrian navigation by means of a wearable inertial sensing platform augmented with GPS measurements; Pedestrian identification and tracking, combining the vision based tracking system with WiFi localization. The proposed localization systems have been mainly used to enhance Cultural Heritage applications in providing information and services depending on the user’s actual context, in particular depending on the user’s location.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Pettinari, Marina
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
smart environments cultural heritage location-aware computing
Data di discussione
10 Aprile 2008

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