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UbiComp Use Case (was: Re: Requirements Document)

From: Ora Lassila <daml@lassila.org>
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2002 11:21:31 -0500
Message-Id: <a0510100fb895872ba99c@[]>
To: heflin@cse.lehigh.edu
Cc: www-webont-wg@w3.org

>The draft requirements document is now available for your review at:

Included below is a proposal for the missing UbiComp use case, 
essentially expanded from my earlier "serendipitous interoperability" 
use case (see 

Comments welcome.


	- Ora

Use Case: Ubiquitous Computing
Ubiquitous Computing is an emerging paradigm of personal computing, 
characterized by the shift from dedicated computing machinery to 
pervasive computing capabilities embedded in our everyday 
environments. Characteristic to Ubiquitous Computing are small, 
handheld, wireless computing devices. The pervasiveness and the 
wireless nature of devices require network architectures to support 
automatic, ad hoc configuration. An additional reason for development 
of automatic configuration is that this technology is aimed at 
ordinary consumers.

A key technology of true ad hoc networks is service discovery, 
functionality by which "services" (i.e., functions offered by various 
devices such as cell phones, printers, sensors, etc.) can be 
described, advertised, and discovered by others. All of the current 
service discovery and capability description mechanisms (e.g., Sun's 
JINI, Microsoft's UPnP) are based on ad hoc representation schemes 
and rely heavily on standardization (i.e., on a priori identification 
of all those things one would want to communicate or discuss).

The key issue (and goal) of Ubiquitous Computing is "serendipitous 
interoperability", interoperability under "uncoreographed" 
conditions, i.e., devices which weren't necessarily designed to work 
together (such as ones built
for different purposes, by different manufacturers, at a different
time, etc.) should be able to discover each others' functionality and 
be able to take advantage of it. Being able to "understand" other 
devices, and reason about their services/functionality is necessary, 
since full-blown Ubiquitous Computing scenarios will involve dozens 
if not hundreds of devices, and a priori standardizing the usage 
scenarios is an unmanageable task.

The interoperation scenarios are dynamic in nature (i.e., devices 
appear and disappear at any moment as their owners carry them from 
one room or builidng to another) and do not involve humans "in the 
loop" as far as (re-)configuration is concerned.

Given that device functionality can be modeled as (web) services, the 
requirements for this use case are somewhat similar to the 
requirements for DAML-S (particularly the issues surrounding the 
expressiveness of the language, see 

The tasks involved in the utilization of services involve discovery, 
contracting, and composition. The contracting of services may involve 
representing information about security, privacy and trust, as well 
as about compensation-related details (the provider of a service may 
have to be compensated for services rendered).

Given that RDF-based schemes for representing information about 
device characteristics have started to be adopted (namely, W3C's 
Composite Capability/Preference Profile or CC/PP, 
http://www.w3.org/Mobile/CCPP/), an additional requirement is 
compatibility with RDF at some level.

Ora Lassila  mailto:daml@lassila.org  http://www.lassila.org/
Research Fellow, Nokia Research Center
Received on Sunday, 17 February 2002 11:22:33 UTC

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