MyCampus Group Pursues Pervasive Computing Technologies

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Friday, June 30th, 2006
IT 21 Conference / U-Society of the Future MyCampus Group Pursues Pervasive Computing Technologies Modern society is being changed into an age of Ubiquitous revolution through the agrarian revolution, industrial revolution and informatization revolution stages. Accordingly, this year's IT 21 Conference 2006 which was held at the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies over two days from June 29~30, 2006, considered 'Usociety' as its main theme, thereby presenting superior researches such as communication technology necessary in an informatization society to evolve into a Ubiquitous society and concerning u-application fields like Ubiquitous entertainment, Multimodal user interface, U-healthcare, U-cityplan and Ucampus. Two invitation lectures regarding 'Middleware as a Shared Services Layer to Enable u-Campus' , were delivered by Dr. Vinnie Gupta (Sun Microsystems, Inc.) as well as 'MyCampus Research Overview' , delivered by Prof. Norman M. Sadeh (Carnegie Mellon Univ.), cutting the first tape of the IT 21 Conference 2006. 'Middleware as a Shared Services Layer to Enable u-Campus' Market Development Manager Mr. Vinnie Gupta, Digital Campus Infrastructure, Global Education and Research, Sun Microsystems pointed out the problems with today's middleware approach. Traditional implementations based on a collection of point products can create a nightmare of cost, complexity, and risk, he said, mentioning high acquisition costs (evaluating and acquiring point products from multiple vendors), unnecessary deployment delays (business applications sometimes wait for integration and testing of middleware), complex licensing agreements (middleware components priced according to different variables), hidden costs and unpredictable schedules (interdependencies between middleware components can be overlooked in testing), and high overhead cost (complicated version control and release schedules). In conjunction with this, the benefits of Sun Java Enterprise System reduces IT cost and complexity while accelerating deployment of IT services, Gupta noted. Simple (reduced complexity for acquiring, deploying & operating infrastructure software), predictable (better control over software variables such as licensing, planning, deployment, and operations), affordable (lower cost of acquisition and operation of software assets and software services) are three benefits of Sun Java Enterprise System, according to Gupta. Concerning IT's mission, Gupta quoted Mr. John S. Camp, Chief Information Officer, Wayne State University, 'Our strategic goal is to make it easy for individuals to do business with us. We do that by enabling individuals to access systems and information at their convenience, by implementing Internetbased, self-service systems' . He went on to say, 'CIO (Chief Information Officer)'s challenge lies in how to provide more services over the Web and over mobile devices, while the budgets are not keeping pace°¶' Higher Education CIOs are under ever increasing pressure to deliver more services to a disparate user base over disparate devices, at any time and at any place. At the same time, budgets are stagnant at best. Using the Internet, Gupta presented that middleware software as a shared services layer can help accelerate new service delivery, reduce application development/deployment costs and improve security. Given that Open Source is becoming a critical factor in Education CIOs' buying versus build decisions, Dr. Gupta noted Sun's perspective on Open Source and Open Standards in Higher Education. He introduces that Open Source is also in Sun's blood, adding that Sun has its roots in the BSD UNIX distribution, and has contributed to Open Source projects since 1982. Sun is the biggest contributor of open source code and has contributed more open source code than any other organizations, he claimed. 'Pervasive Computing: The MyCampus Experience' Over the past five years, the MyCampus group at Carnegie Mellon University has been developing and experimenting with Pervasive Computing technologies aimed at enhancing everyday life. Prof. Norman Sadeh (Carnegie-Mellon Univ.) noted: 'The project has drawn on multiple areas of expertise, combining the development of an open Semantic Web infrastructure for context-aware service provisioning with an emphasis on issues of privacy and usability.' In this presentation, the Prof. said: 'I will review key motivations behind the project, discuss the MyCampus Semantic Web infrastructure and report on our experience tailoring the architecture for different environments (e.g. everyday campus life applications, office applications, museum tour guide). This includes a discussion of Policy Enforcing Agents aimed at reconciling user demands for context awareness, security and privacy as well as a description of different context-aware applications developed and evaluated during the course of the project. Prof. Norman Sadeh also discussed his experience using Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) functionality developed to overcome usability issues associated with capturing complex, context-sensitive user preferences. He summarized as follows: 'Context awareness helps overcome the limitations of mobile devices and can help anticipate user goals and preferences.'