pervasive & ubiquitous

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  • 1. Pervasive & UbiquitousComputing Hao Chu ( ) Lecture #1 2/16/2004

2. Outline

  • Faculty Intro
  • Student Intro
  • What is Pervasive / Ubiquitous Computing?
  • Course Topics
  • Course Format
  • Course Projects
  • Grading

3. Faculty Intro

  • New assistant professor (8/1/2003)
  • Education:
    • PhD (1999), Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
    • BS (1994), Computer Science, Cornell University
  • Previous Work Experience:
    • Xerox
    • Intel
    • NTT DoCoMo USA Labs

4. Students Intro

  • Please tell us about:
    • Grade level
    • Current (future) research area, interests, and faculty advisor
    • Background (rating: good, fair, none)
      • English (reading, writing, and speaking)
      • Programming skills (C/C++, Java)
      • Systems (OS or distributed)
      • Networking
      • User Interface
      • Vision

5. Terminology

  • What is pervasive & ubiquitous computing (ubicomp)?
    • Ubiquitous = ;
    • Widespread computing, computing appearing and happening everywhere
  • How to realize ubicomp?
    • Move beyond desktop computing.
    • Embed computing into everyday objects.
    • Integrate (seamlessly connecting) physical objects with virtual environment.
    • Networking everyday objects.

6. Toward Smart Everyday Objects

  • Door can greet you by name upon entering.
  • Wall can sense temperature, humidity, lighting, and adjust air conditioning, de-humidifier, lighting accordingly.
  • Calendar can tell you meeting schedule.
  • Pencils can record everything you write.
  • Book shelf can tell you the location of the book/paper you need.
  • Newspapers update news (according to your interests) every morning.
  • Refrigerator can offer recipes and dietary recommendation.
  • Clothes can show the latest fashion or monitor your physical/mental health.
  • Medicine cabinet can remind you when to take medicines.
  • Dresser can give you fashion advices.
  • Washing machines and dryers adjust to washing & drying instructions on dirty clothes.
  • Credit card will warn if you are spending too much money.

7. Ubicomp is the Future

  • The (Computing) World is not a desktop! ... Mark Weiser
  • Ubicomp is how computing will (should) be used:
    • in everyday activities
    • invisiblythrough embedding in the physical objects (requiring little user attention)
    • to createsmart,everyday objects through interconnections and cooperation (with other smart objects)
  • A billion people interacting with a million e-businesses through a trillion interconnected intelligent devices. IBM Chairman (1993 ~ 2002) Lou Gerstner

8. Related Fields of Ubicomp

  • How does Ubicomp come about?(the evolution path)
    • Distributed Computing (PC + networks)
      • Challenges: performance, scalability, server or network failures, open networks, performance,
    • Mobile computing (Mobile devices + wireless networks)
      • Challenges: resource-limitation, unpredictable network, power
    • Ubicomp (Everyday objects + wireless networks)
      • Challenges: understanding user intention, heterogeneous ubicomp environments, invisible user experience, more ..

9. Course Topics (Tentative)

  • Vision & challenges
  • Software infrastructure
  • Sensors
  • Context-aware computing
  • Security and privacy
  • Human experience
  • Ubiquitous data access
  • Coping with uncertainty
  • Social computing
  • Project Aura
  • Project Oxygen
  • (Wearable Computing)

10. Course Objective

  • To prepare us ( students and faculty ) for research in ubicomp.
  • (Try to) duplicate experience from similar courses taught at MIT, Stanford, CMU, and Georgia Tech.
    • Learning by reading papers
      • Define problems & challenges
      • Understand state-of-art techniques & solutions
      • Identify limitations of state-of-art solutions
    • Learning by doing projects
      • The project must have a research component.

11. Collaborative Learning

  • This is aresearch seminar course , so everyone (faculty and students) willcontributeto the learning process.
    • Paper discussion
    • Paper presentation
    • Project presentation
  • Ubicomp is a new, fast changing field, sofaculty may not know all materials!

12. (Unusual) Course Format

  • Each lecture will discuss 4~5 papers on a specific topic.
  • For each paper,
    • Presenter will write a summary of the paper
    • Presenter will give an overview of the paper for 20 minutes.
    • Everyone will join the discussion for 10 minutes.
  • I will be the presenter for the papers in the first two lectures.
  • Students will sign up for papers for presentation.

13. How to read a paper?

  • For each paper, try to answer the following questions:
    • What is the problem?
    • What is the current state-of-the-art?
    • What is the key make-a-difference (new) method and technique?
    • What is good/bad/ugly about this make-a-difference method?
    • What has actually been done?
    • What is the future work?
  • (This may not apply to vision & challenges papers.)


  • We will setup a swifi website (collaborative website).
    • The assigned presenter must postpresentation slidesandpaper summaryon swifi course page before the lecture starts.
    • The assigned presenter will post adiscussion summaryon the swifi course page after the lecture ends.

15. Next Week Reading

  • Mark Weiser. "Some Computer Science Problems in Ubiquitous Computing." Communications of the ACM, July 1993.
  • Mark Weiser.Some computer science issues in ubiquitous computing. Communications of the ACM, 36(7):75-85, July 1993.
  • Mark Weiser, John S. Brown. "The Coming Age of Calm Technology." 1996.
  • M. Satyanarayanan. "Fundamental Challenges in Mobile Computing", Fifteenth ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing, May 1996.
  • M. Satyanarayanan. Pervasive Computing: Vision and Challenges, In: IEEE Personal Communications. Carnegie Mellon University. (2001).

16. Reading Sources

  • See Goyal list from
  • IEEE Pervasive Computing Magazine (8 Issues)
  • ACM Ubicomp, ACM Mobisys, ACM Mobicom, ACM Mobihoc, ACM Sensys, IEEE Percom, Pervasive, SOSP, etc.
  • Can also be in any system & networking conferences, UI conferences, etc.

17. Project Component

  • Do a rapid prototype of an ubicomp application in one semester.
  • Phase 1: project idea presentation
    • Fun, realizable within one semester time framework and computing equipments, has a research component.
  • Phase 2: project proposal document
    • Form teams, define goals, plan, and needed equipments.
  • Phase 3: project working prototype and final report
    • Working prototype demonstration
    • Project report detailing motivation, objective, related work, design, implementation, and evaluation.

18. Project Ideas

  • References:


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