Visibility within Mediated Networks: An Exploration of Contextual Factors

Posted: March 31st, 2006 | No Comments »

Dwyer, C., Hilz, S., Visibility Within Mediated Networks: An Exploration of Contextual Factors, In Workshop on Mobile Social Software, CHI 2006.

This position paper focuses on the concept of visibility and how visibility management patterns translate to ubiquitous, location aware social networks. In face-to-face interactions, social context is shared implicitly, with little effort. In virtual settings, sharing must be explicit. Therefore understanding the dynamics of the contextual factors the influence an individual’s decision to be visible within a mediated network is critical.

Relation to my thesis: The tension between awareness (connectivity, location, …) and privacy is a source of uncertainty. Personal control of location data is crucial for building trust in the system. Related article on location disclosure include Location disclosure to social relations: why, when, & what people want to share and Control, Deception, and Communication: Evalutatin the Deployment of a Location-Enhanced Messaging Service.

Indeterminacy and Uncertainty in Spatial Information

Posted: March 31st, 2006 | No Comments »

The Spatial Information Science Research Group of the The University of Melbourne has one research focus on Indeterminacy and uncertainty in spatial information:

Indeterminacy is an unavoidable feature of spatial information. Computing with spatial information in the presence of different types of indeterminacy, such as vagueness, granularity, and inaccuracy, requires specialized theories and techniques

Geographic information science, there are several recent works devoted to concepts related to spatial vagueness and spatial uncertainty including:

Pang A. Visualizing uncertainty in geo-spatial data. In: Workshop on the Intersections between Geospatial Information andInformation Technology, prepared for the National Academies committee of the Computer Science andTelecomm unications Board, 2001.

This paper focuses on how computer graphics and visualization can help users access and understand the increasing volume of geo-spatial data. In particular, this paper highlights some of the visualization challenges in visualizing uncertainty associated with geo-spatial data. Uncertainty comes in a variety of forms and representations, and require different techniques for presentation together with the underlying data. In general, treating the uncertainty values as additional variables of a multivariate data set is not always the best approach. We present some possible approaches and further challenges using two illustrative application domains.

Kulik, L. Spatial vagueness and second-order vagueness. Spatial Cognition and Computation 3, 2 (2003), 157-183.

Most modern geographic information systems model the spatial extensions of geographic objects as sharp regions that have a unique boundary. A sharp region enable a clear distinction between which points belongs to the objects region and which do not. However, almost every natural object has a vague boundary.

Relation to my thesis: Spatial uncertainty in location awareness seems the most obvious area I should target. Geography information sciences has techniques to make us apprehend the physical space. Intelligible context-aware systems should probably support similar techniques to make us grasp the fusion of the virtual with the physical.

Upcoming Special Issue on Ubiquitous Computing in the Real World

Posted: March 30th, 2006 | No Comments »

Personal and Ubiquitous Computing has an upcoming (Summer 2006) special issues on Ubiquitous Computing in the Real World. Editors: George Roussos, Birkbeck College University of London UK and Shin’ichi Konomi, University of Colorado, US.

Solicited contributions should report on ubicomp deployment and highlight the effects of bringing ubiquitous computing to the real world:

  • What are the limitations of ubiquitous systems implementation in the real world in terms of economics, regulation, business realities and market situation and can the cost be justified?
  • Which systems can work outside the laboratory?
  • When ubiquitous systems are deployed what are the changes that bring to people’s lives?
  • Is the ubiquitous computing world a utopia, which can never be reached because reality is messy?
  • And above all, is the ubiquitous computing world a world which people seem happy to live in?

Relation to my thesis: My domain interest in supporting the integration of ubicomp into our messy realities. Right on target with this special issue.

Inowiss: Connectivity Management in Wireless Networking

Posted: March 29th, 2006 | No Comments »

Lemhachheche R., Inowiss: Connectivity Management in Wireless Networking, In submission to IT@Home: Unraveling Complexities of Networked Devices in the Home, Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Montreal, Canada (CHI 2006), 2006

This paper advocates the user empowerment in terms of networking use. Soon the norm won’t be one device one wireless channel (BT, WiFi, 2-3-4G, Satellite, …), but one device multiple wireless channels. The aim of the Inowiss (INteractions On WIrelesS Systems) projects is to reduce the current “information asymmetry” due to the lack of easy access to resources given to users.

Information asymmetry happens when one of the parties in a transaction has more or better information available concerning the transaction.

The idea is to make wireless networking information fully accessible for the users to make better decisions in regard to their privacy, security and the quality of service.

Riad Lemhachheche has a blog is called Invisible Yet Necessary.

Relation to my thesis: Wireless networks overlap, and we lack of information on the network connectivity (bandwith, latency, coverage, prices, …) to act upon. The author points out that projects such as Mobile Media Metadata has shown that additional information about the network characteristics can improve substantially the user experience. Such data should support the choice of appropriate wireless channel to match users activities. Something I called Intermittent and Planned Connectivity and that Riad Lemhachheche nicely coins as a shift from device (and associated connectivity) to an activity centric view of network connection. A shift from Human-Computer Interaction to Human-Network Interaction. A wireless network able to communicate its settings in a human-readable format is a way to disambiguate connectivity issues in real-world ubiquitous environments.

Workshop on "The Future of Web Search"

Posted: March 28th, 2006 | No Comments »

A workshop on “The Future of Web Search” organized by Yahoo! Research Barcelona and the Web Research Group of the University Pompeu Fabra will take place on May 19 in the Auditorium of Estacio de Francia building.

Preliminary list of speakers includes:

Paolo Boldi, Univ. di Milano, Italy
Andrei Broder, Yahoo! Research, USA
Carlos Castillo, Univ. di Roma, Italy
Paul-Alexandre Chirita, Univ. of Hannover, Germany
Debora Donato, Univ. di Roma, Italy
Devdatt Dubhashi, Chalmers University, Sweden
Mounia Lalmas, Queen Mary College, Univ. of London, UK
Ronny Lempel, IBM Research Haifa, Israel
Massimo Melucci, Univ. de Padova, Italy
Alesandro Panconesi, Univ. di Roma, Italy
Knut Risvik, Google, Norway
Fabrizio Silvestri, CNR, Pisa, Italy
Andrew Tomkins, Yahoo! Research, USA
Panayiotis Tsaparas, Univ. of Helsinki, Finland
Michalis Vazirgiannis, Athens UEB, Greece
Hugo Zaragoza, Yahoo! Research, Spain

For the occasion, Knut Magne Risvik, Technology Director at Google (formerly Chief Architect at Yahoo!) will give a research seminar to the UPF PhD students. (Knut’s talk on Java at Google)

Relation to my thesis: Curious to see how much and how the mobile web, geospatial web, ubicomp, internet of things scenarios are addressed by the people of the web search domain.

Early Mobile Web

Posted: March 28th, 2006 | 1 Comment »

First and second generation of mobile web. Extracted from a presentation on mobile web 2.0 given by by Jonghong Jeon a senior Member of Research Staff ETRI, Protocol Engineering Center in South Korea.
Mobile Computing

Catchbob! Streaming Video

Posted: March 27th, 2006 | No Comments »

The streaming video of last year’s Catchbob! experiments:

CatchBob! is an experimental platform in the form of a mobile game for running psychological experiments. It is designed to elicit collaborative behavior of people working together on a mobile activity.

Running on a mobile device (iPAQ, TabletPc), it’s a collaborative hunt in which groups of three persons have to find and circle a virtual object on our campus.

Supporting Evaluation of Protocols and Applications in Real-World Settings

Posted: March 27th, 2006 | No Comments »

Pervasive Wirless talks about the current problems of radio standards interoperability that prevent the emergence of pervasive computing (ad-hoc, mesh networks). RFID tags use one set of standards, cell phones still others, and various Wi-Fi devices several versions of a third. Linking such devices into a pervasive network means providing them with a common protocol.

To test potential unifying wireless protocols, Rutger, Columbia, Princeton, IBM, Thomson and Lucent have setup ORBIT, a facility that researchers can use to study multiple wireless devices and network technologies.

“The sort of real-world complexity, dealing with real-world numbers that [the test bed] allows you to do, is something that really makes it quite unique”

One aim of this project is to reduce “friction” in daily life (i.e. latency)

“If I want cars not to collide, it cannot take 10 seconds to determine that a car is nearby. It has to take a few microseconds.”

ORBIT is a two-tier laboratory emulator/field trial network testbed designed to achieve reproducibility of experimentation, while also supporting evaluation of protocols and applications in real-world settings.
Relation to my thesis: Projects focusing on dealing with real-world complexity of ubicomp settings are emerging. Interoperability and scale need to be taken into consideration. Understanding what daily life “frictions” to reduce would be equally important.

Flood Maps

Posted: March 27th, 2006 | 1 Comment »

Flood Maps is a mashup of Google Maps and ground elevation data from the NASA. It gives world-wide flood hazard visualization. Very similar to the floods in Sim City.

Bcn Flood-1 Simcity Flood
Flood Map of BCN if see level rises of 14m (left), floods in SimCity (right)

Monetary Space

Posted: March 26th, 2006 | No Comments »

A sign to physically ground a fuzzy monetary border
Monetary Space