Personalizing the User's Physical Environment in a Pervasive System

Elizabeth Papadopoulou, Sarah Gallacher, Nick K. Taylor, and Howard Williams


Pervasive, Personalization, Smart Spaces, Smart Home, Adaptive Systems


One of the principal objectives of a pervasive system is to assist users in managing the increasingly complex environments surrounding them. This is becoming an important challenge as the number and variety of electronic devices that can be remotely controlled, grows steadily. The Persist project has developed a pervasive system platform that is aimed at assisting the user to manage the devices and services around them and this has been used to demonstrate the capabilities of such a system in a number of situations. It is based on the idea of a Personal Smart Space (PSS) in which the devices belonging to its owner are connected in a network that operates as a single system. This paper focuses on its use in the context of fixed smart spaces and shows how this approach can handle this type of situation and the advantages in doing so. In order to assess its ability to deal with more complex environments that might arise in the future, the Persist platform was coupled to a simulator to simulate the appropriate devices. This was used to demonstrate how the system might be used to manage the environment on the user’s behalf, and to determine what problems need to be addressed in the future. With this users can control their physical environment with far less intervention than would otherwise be the case. Some of these ideas are being further explored in another project called Societies with the aim of producing a system that combines the ideas of pervasive system behaviour with those of social networking.

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