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Title: Sensor-driven computing
Author: Ward, Andrew Martin Robert
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1999
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A context-aware computing system is one that can deduce the state of its surroundings using input from sensors and can change its behaviour accordingly. Context-aware devices might personalise themselves to their current user, alter their functionality based on where they were being used, or take advantage of nearby computing and communications resources. Location-aware systems, whose behaviour is determined by the positions of objects in the environment, represent a practical subset of the context-aware computing paradigm, and several systems of this nature have already been demonstrated. The location sensors used by those systems, however, report the positions of objects to only a room-scale granularity, limiting the extent to which devices and applications can adapt to their surroundings. Sensor technologies that can provide more detailed information about the locations of objects must therefore be investigated. This dissertation describes a new ultrasonic location sensor, which may be deployed in indoor environments such as offices and homes. The sensor can provide fine-grain , three-dimensional position and orientation information, and its characteristics are well suited to the demands of location-aware computing- the sensor is simple, low-powered and unobtrusive. Furthermore, the location system is scalable, in both the number of objects that it can track and the volume within which they may be monitored. A thorough assessment of the sensor's performance is presented in the dissertation, so that location-aware applications can be tailored to its properties. Subsequently, a software architecture that can efficiently distribute finegrain location information to applications is described. The software system provides support for the types of query that will be made frequently by location-aware applications, such as those concerning the spatial relationships between objects and their proximity to one another. The dissertation concludes by examining the use of the ultrasonic location sensor and software architecture to implement a set of novel location-aware applications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Computing ; Sensors ; Sensor driven computing