Background to the workshop
When humans talk with humans, they are able to use implicit situational information, or context, to increase the conversational bandwidth. This ability to use contextual information does not transfer well to human-computer interaction. Part of the problem is the impoverished mechanisms for providing input to computers. Another aspect of the problem is that often we don't know what contextual information is relevant, useful, or even how to use it. However, by improving the computer's access to its context, we can increase the richness of communication in human-computer interaction and make it possible to produce more useful computational services.
A recent definition of context-awareness is due to Dey & Abowd (1999) who defined it as any information that can be used to characterise the situation of an entity, where an entity can be a person, place, physical or computational object. They went on to define context-awareness (or context-aware computing) as the use of context to provide task-relevant information and/or services to a user, wherever they may be. Following on from this, three important context-awareness behaviours that an application might exhibit can be identified:
Context is becoming increasingly important in handheld and ubiquitous computing, where the user's context often changes rapidly Pascoe et al. (1999). However, context-awareness is not well understood, and tools and techniques for developing context-aware applications are still in their infancy. It has been realised that there is a pressing need to obtain a better understanding of what context is in order to facilitate the exploitation of context through context-aware applications.
The workshop will bring together leading researchers in the field in order that they can consolidate their understanding of what the main research challenges in context-aware computing are. At present, we think these include:
We need a much better understanding of context-awareness if we are going to find solutions to the above research challenges. In order to improve our understand of what these challenges are, and to facilitate discussion at the workshop, we propose to structure the workshop around the following six questions:
Answers to these five questions underpin the higher level, meta-question of:
In other words, consideration of the how question ends in the other five W questions. These six questions can be summarised as the what, who, where, when, why and how of context. (The questions are only illustrative; participants are encouraged to place their own interpretation on the what, who, how of context-awareness, and so on.)
Call for participants
Potential participants are encouraged to place their own interpretation on the six questions of context-awareness. Please submit a short position statement giving your viewpoint on these questions, focusing particularly on one of the questions in your submission. This focus will be used to allocate selected participants to small discussion groups that form part of the workshop. Participants will be selected on the basis of their interest in, and familiarity with the problem area.
For additional information on CHI 2000 Workshops, please see the CHI2000 web site, which is available at: http://www.acm.org/sigchi/chi2000/ap.
For further information, please contact:
David R. Morse
|Last Updated: 27th January 2000|