Context-Aware Mobile Instant Messenger

(支持情境感知的行動式即時訊息系統 )

-- Created by Cho-Li Wang



.: Why people like IM ?



"People can locate and be located by others in cyberspace while maintaining various degrees of control over their privacy and the timing in which they are willing to communicate."

  • Presence-awareness: Indicates a user’s responsive status
  • Sense of “Buddy”: Keep a friend-to-friend network 
  • Stay social and connected
  • One-click distance
  • Free talk in any dialect (“gd nite & cu tmr”, a rich set of emotion icons)  
  • .....

.: Smart Instant Messenger @ HKU

This project is to implement a smart instant messenger (SIM) that can help mobile users to perform context-aware person-to-person interactions and enable mobile users to instantaneously make use of devices present in a working space. Context information, such as room location, person identity, computing resources, personal profiles, schedule, etc., will be retrieved and inferred by a reasoning engine to provide correct decisions (smartness).

The system derives customized location indicators according to the activity they are currently involved and the social relationship between users and their buddies (or their roles in a group activity). A user's physical location should be interpreted differently and allow different level of location details to be conveyed to their buddies. The server also retrieves user's activity information from Google Calendar. We use the Web Ontology Language (OWL) to model buddy relationship and domain knowledge involved in IM communications. By inferring on the ontology-based framework, we update buddies' presence in the buddy list accordingly. This method also helps to rank location recommendations while performing the cooperative place annotation. For example, the location recommendations by buddies to participate the coming group activity could be ranked higher.

A special feature of SIM is the support of application mobility, where an executing application, such as a music player, can be moved across nearby devices, but continue its execution (playing the same music). The implementation involves Java programming on PDA (or mobile phone with J2ME), client-server network programming on wireless LAN (802.11b, BlueTooth, or IrDA, etc.).

Three Main Features:

1. Context-aware presence management

  • Context as presence
    • Location, activity, with whom you’re…
    • Extended, richer vocabulary
  • Adaptive presence distribution
    • Different buddies see different status
    • E.g., available to the people here; yet “busy” to the outliers;
    • Based on current situation and the relationships
  • Automatic update
    • Let the system infer the user’s presence

2. Resource buddy services

  • Explicitly include resources
    • Device, Software, Widget…
    • Anything that is of certain usage
  • Resources appear on the buddy list
    • Just like your buddy
    • When you need, when you’re near, what you’re fond of/interested in
  • User-centric configuration
    • Buddy understands your dialect.
    • E.g., A and B see different GUIs for the same printer, or maybe speak different commands

3. Dynamic grouping

  • Location-based Grouping (“buddy discovery”):
    • Group the buddies according to the same location
    • Effectively help you “bump into” a nearby buddy and initiate a serendipitous interaction
    • Keep you aware of the surrounding resources, and of what are readily for usage
  • Activity-based Grouping (“task centric”)
    • Facilitate the collaborative work by grouping the activity partners, electronic resources and desired devices into a single group

A demo program in Flash

.: Members:

.: Student Projects:

2006-2007 FPY:  Context-Aware Mobile Instant Messenger 2006-2007 FYP:  Context-Aware Mobile Instant Messenger
``Smart Instant Messenger in Pervasive Computing Environments,''  won the GPC'06 Best Paper Award. (Chun-Fai & Nadia) Nadia made the presentation in GPC'06.

Contributors: (Final Year Student Project)

2004-2005 Application Mobility in Pervasive Environment
  Law Chun Fai (Terry) Extension of Jaber protocol.
Chan Sung Ming (CE) Ontology-based reasoning engine (Jena server)
Fung Wen Yee, Joanna (CS) Application Migration
2005-2006 Smart Instant Messenger
  Wong Wai Yin (O'neal) Daily Routing, mental model, resource buddy
Ho Chiu Pun (Peter) IM Client, GUI, File Transfer Protocol
Mo Kim Tao (Laurance) Ward Allotment, Activity-based grouping
Wu Wan Fung (Raymond) IM Migration
Hor Kar Chu (Laurence) Reasoning Engine
Ng Kwok Yuen (Jackey) Sensor Network
2006-2007 Context-Aware Mobile Instant Messenger
  Chan Yuen Ka (Catherine) Ontology-based reasoning engine (Jena server)
Wong Yue Wah GPS receiver, BlueTooth connection
Chiu Tak Ting IM Client on Dopod 720w
Wong Chui Man, (Jo) GoogleMap, Google calendar

.: Publication

  • Xiaolei Zhang, Chun-Fai Law, Cho-Li Wang, Francis C.M. Lau, ``Towards Pervasive Instant Messaging and Presence Awareness,''  International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communication, Volume 5 Issue 1, 2009. (pdf)
  • Fan Dong, Li Zhang, Dexter H. Hu, Cho-Li Wang, ``A Case-based Component Selection Framework for Mobile Context-aware Applications,'' The 7th IEEE International Symposium on Parallel and Distributed Processing with Applications (ISPA-09), Chengdu and Jiuzhai Valley, China, 10-12 August 2009. (pdf)

  • Dexter H. Hu, Fan Dong, Cho-Li Wang, ``A Semantic Context Management Framework on Mobile Device,'' The 6th International Conference on Embedded Software and Systems (ICESS-09), HangZhou, Zhejiang, China, May 25 - May 27, 2009. (pdf)

  • Chun-Fai Law, Xiaolei Zhang, Michael S. M. Chan and Cho-Li Wang, ``Smart Instant Messenger in Pervasive Computing Environments,'' The First International Conference on Grid and Pervasive Computing (GPC2006), May 3-5, 2006, Taichung City, Taiwan. (pdf) (PPT)
  • GPS-based Location Extraction and Presence Management for Mobile Instant Messenger, 2007 IFIP International Conference on Embedded and Ubiquitous Computing (EUC'2007), December 17-20, 2007, Taipei Taiwan. (pdf)
  • Pauline P. L. Siu, C. L. Wang, and F. C. M. Lau, ``Context-aware State Management for Ubiquitous Applications,''  International Conference on Embedded and Ubiquitous Computing (EUC-04), pp. 776-785, Aizu, Japan, 26-28 August 2004. (pdf)(PPT)

  • Laurel C. Y. Kong, C. L. Wang, and F. C. M. Lau, ``Ontology Mapping in Pervasive Computing Environment,''  International Conference on Embedded and Ubiquitous Computing (EUC-04), pp. 1014-1023, Aizu, Japan, 26-28 August 2004. (pdf)(PPT)

  • Weisong Chen, C. L. Wang, and F. C. M. Lau, ``A Collaborative and Semantic Data Management Framework for Ubiquitous Computing Environment,'' International Conference on Embedded and Ubiquitous Computing (EUC-04), pp. 962-971, Aizu, Japan, 26-28 August 2004. (pdf) (PPT)

.: Technical Documents

.: Other Related Projects at HKU:

.: Related Projects and Reference:

Context-Aware Ubiquitous Computing Application
Task Migration
  • Awareness and Coordination in Shared Work Spaces (1992) (paper)

  • A Presence Service for Ubiquitous Computing (2002) (Thesis)

  • Human-Computer Interaction In Mobile Context: A Cognitive Resources Perspective (2004), by Antti Oulasvirta (Thesis)

Communication between human and artificial agents
  • Agent communication languages, like ACL and KQML, have been a focus of attention in recent years. But they are far from reflecting the complexity of human communication.

  • Issues: representations of mental states, believes and intentions, sensory information, formal representations of actions and action ontologies, and the integration of context and situation information,

Research projects

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