.: The era of the Pervasive Computing age:
"The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it..." -- Mark Weiser, :Computer for the 21th Century;, Scientific American, September, 1991.  

.: The Pervasive Expedition :

This is an ongoing research project conducted by The Systems Research Group. The project is supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council (RGC) of the Hong Kong government (Project No. HKU7146/04E). The team, is also working together with Shanghai Jiaotong University and Zhejiang University,  on a project "Studies on Core Theories and Techniques for Pervasive Computing" funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), from 01/2006 to 12/2009.


.: The HKU Sparkle Project


Computing has been an ever-changing paradigm since the beginning of its creation. With the millennium, there is an advent of a new computing environment. Computing is no longer limited to a "computer" per se. The computation scale has been much extended in our daily life :  

  • Extended scale of space - Instead of being bounded within a customized space, a user could have the :halo of computation; follow her from place to place, instantaneously exploiting whatever resources nearby.

  • Extended scale of time - Computation would be used to serve our daily activities. Ideally, it should be always available on a 7*24 hr schedule, much like the electricity supply.

  • Extended application domain - We do not directly interact with computation, but with the computation-enhanced physical world in a natural way. Empowered with various sensors, the surroundings are able to understand our situation, predict our intent, and act automatically. 

There is, no doubt, a trend towards more and more networked small devices with wireless access present in living and working spaces. Such a new computing environment has posted the following new requirements:

  • Heterogeneity - The range of computing devices widens, challenge to bridge those devices becomes imperative

  • Dynamism - From both the environment and the user side. A user might abruptly change his/her goal or adapt her actions to a changing environment. Mobility also introduces the explicit changing of execution environment.

  • Mobility - User・s tasks will migrate from place to place. The environments on the trail will dynamically accommodate, execute and hand over the user・s tasks.

  • Context-awareness - A distinct feature of pervasive computing. It typically includes location, identity, activity and state of people, groups and objects. Context-awareness guides the appropriate adaptation of computation, similar to the way we adapt our behaviors to different situations.

The above requirements pose great challenges on conventional systems. Though some issues have also arisen in distributed and mobile computing areas, the solutions are inadequate. We feel building software infrastructure for pervasive computing should explicitly take into considerations on the following issues:

  • Dynamic adaptation - the modification of an application during its execution due to significant mismatch existing between a resource・s supply and demand.

  • User-level Mobility - Task mobility : enables a user to continuously interact with his/her task even on the move. Guarantee the user-perceivable continuity and maintain a certain level of user・s satisfaction.

  • Support for context-aware applications - The efficient gathering context data from various sensors, the proper synthesis of information and the in-time delivery to context consumer.

  • User-centric (Task-driven, Goal-oriented) - requires the abstraction level of computation be raised, so that users could focus on the goals to accomplish.

.: Research Tasks

.: Recent Results:

  • Nov. 30, 2009: Dexter H. Hu, presented ``Smart Classroom: Context-aware Educational Systems・・, in ICCE 2009 (Doctoral Student Consortium),  Hong Kong.

  • Apr 23, 2009 : Two student projects selected as the Top 8 Best Final Year Projects: (1) Smart Lecture Room (by Liu Ki Pan, Hui Hing, Ngao Yau Tak) (photo with members), (2) Context-aware Location Service for Mobile Devices (Tang Pui Shan) (photo).

  • March 2008: Dr. C.L. Wang presented Mobile IM in National Taichung Univ. and Chunghua Univ. (中華大學), Taiwan. (PPT)

  • 04/08/2006: Dr. C.L. Wang presented Sparkle Project at National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan (PPT)

  • 14/07/2006: Dr. Wang presented Sparkle Project at Zhijian University, China.

  • Dr. Francis Lau gave a keynote speech "Research Issues in Adapting Computing to Small Devices" at APPT2005 (Hong Kong), Oct. 27, 2005. (Abstract)

  • Dr. C.L. Wang gave a keynote speech "A New Compositional Adaptation Technique for Pervasive Computing", at HHME2005 (昆明), Oct. 26, 2005. (Abstract)(PPT in pdf).

  • Dr. C.L. Wang presented "Sparkle: A Software Infrastructure For Context-Aware Pervasive  Computing" at Shangdong U. Jinan, China, (山东大学计算机科学与技术学院) May 18, 2005. (photo)

  • Pauline, Laurel, and C.L. Wang presented three papers in EUC2004. (photo)

  • Dr. Lau's keynote address in The 4th International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Computing, Applications and Technologies (PDCAT'03), Chengdu, China, August 27-29, 2003. Title: Content and Code Adaptation for Small-Device Computing

  • Nalini presented Sparkle in FTDCS2003, San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 2003 (photo)(PPT)

Technical Documents:


  • Dexter H. Hu, ``Smart Classroom: Context-aware Educational Systems・・, Doctoral Student Consortium, The 17th International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE 2009), Nov. 30 to Dec. 4, 2009,  Hong Kong.  (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)

  • 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)

  • GPS-based Location Extraction and Presence Management for Mobile Instant Messenger, to appear in 2007 IFIP International Conference on Embedded and Ubiquitous Computing (EUC'2007), December 17-20, 2007, Taipei Taiwan. (pdf)

  • C.L. Wang , X.L. Zhang, N. Belaramani, P.L. Siu, Y. Chow, and F.C.M. Lau, Software Infrastructure for Context-aware Mobile Computing, to appear in Enabling Technologies for Wireless e-Business Applications, Springer. (abs)

  • Francis C.M. Lau , Nalini Belaramani, Vivien W.M. Kwan, Pauline P.L. Siu, W.K. Wing, and C.L. Wang, ``Code-on-demand and code adaptation for mobile computing,'' to appear in Mobile Middleware, CRC Press, 2005. (abs)

  • Wai-Kwong Wing, Francis Chi-Moon Lau, and Cho-Li Wang, "Smart Retrieval and Sharing of Information Resources based on Contexts of User-Information Relationships", The First International Workshop on Ubiquitous Smart Worlds, Tamkang University, Taipei, March 28-30, 2005.

  • 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)

  •  Yuk Chow, Wenzhang Zhu, Cho-Li Wang, Francis Chi-Moon Lau, ``The State-On-Demand Execution for Adaptive Component-based Mobile Agent Systems,'' The Tenth International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Systems (ICPADS 2004), pp. 46-53, Newport Beach, California, July 7 - 9, 2004. (paper)(PPT)

  • Vivien Wai-Man Kwan, Francis C.M. Lau, and Cho-Li Wang, "Functionality Adaptation: A Context-Aware Service Code Adaptation for Pervasive Computing Environments", The 2003 IEEE/WIC International Conference on Web Intelligence, pp. 358-364, Halifax, Canada, October 13-17, 2003. (pdf)

  • Nalini Moti Belaramani, Yuk Chow, Vivien Wai-Man Kwan, Cho-Li Wang, and Francis C.M. Lau, `` A Component-based Software Architecture for Pervasive Computing,・・ Chap. 10, pp.201-222, Intelligent Virtual World: Technologies and Applications in Distributed Virtual Environments, chapter 10, pp. 191-212, World Scientific Publishing Co., Release: 07/31/2004.  (PDF)  

  • Nalini Belaramani, Cho-Li Wang and Francis C.M. Lau, ``Dynamic Component Composition for Functionality Adaptation in Pervasive Environments,・・ The 9th International Workshop on Future Trends of Distributed Computing Systems (FTDCS2003), San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 28 to 30, 2003. (PPT)

Last Update: Tuesday, December 01, 2009

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