Context Recognition by User Situation Data Analysis (Context)
The Context project has released the ContextPhone mobile context-aware prototyping platform as free software.
- Project overview
- ContextPhone [Obtaining it, Example applications, Users, Python interface]
- ContextPhone in the press
In mobile and ubiquitous applications and systems, reacting to user context is a key component of proactivity: changes in the user's situation are rapid and they are strongly reflected to the user's needs and preferences. The Context project studies characterization and analysis of information about user's context and its use in proactive adaptivity: what is the user's understanding of her current context, how to make automatic inferences about the contexts, and how to characterize context to users and design user interaction about contexts. The research problems are approached by qualitative end user studies, data analysis algorithm development, and empirical testing in a prototype environment.
The project is a joint effort of the Department of Computer Science and HIIT Basic Research Unit, both at University of Helsinki, and of HIIT Advanced Research Unit. The research project is funded by the Academy of Finland during years 2002-2005.
Evolution of ContextPhone after the Context project
Since 2006, Jaiku Ltd. has developed commercial mobile presence services based on ContextPhone technology and application prototypes (see below).
Since October 2007, Jaiku is part of Google.
Smartphones are the first real pervasive platform. They are always with you and have the processing power and network connectivity of a 1995 PC. A service or application that works on a Smartphone has the unique capability of being available throughout your everyday life.
To make building real applications easier, we have released ContextPhone. ContextPhone consists of four interconnected main modules (see System diagram) provided as a set of open source C++ libraries and source code components, running on off-the-shelf mobile phones (using Symbian OS and the Series 60 Smartphone platform):
- are used to acquire context data from different sources, such as location (cell identifier and GPS) or phone usage.
- provide connections to services in the outside world via standard Internet protocols using GPRS, Bluetooth transfers, short messages (SMS) and multimedia messages (MMS). The communication channels can be used, e.g., to share presence information (Jabber) or to obtain sensor data (GPS over Bluetooth).
- versions of built-in applications} are provided, in particular for the Contacts and Recent call list, to seamlessly replace the original ones.
- System services
- provide facilities for automatic starting of background services, error logging and recovery as well as status display.
ContextPhone is available under the GNU General Public License (GPL): it is free software that can be redistributed or modified as long as the modified versions are made available under the same terms.
The software works on Nokia Series 60 version 1 and 2 Smartphones, running Symbian OS 6.0 and 7.0s (e.g. Nokia 7650, 3650, 6600 and 7610, Now with experimental support for FP2: 6630). Binaries, source code (approximately 50 KLOC at the time of writing), installation notes and a building guide can be found at http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/group/context/latest/.
ContextContacts is a service for automatic communication and representation of the context of your buddies. Recent research has shown that (depending on the sample) 30-70% of all mobile calls fail. This causes undue stress to people and of course the lost time costs money in business. By giving contextual cues about the callees current situation we aim to reduce the number of failed communication attempts:
ContextContacts is also an important vehicle for studying how such automatic publication of ones context can be integrated into the way people manage privacy: what data can safely be communicated, how should the service be controlled and what level of accountability should be provided (amongst others).
Smartphones enable not only the capture of media, but also the annotation and sharing of this media. With ContextMedia you can immediately store or share media (photos, sound, video, text) you capture on your Smartphone:
Results can be seen on the aware spatio-temporal moblog.
ContextLogger is an application for recording mobility data. The goal has been to provide a tool for researchers to acquire rich data in a manner that is unobtrusive to the user, requires minimum control and maintenance, and is robust and reliable. Example log. Of course this data can be used by the users themselves to keep an automated diary.
The ability to measure the evolution and strength of social relationships can ``revolutionise the field of social network analysis'' according to the social scientist David Lazer of Harvard University (Celeste Biever. The phone that knows you better than you do. New Scientist, 184:22, 2004.)
- The aware group (John Evans, Andrew Paterson, Aki-Ville Pöykiö, Marcus Ort) at Media Lab, University of Art and Design Helsinki, are using ContextMedia to experiment with mobile, locative and situated media practices
- Reality Mining project (Nathan Eagle) at MIT Media Lab is using ContextLogger to gather --- for the first time --- actual measurements of the strength, dynamics and evolution of social networks.
- University of California Berkeley's Garage Cinema Research Group at the School of Information Management Science is using ContextMedia to study computer-aided annotation of mobile media.
- VTT Technical Research Center of Finland (Jani Mäntyjärvi) is using ContextLogger to study workgroup social patterns.
- Laura Beloff at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts is staging a surveillance exhibit with the aid of a custom ContextPhone application.
- ContextPhone - A prototyping platform for context-aware mobile applications, Mika Raento, Antti Oulasvirta, Renaud Petit, Hannu Toivonen. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 4 (2): 51-59, 2005.
- How mobile awareness cues are inferred and acted upon, Antti Oulasvirta, Renaud Petit, Mika Raento, and Sauli Tiitta. Special issue of Human-Computer Interaction on Awareness Systems. In press.
- The Data Subjects Right of Access and to be Informed in Finland: An Experimental Study, Mika Raento. International Journal of Law and Information Technology. In Press, Advance Access published online on October 27, 2006.
- Clustering and Prediction of Mobile User Routes from Cellular Data, Kari Laasonen. PKDD 2005, LNAI 3721, Springer Verlag (2005), 569-576. (C) Springer-Verlag.
- LOCA: ``Set to discoverable'', an interactive installation, was presented at ZeroOne San Jose / ISEA 2006.
- Loca: Location Oriented Critical Arts, John Evans, Drew Hemment, Theo Humphries, and Mika Raento. LEONARDO electronic almanac, 14(3), MIT Press, 2006.
- Mobile HCI 2004 Location Systems Privacy and Control Workshop, Giovanni Iachello, Mika Raento, and Ian Smith. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 4, (1): 90, 2005.
- ContextContacts: Re-Designing SmartPhone's Contact Book to Support Mobile Awareness and Collaboration, Antti Oulasvirta, Mika Raento, Sauli Tiitta, Proc. of MobileHCI 05, p. 167-174. ACM, 2005.
- Algorithms for unimodal segmentation with applications to unimodality detection, Niina Haiminen, Aristides Gionis, and Kari Laasonen. Knowledge and Information Systems. To appear.
- Evaluating classifiers for mobile-masquerader detection, Oleksiy Mazhelis, Seppo Puuronen, and Mika Raento. In Proceedings of the Security and Privacy in Dynamic Environments (SEC2006), 21st IFIP TC-11 International Information Security Conference. Springer, pp. 271-283, 2006.
- Loca: Location Oriented Critical Arts, John Evans, Drew Hemment, Theo Humphries, and Mika Raento. In Hothaus Papers: perspectives and paradigms in media arts, Eds Joan Gibbons and Kaye Winwood. Article Press 2006.
- Kontekstipuhelin välittää sosiaalista tilatietoa, Mika Raento, Antti Oulasvirta, Hannu Toivonen, and Martti Mäntylä. Prosessori, January 2005. (in Finnish)
- Adaptive On-device Location Recognition, K. Laasonen, M. Raento, H. Toivonen. Pervasive Computing: Second International Conference, PERVASIVE 2004, LNCS 3001, Springer Verlag (2004), 287-304. (C) Springer-Verlag.
- Route Prediction from Cellular Data, Kari Laasonen. In Proceedings of the workshop on Context Awareness for Proactive Systems, CAPS 2005, 147-158.
- Privacy management for social awareness applications, Mika Raento, Antti Oulasvirta. In Proceedings of the workshop on Context Awareness for Proactive Systems, CAPS 2005, 105-114.
- Mobile Communication and Context Dataset, Mika Raento. In Proceedings of the Workshop Towards Benchmarks and a Database for Context Recognition, In International Conference on Pervasive Computing. ETH, 2004.
- Kill your Personal Data Dead, Mika Raento. In Proceedings of the Workshop On Location Systems Privacy and Control, in 6th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services MobileHCI'04. University of Strathclyde, 2004.
- Ethic of choice for Location-based systems, Mika Raento. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Usability, Utility and Ethics of Location Based Services, in NordiCHI 2004. University of Tampere, 2004.
- Context software - A prototype platform for contextual mobile applications, Mika Raento. In Proceedings of the International Proactive Computing Workshop. University of Helsinki, 2004.
- Proceedings of the Workshop On Location Systems Privacy and Control, in 6th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services MobileHCI'04 Ian Smith, Giovanni Iachello, and Mika Raento, editors. University of Strathclyde, 2004.
- Context - Prototyping platform for contextual media. Mika Raento. Poster at the 12th International Symposium on Electronic Art ISEA2004. Helsinki, Finland. 2004.
- The New York Times July 06 2006: At ZeroOne, Paintings Are So Last Century. (LOCA at ISEA'2006)
- Tieteen Kuvalehti 6/2006, s. 40-41: Puhelin kertoo käyttäjästään. Also appeared as: Illustrerad Vetenskap 6/2006, s. 44-45: Mobilen skvallrar om dina vänner, Illustreret Videnskap 6/2006, s. 40-41: Mobilen sladrer om dine venner, Illustrert Vitenskap 6/2006, s. 46-47: Mobilen sladrer om vennene dine
- Tietoyhteys 1/2005s, s. 3: Proaktiivinen tietotekniikka kännykässä
- Puhelin, 2/2005, s. 32-33: Tilannetietoinen kännykkä tulee
- YLE Radio Suomi, tiedeuutiset 17.3.2005.
- Portaali 1/2005, s. 16: Matkapuhelin oppii omistajan tavat
- New Scientist, 27.11.2004, p. 21: The phone that knows you better than you do
- theregister.co.uk, 25.11.2004: Smart phone predicts owner's behaviour
- Matkapuhelin opetetaan sopeutumaan entistä paremmin omistajansa käyttötarpeisiin ja -tilanteisiin (in Finnish)
We have gathered a dataset on mobile context and communication. An anonymized version is publicly available. If you need access to features not in that version, please contact Mika Raento.
At the moment we might still modify the dataset slightly. If you plan to use it, please contact us so that we can verify you get a correct version and that we freeze that version for future reference.
- ContextPhone (Proactive Computing Workshop, PROACT Colloquim)
- Gathering context data
- Clustering context data
- Privacy in ubiquitous computing
There's a LaTeX slides template available for making presentations.
We've put up some notes about our experiences with Symbian programming
Up to: Department of Computer Science | HIIT Basic Research Unit