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Guest Talk: Darren Carlson – Dynamix: A Community-centric, Plug-and-Play Context Framework

Dynamix: A Community-centric, Plug-and-Play Context Framework

Mobile users increasingly expect software applications to adapt fluidly across a broad range of everyday situations, environments and hardware platforms. Although contextual information is widely recognized as an essential foundation of self-adapting software, existing context modeling and management techniques presuppose significant domain expertise in the areas of mobile, distributed and ubiquitous computing. As a consequence, mobile developers transitioning from enterprise and desktop scenarios face significant (and often prohibitive) complexity when creating context-aware applications. To mitigate this complexity, we are developing Dynamix, a community-centric, plug-and-play context framework. Dynamix simplifies mobile application development through an extensible, OSGi-based framework that runs as a background service on a user’s Android-based device, modeling context information from the environment using the device itself as a sensing, processing and communications platform. Context modeling is performed by a tailored set of plug-ins, which are dynamically provisioned to the device over-the-air during runtime. Dynamix mediates the flow of context events (from plug-ins to applications) using a configurable Context Firewall, which enables users to precisely manage the privacy risk level of the contextual information available to each application. To foster the emergence of a vibrant open-source developer community, Dynamix defines an open plug-in model and open Web-based repository architecture, which enable external domain experts to create and share context plug-ins with the mobile developer community. This talk presents an overview of the Dynamix architecture (including our preliminary mobile security model), describes our prototype implementation and presents initial results.