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Context Service

Humans have always used situational information, or context, to make inter-personal interactions richer.  If computers are also able to use context while interacting with humans, they can offer more useful services and relevant information to humans.  Examples of contexts that can be used are location, time, weather, stock prices, moods, user activity, user moods, group activity, etc.  However, making computers obtain, understand and use context while interacting with humans is a difficult task.  The main difficulty, is that there is no common, reusable model that can be used to handle context.  We are working on a clausal model for context that is both simple and expressive.  The model defines various properties of context as well as operations that can be performed on context.  Based on this model of context, an infrastructure to enable context-awareness in ubiquitous computing environments has been developed.  The infrastructure allows easy development and deployment of context sensors and context-aware applications.  This context infrastructure has been made a part of our smart spaces framework, which eases the construction of context-aware applications.