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Technical Report

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Technical Report Number



Context-aware computing is characterized by the ability of a software system to continuously adapt its behavior to a changing environment over which it has little or no control. This style of interaction is imperative in ad hoc mobile networks that consist of numerous mobile hosts coordinating with each other opportunistically via transient wireless interconnections. In this paper, we provide a formal abstract characterization of a host’s context that extends to encompass a neighborhood within the ad hoc network. We provide an application in an ad hoc network a specification mechanism for defining such contexts that allows individual applications to tailor their operating contexts to their personalized needs. We describe a context maintenance protocol that provides this context abstraction in ad hoc networks through continuous evaluation of the context. This relieves the application developer of the obligation of explicitly managing mobility and its implications on behavior. The software engineering gains resulting from the use of this abstraction are measured through its expressiveness and simplicity of use. We also characterize the performance of this protocol in real ad hoc networks through simulation experiments. Finally, we describe an initial implementation of the abstraction and provide real world application examples demonstrating its use.


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