The course examines how traditional information system architectures and technologies have been adapted to support various forms of mobile and personal information systems. Topics to be covered include: databases of mobile objects; context-aware services; opportunistic information sharing; ambient information; pervasive display systems.
Students will be introduced to a variety of novel information services and architectures developed for mobile environments in order to gain insight into the requirements and processes involved in designing and developing such systems and learning to think beyond traditional information systems.
Advances in mobile devices and communication technologies have led to a rapid increase in demands for various forms of mobile information systems where the users, the applications and the databases themselves may be mobile. Based on both lectures and breakout sessions, this course examines the impact of the different forms of mobility and collaboration that systems require nowadays and how these influence the design of systems at the database, the application and the user interface level. For example, traditional data management techniques have to be adapted to meet the requirements of such systems and cope with new connection, access and synchronisation issues. As mobile devices have increasingly become integrated into the users' lives and are expected to support a range of activities in different environments, applications should be context-aware, adapting functionality, information delivery and the user interfaces to the current environment and task. Various forms of software and hardware sensors may be used to determine the current context, raising interesting issues for discussion. Finally, user mobility, and the varying and intermittent connectivity that it implies, gives rise to new forms of dynamic collaboration that require lightweight, but flexible, mechanisms for information synchronisation and consistency maintenance. Here, the interplay of mobile, personal and social context will receive special attention.