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User-Centric Appliance Aggregation

Kumar, Rajnish; Poladian, Vahe; Greenberg, Ira; Messer, Alan; Milojicic, Dejan


Keyword(s): aggregation; personalized; preference; context; history

Abstract: As intelligent devices become affordable and as wireless infrastructure becomes pervasive, the potential to combine, or aggregate, device functionality to provide users with a better experience grows. However, even a small number of devices can be aggregated in many ways to perform a task. Currently, the user must choose among these aggregations without understanding essential information such as the properties of the devices. The problem is more severe in environments with devices that are unfamiliar to the user. A system for combining the functionality of devices in an ad-hoc environment to achieve a users desired experience is not available. We present the design and implementation of a system for the user-centric aggregation of appliance functionality in an ad-hoc environment. This work supports the automated aggregation of functionality using predefined descriptions of devices, facilitates the selection of the best aggregation using declarative policies, and allows the user to express trade-offs between the quality of device attributes, user distraction, and aggregation stability. This approach enables a user to have a richer experience when using devices without having to worry about their details. Notes:

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