UbiqUM 2006

August 28th, Riva del Garda, Italy

in conjunction with the 17th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI 2006)

Brief Description of Ubiquitous User Modeling

In today's information world, small personal computerized devices, such as PDAs, smart phones and other smart appliances, become widely available and essential tools in many situations. The ongoing expansion of computers into everyday life leads to so-called ubiquitous environments, where computational power and networking capabilities are available (and used) everywhere. The strive of providing personal services to users made user modeling capability an essential part of any ubiquitous application.

Ubiquitous user modeling describes ongoing modeling and exploitation of user behaviour with a variety of systems that share their user models. These shared user models can either be used for mutual or for individual adaptation goals. Ubiquitous user modeling can be differentiated from generic user modeling by the three additional concepts: ongoing modeling, ongoing sharing and ongoing exploitation. Systems that share their user models will improve the coverage, the level of detail, and the reliability of the integrated user models and thus allow better functions of adaptation. Ubiquitous user modeling covers and integrates the two following aspects:

  • User modeling for ubiquitous computing environments. The shift in human-computer interaction from desktop computing to mobile, real-world interaction in augmented and instrumented environments, as introduced in the research area of ubiquitous computing, highly influences the needs and possibilities for future decentralized user-adaptive systems. One of the main challenges for the success of ubiquitous computing is the design of personalized services and interfaces. The ultimate goal of the personalized services is to provide users with an easy access to relevant information in a flexible way, reflecting the changes in user needs and availability of resources. Provision of such services requires collecting user models, i.e., details about users' interests, behaviour, preferences and more.
  • Ongoing user modeling with a variety of systems and applications. The idea is to enable isolated user modeling applications to exchange partial user models with each other. While adaptive hypermedia systems on the World Wide Web are already provided with the means to communicate, wireless networks technically allow one to integrate any kind of user-adaptive systems with another. Especially, the semantic integration of distributed, heterogeneous user models with Semantic Web technology promises long term user modeling and interoperability.

Workshop on Ubiquitous User Modeling 2006