As computing becomes more pervasive and ubiquitous a major new research
effort is required to develop adaptive information technologies that automatically
evolve to meet the diverse needs of users, devices, and content in changing
contexts. In the timescale 2004-2010, three major changes will occur in
Pervasiveness of powerful, networked computing devices:
Existing devices will become more integrated (e.g., mobile phones integrated
with audio players and digital video cameras) and new sensor devices will
become more pervasive (e.g., positioning, biometric and environmental
sensors). All of these devices will have greater processing power and
storage capacity requiring new policies for communication over heterogeneous,
mobile networks. For instance, advances in microelectronics will soon
allow sensor networks of embedded, low-cost, low-power consuming chips
with integrated sensing, signal processing and wireless communications
capabilities. New physical, chemical, and digital sensors will be embedded
in familiar physical objects in our homes, our clothes and even our bodies.
In time, the environment will be saturated with millions of these devices
organized into adaptive sensor networks using evolving cellular systems.
Proliferation of Information:
The emergence of these new, more powerful devices will lead to the production
and processing of even larger amounts of information. This information
will manifest itself in many media, formats and standards (e.g., audio,
video, image-based, sensor data, text, XML, MPEG7). The sheer quantity
of this raw data will require new methods for its automated analysis into
more contentful forms; for instance, to turn text into XML, to analyse
video/audio for content, to re-cast sensor data in mark-up languages.
The sheer diversity in standards will require new methods for handling
this electronic babel. In short, there will be new content extraction
ICT advances will be halted by the problem of information overload if
all of this information is not better used. New software systems must
be capable of delivering the right information to the right user in the
right way at the right time. Information about the user, context and device
will be used to adapt system behaviour to changing conditions of service
(e.g., in transportation, security, entertainment, healthcare, education).
New software systems will need to personalise the delivery/access of information
so that both individuals and groups see information in ways that best
support their individual or collaborative goals . This will involve a
step beyond the current state of the art in user profiling and personalization
techniques to allow adaptive utilization.
These developments will require new information and communication technologies;
which we term, Adaptive Information Technologies.
AIC will focus on these three basic research areas, led by its expert
- Adaptive Sensor Networks that adapt to their environment to optimize
their communicative effectiveness and useful life;
- Content Extraction: software systems that adaptively extract and assemble
meaningful content from diverse media (e.g. text, video, audio);
- Adaptive Utilization: Software that adapts to user needs and personalizes
content for users.
The core concept of our Centre is being "Adaptive". One of
the key shortfalls of current ICT systems is their low adaptability, their
brittleness in the face of changing conditions in the world or in users.
For instance, when a software package is released it provides essentially
the same functionality to every user, and continues to provide that functionality
day-in-day-out until the next upgrade is purchased. Even sensors need
to be more adaptable to respond to wider environmental conditions; some
state-of-the-art pacemakers have sensors that detect motion to increase
heart rate during exercise, but they also increase heart rate when their
wearer is on a moving train. While all ICT systems have some level of
adaptability, we aim to make high adaptability a core property of all
ICT systems, to create a new generation of Adaptive Information Technologies.