Abstract: In this paper we motivate a Context Fusion Network (CFN), an infrastructure model that allows context-aware applications to select distributed data sources and compose them with customized data-fusion operators into a directed acyclic information fusion graph. Such a graph represents how an application computes high-level understandings of its execution context from low-level sensory data. Multiple graphs by different applications inter-connect with each other to form a global graph. A key advantage of a CFN is re-usability, both at code-level and instance-level, facilitated by operator composition. We designed and implemented a distributed CFN system, Solar, which maps the logical operator graph representation onto a set of overlay hosts. In particular, Solar meets the challenges inherent to heterogeneous and volatile ubicomp environments. By abstracting most complexities into the infrastructure, we believe Solar facilitates both the development and deployment of context-aware applications. We present the operator composition model, basic services of the Solar overlay network, and programming support for the developers. We also discuss some applications built with Solar and the lessons we learned from our experience.
Keywords: mobile computing, ubicomp, distributed computing
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