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Sentient Computing Project
The Sentient Computing project seeks to combine sensors and computers to monitor resources, maintain a computational model of the world, and act appropriately. Relevant research 'umbrellas' include Ubiquitous Computing, Context-Aware Computing, Pervasive Computing, Location-Aware Computing, amongst others.
In recent years, location has taken centre stage in the research and has been shown to be a rich and important source of context. The DTG boasts a variety of location systems in daily use, and has extensive experience of their usage. The general research themes have touched on reliability, synchronizing virtual and physical worlds, distributed applications, anonymity and privacy. See the sub-project pages for more detailed information. Research Themes
Within the project, we have a number of sub-projects, summarised here. For more details, please follow the relevant link.
Indoor Tracking Systems
Tracking people and objects is a tricky problem. Current DTG research falls into one of three camps:
- Evaluating and improving current tracking technologies
- Creating next-generation cheap and pervasive tracking systems
- Analyzing archived location data
Reliable Location Systems
Sentient computing challenges traditional computing usage. No longer is a keyboard and mouse the only input, nor a display the only output. As the computer disappears into the infrastructure, reliability becomes key: systems must be trusted to work and we must discover new way for machines to interact with users.
In a world where we are tracked 24/7 and anyone can potentially find out where we are (and perhaps infer what we are doing), how do we protect privacy? Can we act anonymously? When is privacy most threatened? Total
TRIP tags can be considered as two-dimensional bar codes, with the added advantage of determining location and pose when read. Recent work has evaluated coding schemes, tag shapes, tag sizes, and ubiquitous deployment.
The Sentient Sports platform is looking at the use of sensors in high level sports coaching.
Indoor sensor systems are typically static, and tailored to their environment. But what happens when the sensor platform becomes mobile? The Sentient van subproject considers the integration of motoring and sensor systems, asking how can a reliable communication link be established? What data should be sent? What benefits can be identified? What risks are associated?
Beyond the sensor layer, middleware is necessary to disseminate and filter location data. The DTG is involved in a variety of projects seeking to create advanced middleware architectures.