Increasingly, application developers are looking for ways to provide users with higher levels of personalization that capture different elements of a user’s operating context, such as her location, the task that she is currently engaged in, who her colleagues are, etc. While there are many sources of contextual information, they tend to vary from one user to another and also over time. Different users may rely on different location tracking functionality provided by different cell phone operators; they may use different calendar systems, etc. As a result, context aware applications and services often remain prohibitively expensive to develop and maintain.

myCampus is a Semantic Web environment for context-aware mobile services aimed at enhancing everyday campus life at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). The environment revolves around a growing collection of task-specific agents capable of automatically accessing a variety of contextual information about their users (e.g. context-aware restaurant concierge, context-aware message filtering agent, etc.). A central element of the myCampus architecture is its use of Semantic eWallets that support the automated discovery and access of contextual resources (e.g. personal resources, organizational resources or public web services) subject to privacy (or confidentiality) constraints specified by their users.

Work in myCampus combines technology development (e.g. OWL Semantic Web reasoning engine, context-aware agents, location tracking functionality, OWL Rule Extension, etc.) with HCI evaluation methodologies. See also our related work on User Controllable Security and Privacy for Pervasive Computing.