Adapting to Dynamic Environments and Devices

A cyber-physical environment (CPE) is constantly changing: It changes from the user’s perspective as the user is moving from one environment to the next. It also changes from the environment’s perspective since the users and devices change.

In modeling the dialogue situation, we have to deal with the dynamic nature of CPE and address the temporal complexities introduced by frequent changes in the environment and the mobility of the users.

In MADMACS, we deal with this dynamic nature on multiple levels: On the dialogue management level, we need to take into account the temporal changes. An entity (e.g. a user, actuator, or any type of physical item) that is referred to at one point in time, may not be available at a later point.

On the usability level, MADMACS aims to offer the user an experience that allows a seamless transition between environments, without the need to log in or configure devices. This is what we refer to as the Plug & Interact paradigm: Whenever the user arrives in a new location, the infrastructure required to support interaction in the new environment is set up by the system automatically.

Finally, Plug & Interact requires a certain foundation on the technical level. In order to reach a large array of devices and have them communicate, a semantic device platform that can discover, manage, monitor, and control devices over various protocols and communication channels. MADMACS integrates existing standards such as Universal Plug & Play (UPnP), Universal Remote Control (URC), Bluetooth 4.0, and others into this new platform, allowing it to bridge between protocols.