Welcome to MRC 2011

Context has moved from the researchers workbench to become a major selling point in applications, devices and smart environments. Indeed, context sensitive processing plays a key role in many modern IT applications, with context- awareness and context-based reasoning essential not only for mobile and ubiquitous computing, but also for a wide range of other areas such as collaborative software, web engineering, personal knowledge management, information sharing, health care workflow and patient control, adaptive games, and e-Learning solutions.

One of the challenges, from an intelligent systems perspective, is to integrate context with other types of knowledge for reasoning, decision-making, and adaptation to form a coherent and versatile architecture. There is a common understanding that achieving desired behaviour from intelligent systems will depend on the ability to represent and manipulate information about a rich range of contextual factors.

These factors may include not only physical characteristics of the task environment, but, possibly more importantly, many other aspects including cognitive factors such as the knowledge states (of both the application and user) or emotions, and social factors such as networks, relations, roles, and hierarchies. This representation and reasoning problem presents research challenges to which methodologies derived from areas such as artificial intelligence, knowledge management, human-computer interaction, semiotics and psychology can contribute solutions.

Despite the value of diverse approaches to context, integrating findings from the social sciences into the design of context-aware systems and building psychologically plausible knowledge models remains problematic. Furthermore, it is difficult to deal with uncertainty on different levels, from interpretation of uncertain sensor input data through to identification of contexts with fuzzy borders. Moreover, the ability of the system to use explanations, both as a part of its reasoning and as a means of communication with the user requires further consideration.

Background to MRC

MRC was first held at the German AI conference KI in 2004. Subsequent workshops have been held at IJCAI, AAAI, CONTEXT, HCP, and most recently at ECAI (2010).

These workshops have been successful in raising awareness about the importance of context as a major issue for future intelligent systems, especially for the use of mobile devices and current research on ubiquitous computing. At the same time, advances in methodologies for modelling and retrieving context have been made and MRC continues to provide a venue for the discussion and furthering of research into issues surrounding context.

MRC 2011 will be held at the The 7th International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Modeling and Using Context - CONTEXT 2011. The main conference website has more information about the location and the registration process as well as other workshops.

For information on upcoming events or general discussion, please join the mailing list for MRC by visiting: tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/mrc-discuss/

Last modified: Thursday, 2011-09-08 09:22 UTC.