, January 23, 2003
Noon - 1 pm
Wean Hall 8220
Assistant Professor, Stanford University
Portability, Extensibility and Robustness in Ubiquitous Computing
The dynamism and heterogeneity in ubicomp environments on both short and
long time scales implies that middleware platforms for these environments
need to be designed ground up for portability, extensibility and robustness.
We describe how we met these requirements in iROS, a middleware platform
for a class of ubicomp environments, through the use of three guiding
principles: economy of mechanism, client simplicity and levels of indirection.
Apart from design arguments and experimental results, experience through
several deployments with a variety of apps, in most cases not done by
the original designers of the system, provides some validation in practice
that the design decisions have in fact resulted in the intended portability,
extensibility and robustness. A retrospective examination of the system
leads us to the following lesson: A logically-centralized design and physically-centralized
implementation enables the best behavior in
terms of extensibility and portability along with ease of administration,
and sufficient behavior in terms of scalability and robustness. We discuss
this lesson and its implications for ongoing and future work on iROS.
Armando Fox joined the Stanford faculty as an Assistant Professor in January
1999, after getting his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley as a researcher in the
Daedalus wireless and mobile computing project. His primary
research interests are systems approaches to improving dependability (the
Recovery-Oriented Computing project) and system software support for ubiquitous
computing (the Interactive Workspaces project). In
previous lives, Armando received a BSEE from M.I.T. and an MSEE from the
University of Illinois, and worked as a CPU architect at Intel Corp. He
is also an ACM member and a founder of ProxiNet, Inc. (now a division
of PumaTech), which commercialized thin client mobile computing technology
he helped develop at UC Berkeley. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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