This chapter introduces spatial awareness of autonomous embedded systems, which is the main subject of this work. In Section 2.1, we first give an overview on context-awareness, which denotes a system’s property to acquire and use information about its environment, as well as on the abstraction of context for developing context-aware applications. Afterwards, Section 2.2 presents the components of autonomous embedded systems which are able to sense their context, process and reason about it and share this knowledge with others in communication range. These abilities contribute to their autonomous operation in the background and thus to a reduction of human involvement for their management and configuration. Mechanisms of self-management of individual devices and self-organization of spontaneous configurations of multiple devices are discussed in Section 2.3, which rely on the perception of context information and its local exchange among devices in range. In this regard, our focus is on the relevance of spatial information, as we are dealing with real-world objects which are distributed in physical space. The subsequent Section 2.4 thus deals with spatial context information, whereas a classification is given and our focus on spatial relations as well as their changes over time is emphasized. Afterwards, an architecture for spatial awareness is presented in Section 2.5, and Section 2.6 finally provides a comprehensive survey and comparison of related work addressing the issue of how to make autonomous embedded systems aware about abstracted spatial relations over time.
KeywordsContext Information Spatial Relation Spatial Context Pervasive Computing Spatial Property
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