Context is any information that can be used to characterize the situation of an entity. An entity is a person, place, or object that is considered relevant to the interaction between a user and an application, including the user and applications themselves (Anind Dey)
Context information is highly relevant for many application areas, in particular regarding the Internet of Things and its application areas like Smart Cities, Smart Industry, Smart Farming and many more.
I’m in particular interested in how to make context information available to applications, i.e. how to model context information, how to provide access to context information, how to manage context information efficiently and in a scalable way.
The Internet of Things (IoT) connects the physical world with the digital world. Aspects of the physical world are modelled in the digital world. This enables a better understanding and even controlling of physical world aspects from the digital world. Information from different sources can be combined and processesd, resulting in higher-level knowldege and awareness of situations.
Semantics is the study of meaning. In the context of digital systems it is about agreeing on concepts, making sure that interacting components have the same understanding of the information that is being exchanged. Traditionally, the semantics is often implicit, i.e. the developers encoded it directly into the code. However, in order to reuse information and make it available in the context of larger systems, like the Internet of Things, the semantics has to be represented explicitely. Explicit semantics is the basis for achieving semantic interoperability. Using formally represented semantic information enables the use of reasoning mechanisms to extract more information and reach a better level of understanding.