Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pervasive Computing: the Road to Middleware

20.01.2009
In the business world, computers and the Internet have reduced the need for intermediaries – the so-called “middlemen” that once was so important for making travel plans, purchasing insurance or buying stock.

In one field of computer research, however, the quest is on to create just such an intermediary to connect a flood of computerized devices with vast networks of data.

Dr. Ali Hurson is among those researchers searching for a “middleware” solution that will make current and future gadgets more useful by connecting them with larger networks.

“Pervasive computing means making computing more involved in the daily life of humans, but in a graceful rather than disruptive fashion,” says Hurson, professor and chair of computer science at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Middleware is the software glue that could connect a wide array of personal devices – from mobile devices to the on-board navigation systems of automobiles – to various networks. Middleware operating with a vehicle’s navigation system could interact with other data systems to let drivers know of nearby filling stations when their cars are low on gas, or communicate with a traffic-control network to suggest alternative routes around traffic jams.

One of Hurson’s latest projects involves designing a more secure system of computers and sensors to improve airport security. His idea of a “pervasively secure infrastructure” for airports – a network of mobile and stationary sensors, cameras and other wired and wireless gadgets that can detect everything from chemical residue on clothing to unusual movements of individuals in the concourses – is one example of how pervasive computing could potentially reduce the risk of terrorist attacks.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, Hurson’s research on airport security envisions an environment in which various sensors – cameras, chemical-sniffing devices, motion sensors – connect into a middleware application that in turn connects to the databases and information networks of law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, the National Security Administration and local police. Much like a middleware agent connecting a driver’s navigation system with traffic-control networks can inform drivers of road construction ahead, Hurson’s airport middleware agent would notify law enforcement of any suspicious behavior in or around an airport.

The middleware would be “running the show” for airport security, helping airport security and police better determine “what is going to help them fulfill their tasks better,” Hurson says.

The middleware concept is still mainly theoretical, but Hurson sees a great future ahead for pervasive computing. For the airport problem, developing a middleware that can act as a go-between for myriad computer networks – and do so securely – is the trick.

Many types of sensors are now designed with the flexibility to adapt them to different uses, Hurson says. Existing sensors that were designed for one specific purpose – to tell you when it’s time for an oil change, to use the car example – could be reprogrammed to perform another task, such as detecting excess heat in the engine. Computer scientists could even create software agents – a sort of benign computer virus – to spread throughout a network and remotely reprogram nodes in one fell swoop.

“These networks have been created in isolation,” Hurson says. “Now we want to establish interoperability to serve future applications.”

Hurson is also interested in creating networks of sensors, each designed for a specific application, to handle a sophisticated network such as an airport security system.

Hurson, who joined Missouri S&T as chair of computer science in January 2008, wants to establish a pervasive computing laboratory at S&T to further this research emphasis.

Andrew Careaga | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.mst.edu

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Smart Computers
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
18.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>