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Where innovation starts 
Ontologies for interaction: 
Enabling serendipitous 
interoperability in smart 
environments 
Ger...
2/8 
Sleep monitor headband 
/department of industrial design
3/8 
Using the ontology 
event-1cecdba5 
generatedBy SmartObject 
/department of industrial design 
2009-12-17T13:15:16^xs...
4/8 
The Connector object 
/department of industrial design
5/8 
The software framework 
/department of industrial design 
SIB 
SSAP interface 
Publish/subscribe 
KP 
Triple store 
O...
6/8 
Evaluation: Smart Home pilot 
/department of industrial design 
Non-Functional Lighting (NFL) 
Presence 
Music 
Playe...
7/8 
Evaluation: Results from pilot 
Component Nr. of obs. Min. (s) Max. (s) Mean (s) Std. dev. (s) 
Music Player KP 264 0...
8/8 
Conclusion 
I Semantic reasoning is a viable solution to the interoperability 
problem 
I First attempt at modelling ...
9/8 
User interaction model 
AUGMENTED 
FEEDBACK 
PHYSICAL 
DIGITAL 
/department of industrial design 
DATA 
MEDIA 
SERVIC...
10/8 
Sleep scenario 
/department of industrial design
11/8 
Ontology design patterns: A template 
I Question 
I Context 
I Solution 
I Example(s) 
I Discussion 
I Related 
/dep...
12/8 
Music player subscription measurements 
10 
8 
6 
4 
2 
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 
/department of industrial design 
...
13/8 
Exploring semantic connections 
/department of industrial design
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Ontologies for interaction (PhD Defense, 2012)

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Thesis link: http://repository.tue.nl/735539
1. Suppose you want to connect a sleep monitor you just purchased to the lamp on your bedside table, so that it can help you to wake up at the right time in your sleep cycle. While it is technically possible, given the networked capabilities of modern devices, it is still cumbersome or difficult to achieve for many users.
2. Network configuration settings are usually hidden deep within menu structures on devices, and if the devices are from different manufacturers there is a chance that they are not compatible with one another.

What we would rather like to have an easy way of indicating that I want to exchange information on this device with that device, or use this device to control something on that device.

1. The problem is that designers and developers of devices still have a strong device-oriented view, while users’ needs are often more easily resolved within a system-oriented view.
2. Existing systems focus more on the technologies used, like Bluetooth or WiFi, or locks you into a manufacturer-specific ecosystem.

The technological design described in the dissertation consists of an ontology and software framework that allows device developers to describe devices in such a way that they do not have to be designed to work together, but can still exchange information and share their functionality. This in turn enables users to explore and configure connections on a high semantic level without bothering them with low-level details.

1. A user interaction model in the dissertation shows the various concepts that are involved in a user interaction and how they work together. Based on the interaction model, a theory of semantic connections was created, where semantic connections were defined as the meaningful connections and relationships between entities in a smart environment.
2. Ontologies are formal representations of concepts in a domain of interest and the relationships between these concepts. An ontology was created that enables developers to describe the capabilities of devices, the connections between them as well as the events that occur when people interact with these devices.
3. A software architecture that implements the publish/subscribe messaging paradigm and a semantic reasoning engine was developed during the course of the work.
4. A pilot deployment was used to validate the design. A performance evaluation was performed, as well as a usability analysis using a developer questionnaire based on an existing usability framework.
5. Ontology design patterns identified during the course of the work are documented in the dissertation.

The ontologies described in the dissertation allow developers to describe the capabilities of devices, the connections between them and the events that are generated by people interacting with them. The ontology and software framework enables devices to discover each other’s functionality and make use of it, enabling serendipitous inte

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Ontologies for interaction (PhD Defense, 2012)

  1. 1. Where innovation starts Ontologies for interaction: Enabling serendipitous interoperability in smart environments Gerrit Niezen 9 October 2012
  2. 2. 2/8 Sleep monitor headband /department of industrial design
  3. 3. 3/8 Using the ontology event-1cecdba5 generatedBy SmartObject /department of industrial design 2009-12-17T13:15:16^xsd:dateTime inXSDDateTime PlayEvent NokiaN900 04A332D9A12580 0401C4D9A12581 hasRFIDTag AmbientLighting connectedTo hasRFIDTag connectedTo event-1cecdba5 a PlayEvent . event-1cecdba5 inXSDDateTime "2009-12-17T13:15^^xsd:dateTime" . event-1cecdba5 generatedBy NokiaN900 . NokiaN900 a SmartObject . NokiaN900 hasRFIDTag "04A332D9A12580" . NokiaN900 connectedTo AmbientLighting .
  4. 4. 4/8 The Connector object /department of industrial design
  5. 5. 5/8 The software framework /department of industrial design SIB SSAP interface Publish/subscribe KP Triple store OWL 2 RL spec SPIN functions SSAP Reasoning engine Asserted model Ontology Inferred model SSAP interface
  6. 6. 6/8 Evaluation: Smart Home pilot /department of industrial design Non-Functional Lighting (NFL) Presence Music Player (MP) Lighting Device (LD) Stereo System (SS) Spotlight Navigation (SN) Presence; Control; Sensor (PS) Media; Content; Music; Lighting; Temporary Lighting; Control; Lighting; Preset; Permanent Media; Content; Music; Lighting; Temporary Lighting; Control; Presence Sensor (PS) Functional Lighting (FL) Connector (CN) (UPSTAIRS) STUDY ROOM (DOWNSTAIRS) LIVING ROOM Lighting Device (LD)
  7. 7. 7/8 Evaluation: Results from pilot Component Nr. of obs. Min. (s) Max. (s) Mean (s) Std. dev. (s) Music Player KP 264 0.074 9.975 0.861 1.017 Connector KP 961 0.044 35.184 0.275 1.942 Sound/Light KP 86 0.06 0.587 0.131 0.122 Lamp-KP 98 0.012 0.049 0.03 0.006 Presence-KP 172 0.145 0.244 0.176 0.018 /department of industrial design
  8. 8. 8/8 Conclusion I Semantic reasoning is a viable solution to the interoperability problem I First attempt at modelling user interaction in a smart environment with ontologies I A number of ontology design patterns were identified /department of industrial design
  9. 9. 9/8 User interaction model AUGMENTED FEEDBACK PHYSICAL DIGITAL /department of industrial design DATA MEDIA SERVICES MENTAL MODEL INHERENT FEEDBACK A1...n B1...n a1...n b1...n USER1...n INTERACTION INTERACTION EVENTS SMART OBJECT SMART OBJECT SEMANTIC CONNECTION FUNCTIONAL FEEDBACK
  10. 10. 10/8 Sleep scenario /department of industrial design
  11. 11. 11/8 Ontology design patterns: A template I Question I Context I Solution I Example(s) I Discussion I Related /department of industrial design
  12. 12. 12/8 Music player subscription measurements 10 8 6 4 2 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 /department of industrial design Iteration 0 Time (s)
  13. 13. 13/8 Exploring semantic connections /department of industrial design

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