Archive for October, 2008

Datasets Paper meeting

October 22nd, 2008 No comments

Met with Lorcan, Steve Knox, Erica and Susan about the datasets paper.

Discussed practicalities of recording and annotating data, especially the video – we decided that it would be worth having a camera on each participants desk, to aid later annotation.

Lorcan stressed that it would be us (not him) that will be annotating the data, and that in the placelab set this took 1.5 hours for every hour of data.

It is proposed that we will record data over at least a month, and will be recording ground truths with annotation of video, and by keeping a diary of actual activities.

The following sensors will be considered for recording:

  • Ubisense
  • Bluetooth Sightings
  • Video Streams of key places
  • Twitter
  • Google Calendar events
  • Facebook status
  • Weather sensors
  • Currency exchanges
  • IM Status
  • Pressure Pads
  • song lists
  • Keyboard activity
  • Mouse activity
  • flikr feeds
  • other reliable web sensor data

It was made clear that the administrators of this project (i.e. those present) should not be doing this if the results of this are not going to be of use to them in their research, and on this basis I should consider what my PhD is going to be.

My (unsaid) thoughts at this point were that I would like be involved, but I can’t see how it will benefit me, and perhaps I should help out with the writing of sensors etc.

There was some discussion of database storage, and Lorcan felt it would be simple to implement the ontologies in a database structure, I have some doubts over how simple it will be, but felt it would be a more robust mechanism than using construct as a datastore!

Categories: General Meetings, projects

City wide environment sensing overview

October 15th, 2008 No comments


The document I drew up after supervisor meeting – to get a general overview of the idea.

Supervisor Meeting 09 Oct 2008

October 9th, 2008 No comments

Meeting with Paddy – pep talk to make me feel better – Paddy took 3 1/2 years to complete PhD, but changed his subject after tranfer report – and still managed to finish on time – even though I AM NOT brighter than him, I should be ok 😉

OK – lets get going with the city wide environmental sensing!

Need to think about:

What simulators are there? What infrastructure do we need to get it to work?

The underlying hard questions are:

1- Collecting Data

Offloading data in normal operation to fixed nodes or drop off points about the city-


  • Storage
  • Sampling
  • Longevity
  • Power consumption
  • Date/Time  corroboration

The things on the body communicate, perhaps one is doing the monitoring, and others are managing the storage and dissemination of data across local nodes

Managed the local set as a community

2 – Global Control – Global Phenomena drives local operations

If we can assume nodes have a facility to geo-locate themselved, nodes can use or build a map of the area they are in. As the overall control system (?) detects issues or hotspots, it may increase the frequency of sampling in a particular area – this will require mechanisms to cope with this – considering multiple hot spots.

The idea being that some how nodes would be told to make more detections on certain areas – or even based on certain criteria – e.g if CO2 level > x increase freq.?

This then feeds back to the community – perhaps imagined as a  big async. query over the community.

3 – Cute part

When nodes pass through a hot-spot – what happens if they are not going past any other known drop off  node? Communicate with a node passing the other way through?  How to we manage this and what data – dead-reckoning? probability of passing another node?

Do the nodes always promiscuosly send data – or just sometimes?

Nodes Collaborate to communicate a response and are managed as a community or a swarm

We defined some next actions:

1 – Create  1 page vision document – deadline 3-4 days

To describe –

  • Community management
  • Fixed Nodes about an space
  • Group of devices about a person
  • Community of individuals with wearables
  • Granularity of resources (?)
  • How the overall community will work – what will be the infrastructure  – given our resources

2 – Slick the document up, and send it off to out peers in Harvard, to see if it will fit into their project

3 – When bored of writing – consider:

  • How do cities work? where do people go?
  • How do we simulate a city wide sensor network like this
  • Look at existing applications to simulate cities – – Steve Collins and Carol Sullivan
  • Look into cheap environmental sensors – bluetooth based – if we can get some which are cheap enough – we can get some and deploy over CASL/CSI/Campus?

4 – Overall Goal is to have a 6 month project – which will support my PhD, to make these new tecniques that we will develop – either as a simulation, real world deployment, or a mixture of both,

  • Will need to research the idea of decision theory
  • Community resource management

5 – Personal Task

  • to find out what research is going on in UCD and Clarity
  • Start with Barry Smith – ask who is doing what work – paddy wants to do wearbles – and wants to know who’s doing what research in the area

6 – Look for places to put position papers into

Finally – we need to keep some pressure on – and have some quick turn-arounds – and I should talk go talk to him if the ideas we discussed dont make sense afterwards.

Supervisor Meeting 02 Oct 2008

October 2nd, 2008 No comments

Met with Paddy and discussed what we need to be on with – we both seem to have been thinking about different things – I seem to have gone down a route of something to do with mobile phones – but it needs to be linked to what we are getting at. I said that I don’t really know what wearable computing really means – as I haven’t seen it in the flesh!

Really need to get into the idea of what infrastructure is needed to make wearable systems work – think of it more as network of wearable sensors.

What issues are there when we are thinking about transferring data amongst nodes – what if instead of being centrally managed – what if they could freely communicate with each other.

Discussed the idea of city wide environmental sensing – a mixture of fixed and mobile nodes which are tagging and recording data – offloading to nodes with big pipes – how does this work – and how do we implement it?

Also need to think about issues such as transient and persistant data – what is kept and what is shared and removed – what is private what is encrypted what is not?

Example application is
citywide environmental monitoring – fixed nodes talk each other and share data,
they also talk to mobile nodes to get data –application to monitor an area.

Nodes about the body can
communicate to other nodes on other bodies, handing off data – gossiping –
every piece of data has timestamp – and is tagged so that that it can be
synchronised at a later date.

Also –  talked about  developing some things that we say is good for
wearable computing – i.e. p2p vs managed nodes then compare previous wearable implementations
to our idea of whats best and see if they succeeded.

Hundreds of shimmers
downstairs in clarity to have a play with.

Speak to Julie doyle
about user study – work out what we are trying to get out and keep it in the back of my head.

Paddy suggested this was a turning point – are we
interested in hard computer science part?  Or more the HCI part?

Overall we really get down to the
basics –

What will be good
about P2P vs Central Node?

What is persistant
what is transient?

Matt Walsh – they have
the OS with low level access to data – what do we need to do to get something up and running?