Keywords

environmental monitoring, participatory sensing, uncertainty management, software agents

Start Date

1-7-2012 12:00 AM

Description

In this article we envision factors and trends that shape the next generation of environmental monitoring systems. One key factor in this respect is the combined effect of end-user needs and the general development of IT services and their availability. Currently, an environmental (monitoring) system is assumed to be reactive. It delivers measurement data and computational results only if the user explicitly asks for it either by query or subscription. There is a temptation to automate this by simply pushing data to end-users. This, however, leads easily to an “advertisement strategy”, where data is pushed to end-users regardless of users’ needs. Under this strategy, the mere amount of received data obfuscates the individual messages; any “automatic” service, regardless of its fitness, overruns a system that requires the user’s initiative. The foreseeable problem is that, unless there is no overall management, each new environmental service is going to compete for end-users’ attention and, thus, inadvertently hinder the use of existing services. As the main contribution we investigate the nature of proactive environmental systems, and how they should be designed to avoid the aforementioned problem. We also discuss how semantics, participatory sensing, uncertainty management, and situational awareness link to proactive environmental systems. We illustrate our proposals with some real-life examples.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Proactive Environmental Systems: the Next Generation of Environmental Monitoring

In this article we envision factors and trends that shape the next generation of environmental monitoring systems. One key factor in this respect is the combined effect of end-user needs and the general development of IT services and their availability. Currently, an environmental (monitoring) system is assumed to be reactive. It delivers measurement data and computational results only if the user explicitly asks for it either by query or subscription. There is a temptation to automate this by simply pushing data to end-users. This, however, leads easily to an “advertisement strategy”, where data is pushed to end-users regardless of users’ needs. Under this strategy, the mere amount of received data obfuscates the individual messages; any “automatic” service, regardless of its fitness, overruns a system that requires the user’s initiative. The foreseeable problem is that, unless there is no overall management, each new environmental service is going to compete for end-users’ attention and, thus, inadvertently hinder the use of existing services. As the main contribution we investigate the nature of proactive environmental systems, and how they should be designed to avoid the aforementioned problem. We also discuss how semantics, participatory sensing, uncertainty management, and situational awareness link to proactive environmental systems. We illustrate our proposals with some real-life examples.