Mobile Computing Middleware for Context-Aware Applications Licia Capra Dept. of Computer Science University College London Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK L. Capra~cs. u c l . ac. uk 1. RESEARCH PROBLEM Mobile computing devices, such as palmtop computers, mobile phones and personal digital assistants have gained wide-spread popularity. These devices will increasingly be networked, thus enabling the construction of distributed applications that have to adapt to changes in context, such as variations in network bandwidth, exhaustion of battery power or reachability of services on other devices. Even though devices and networking capabilities are becoming increasingly powerful, the design of mobile applications will continue to be constrained by physical limitations. Mobile devices will continue to be battery driven and users will be reluctant to carry heavy-weight devices. Wide-area networking capabilities will continue to be based on communication with basestations, with fluctuations in bandwidth depending on physical location. Therefore, in order to provide acceptable quality of service to their users, applications have to be context-aware, which requires them to adapt to context changes, such as exhaustion of battery power or reachability of services on other devices. Traditional middleware  for fixed distributed systems cannot be used in this scenario,
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