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Contextual Information Acquisition and Management Solutions for IPBased Networks: A Survey

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According to the ITU-T, Next Generation Networks (NGNs) are envisioned as IP-based networks capable of offering their users ubiquitous access to a multitude of feature rich, QoS-enabled, broadband services that combine telecom and datacom flavors. As NGNs continue to evolve, several challenges related to their operation and architecture are being investigated. One of these challenges is the enabling of innovative and personalized “killer” applications that would appeal to users and increase network operators’ revenues. Another challenge consists in the support of advanced QoS schemes that would take into consideration users’ needs and the network situation to manage the network resources in an efficient and adaptive manner. Context-awareness implies the ability to use contextual (or situational) information to provide relevant information and-or services to the user. The introduction of the context-awareness concept in NGNs could open the door to personalized, adaptive killer applications as well as context-aware dynamic QoS schemes. This paper surveys the literature on contextual information acquisition and management solutions-patents that were proposed for IP-based networks, evaluates their suitability with respect to context-awareness’ integration in NGNs, and discusses research directions. Among the evaluated solutions and patents, the 3GPP presence framework shows signification potential for context-awareness’ integration in NGNs. However, several open issues remain unsolved, such as: the definition of a standard and unified interface enabling the interaction with heterogeneous sensors; the definition of an expressive information model enabling the representation of a wide range of contextual information captured by physical-logical-mobile sensors; the usage of complementary approaches such as mobile and participatory sensing to achieve better processing capabilities on sensor nodes; and the definition of suitable business models and support functions regulating the interaction between sensors and NGNs.
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Keywords: Context-Awareness; IP-based Networks; Information Acquisition; Information Management; Next Generation Networks; WSN Integration

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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  • Recent Patents on Telecommunications publishes review and research articles, and guest edited thematic issues by experts on recent patents in telecommunications. The journal also covers recent research (where patents have been registered) in fast emerging areas of the field such as networks, wireless communications, communication technology, computing and processing, and the Internet. A selection of important and recent patents on telecommunications is also included in the journal. The journal is essential reading for all researchers involved in telecommunication science and technology.
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