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Dagstuhl-Seminar 01371

Ubiquitous Computing

( 09. Sep – 14. Sep, 2001 )

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  • Gaetano Borriello (University of Washington - Seattle, US)
  • Hans Gellersen (Lancaster University, GB)
  • Friedemann Mattern (ETH Zürich, CH)


The International Conference and Research Center for Computer Science at Schloss Dagstuhl has a tradition of organizing seminars of high international standard on cutting-edge topics in computer science. The idea of the seminars is to gather a group of 30-40 leading scientists and young promising researchers to jointly discuss key ideas and research directions in their field in the very special atmosphere of the castle and its excellent facilities which include well equipped lecture and lodging rooms, meeting rooms, and an extensive library.

Based on a proposal by the organizers Dagstuhl will host a Seminar on Ubiquitous Computing on September 9-14, 2001. The seminar will not follow the usual workshop formats but encourage a high degree of collaborative discussion and work among the participants from research backgrounds such as computer science systems, smart technologies, and human-computer interaction. There will be flexibility in the scheduling of talks and discussions, to leave time for participants to stroll in the forests surrounding the castle and to relax over the fine food and beverages provided by the facility.

One of the objectives of the seminar will be to shed light on the development from the different angles that researchers investigate, and to foster a community that cuts across computer science disciplines and neighboring fields of research.

Participation is by invitation only. There is no formal solicitation of contributions, it is usually not the case that all participants give a talk, and usually there are no proceedings published. However organizers will contact attendees in due time to discuss possible contributions aimed to stimulate discussion. Academic participants pay a fee of DM 300 (US$ 140) for food and lodging, people from industry DM 600 (US$ 280). All have to bear, however, the cost of their journey. Some grants are available.

We sincerely hope that you will be able to accept the invitation to this seminar. We believe this is an excellent opportunity to jointly discuss the challenges and research directions in ubiquitous computing, in the relaxed and productive atmosphere of Dagstuhl.


Processors are becoming so small and inexpensive that they will be embedded in almost everything. Everyday objects will be infused with computational power, enabling them as information artifacts and smart devices. Most of these new emerging smart devices will be small and therefore highly mobile; some might even be wearable and be worn much as eyeglasses are worn today. Low-cost transceivers will allow to interconnect these devices in spontaneous ways, and to link them into the global information infrastructure. Connected together and exchanging appropriate information, these smart devices will then form powerful systems enabling new emerging functionalities.

When the world is populated with small computing devices that typically do their work in the background, without explicit user intervention, information and computational services will become continuously available, wherever the action is. Moreover, embedded sensors and actuators will enable smart devices and computing to become contextually embedded in real-world situations. This will give rise to situated computer applications that blend with the real tasks people care about instead of introducing computer-centric tasks of high complexity.

Ubiquitous computing therefore induces a paradigm shift in the way we use computers: Instead of bringing the world into the computer (the Virtual Reality paradigm), computational power is now brought to the objects of the physical world. Eventually, the vision of Ubiquitous Computing induces a new way of thinking about computers in the world, one that takes into account the natural human environment and allows the computers themselves to vanish into the background.

Over the last years, established research communities have begun to relate their fields to the vision of ubiquitous computing, and new communities have emerged to investigate specific perspectives of the development. Researchers begin to consider the enabling technologies and infrastructures required, the new applications and services that may emerge, and the interfaces and human interaction models for ubiquitous computing.

The growing ubiquitous computing community is fed from different classical areas, mostly from within computer science, but also from electrical engineering, material science, product design, and some other disciplines. Hence, insights currently evolve from many different perspectives, but often in parallel and with little interaction.

The Dagstuhl seminar should provide an opportunity to improve this situation by bringing scientists from various relevant disciplines together to jointly discuss the challenges, opportunities, and pertinent research themes of ubiquitous computing. Many participants have their roots in the classical computer science system domains (distributed and mobile computing, networking, architecture, middleware), others will be interested in technologies for smart devices (such as embedded and wearable computing, perception, or knowledge processing), and some will be concerned with application domains and human factors (such as context-aware computing, domestic applications, human-computer interaction, and design).

  • Larry Arnstein (University of Washington - Seattle, US)
  • Michael Beigl (SAP SE - Karlsruhe, DE) [dblp]
  • Gaetano Borriello (University of Washington - Seattle, US)
  • Clemens Cap (Universität Rostock, DE) [dblp]
  • Keith Cheverst (Lancaster University, GB) [dblp]
  • Joëlle Coutaz (University of Grenoble - LIG, FR) [dblp]
  • Anind K. Dey (UC Berkeley, US & Intel Research, US) [dblp]
  • Elgar Fleisch (Universität St. Gallen, CH)
  • Hans Gellersen (Lancaster University, GB) [dblp]
  • Anatole Gershman (Accenture Labs - Chicago, US)
  • Fritz Hohl (Sony - Stuttgart, DE)
  • Lars Erik Holmquist (Viktoria Institute - Göteborg, SE)
  • Jason I. Hong (University of California - Berkeley, US)
  • Antonio Krüger (Universität Münster, DE) [dblp]
  • Spyros Lalis (FORTH - Heraklion, GR)
  • Marc Langheinrich (ETH Zürich, CH) [dblp]
  • Peter Ljungstrand (Viktoria Institute - Göteborg, SE)
  • Toshiyuki Masui (AIST - Tokyo, JP)
  • Friedemann Mattern (ETH Zürich, CH) [dblp]
  • Joe McCarthy (Accenture Labs - Chicago, US)
  • Günter Müller (Universität Freiburg, DE)
  • Christian Müller-Schloer (Leibniz Universität Hannover, DE) [dblp]
  • Yasuto Nakanishi (The University of Electro-Communications - Tokyo, JP)
  • Kurt Partridge (University of Washington - Seattle, US)
  • Joachim Posegga (Universität Hamburg, DE) [dblp]
  • Calton Pu (Georgia Institute of Technology - Atlanta, US)
  • Kurt Rothermel (Universität Stuttgart, DE) [dblp]
  • Bernt Schiele (TU Darmstadt, DE) [dblp]
  • Albrecht Schmidt (CWI - Amsterdam, NL)
  • Jean Scholtz (NIST - Gaithersburg, US)
  • Burkhard Stiller (Universität Zürich, CH) [dblp]
  • Norbert Streitz (Fraunhofer Institut - Darmstadt, DE)
  • Theo Ungerer (Universität Augsburg, DE) [dblp]
  • Roy Want (Intel - Santa Clara, US)
  • Andreas Zeidler (TU Darmstadt, DE)
  • Thomas Ziegert (Deutsche Telekom - Darmstadt, DE) [dblp]