Distributed collaborative context-aware content-centric workflow management for mobile devices

Kocurova, Anna (2013) Distributed collaborative context-aware content-centric workflow management for mobile devices. Doctoral thesis, University of West London.

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Ubiquitous mobile devices have become a necessity in today’s society, opening new opportunities for interaction and collaboration between geographically distributed people. With the increased use of mobile phones, people can collaborate while on the move. Collaborators expect technologies that would enhance their teamwork and respond to their individual needs.

Workflow is a widely used technology that supports collaboration and can be adapted for a variety of collaborative scenarios. Although the originally computer-based workflow technology has expanded also on mobile devices, there are still research challenges in the development of user-focused device-oriented collaborative workflows.

As opposed to desktop computers, mobile devices provide a different, more personalised user experience and are carried by their owners everywhere. Mobile devices can capture user context and behave as digitalised user complements. By integrating context awareness into the workflow technology, workflow decisions can be based on local, context information and therefore, be more adapted to individual collaborators’ circumstances and expectations. Knowing the current context of collaborators and their mobile devices is useful, especially in mobile peer-topeer collaboration where the workflow process execution can be driven by devices according to the situation.

In mobile collaboration, team workers share pictures, videos, or other content. Monitoring and exchanging the information on the current state of the content processed on devices can enhance the overall workflow execution. As mobile devices in peer-to-peer collaboration are not aware of a global workflow state, the content state information can be used to communicate progress among collaborators. However, there is still a lack of integrating content lifecycles in process-oriented workflows.

The aim of this research was therefore to investigate how workflow technology can be adapted for mobile peer-to-peer collaboration, in particular, how the level of context awareness in mobile collaborative workflows can be increased and how the extra content lifecycle management support can be integrated.

The collaborative workflow technology has been adapted for mobile peerto- peer collaboration by integrating context and content awareness. In the first place, a workflow-specific context management approach has been developed that allows defining workflow-specific context models and supports the integration of context models with collaborative workflows. Workflow process has been adapted to make decisions based on context information. Secondly, extra content management support has been added to the workflow technology. A representation for content lifecycles has been designed, and content lifecycles have been integrated with the workflow process.

In this thesis, the MobWEL workflow approach is introduced. The Mob- WEL workflow approach allows defining, managing and executing mobile context-aware content-centric workflows. MobWEL is a workflow execution language that extends BPEL, using constructs from existing workflow approaches, Context4BPEL and BPELlight, and adopting elements from the BALSA workflow model. The MobWEL workflow management approach is a technology-based solution that has been designed to provide workflow management support to a specific class of mobile applications.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Computing
Depositing User: Rod Pow
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2014 14:15
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:17
URI: https://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/745


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