Personal Homepage of

Jürgen Bohn

Contact information:
Skype: juergen_j_bohn
E-Mail: jjbohn (at) jjbohn (dot) com
Internet: www.jjbohn.com/

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Back to Main Page Current Work @ Wernher von Braun Labs Publications Education and Teaching Supervised Student Projects Projects @ Distributed Systems Group

Past Research Projects at ETH Zurich

1. Dependable Ubiquitous Computing Infrastructures
 » Hitachi mu-Chip Project
 » Robust Probabilistic Positioning for Resource-Limited Mobile Devices
2. Social Implications of Ubiquitous Computing
3. Physical Entry Points into a Smart Virtual Environment
4. Mobile Agent Security
5. IFW/RZ Wireless LAN Project

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  1. Dependable Ubiquitous Computing Infrastructures

    Dependable Infrastructure Services for Mobile Devices. At the brink of the 21st century, ubiquitous computing systems and prototypes suffered from numerous drawbacks with respect to dependability in the broadest sense.

    This was for several reasons: First, ubiquitous computing systems were vulnerable to service disruption and temporary failures because they often relied on a fixed set of technologies for communication, sensing, and actuation. Secondly, as a rule, they did not or only in a very limited fashion exploit the full spectrum of resources that were readily available and implicitly provided by existing ubiquitous computing environments. Thirdly, they lacked support for the ever growing number of small, resource-limited mobile devices that were appearing with the continuing realization of Marc Weiser's ubiquitous computing vision. As size and cost restraints imposed stringent resource restrictions on mobile ubicomp devices, as a result, these devices were in general more vulnerable to hardware and software failures than traditional desktop-sized computer equipment.

    One of my dependability research activities in ubiquitous computing was the investigation of how dense distributions of smart entities can contribute to the realization of dependable services and applications. More specifically, I developed and prototypically implemented a middleware architecture that uses dense RFID tag distributions (so-called super-distributed RFID tag infrastructures) over surface areas to provide robust and reliable RFID-based services to mobile devices by exploiting tag redundancy.

    Furthermore, I looked into means to reduce the users' dependence on individual mobile user devices while retaining the benefits and conveniences of handhelds featuring customized and personalized functionality. In this context, we proposed the concept of instant personalization, and provided a prototypical implementation on internetworked personal digital assistants.

    Another aspect of my research was the exploitation of heterogeneous redundancy that typically is available in ubiquitous computing environments, with the goal of improving the robustness and dependability of fundamental ubiquitous computing services. One example for this is a robust probabilistic positioning service architecture we developed, which employs an available ubiquitous computing infrastructure for the self-localization of small, mobile devices. The idea was to tackle the aforementioned dependability issues by improving the availability and quality of the positioning process by merging the location information obtained from an arbitrary number of sensors, using sensor fusion and map knowledge.

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  3. Social Implications of Ubiquitous Computing

    Social Implications and Challenges of Ubiquitous Computing. In the year 2000, the field of ubiquitous computing was still emerging and steadily making progress and gaining attention in both academia and industry.

    While new gadgets and smart home appliances could not appear fast enough for many technologists, such rapid introductions of new technologies often came with unexpected side-effects. Due to the unique scope of ubiquitous computing as a tool for our everyday life, these side-effects can have serious implications for the way we live in the future. We found it important to explore potential effects that a large-scale deployment of ubiquitous computing technology in the real world may have. Thereby, our intention was to raise awareness for a technical design that takes the concerns of the average citizen into account, as well as to serve as point of departure for further interdisciplinary research in the field.

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  5. Physical Entry Points into a Smart Virtual Environment

  6. EntryPoints into the ETH World Infostructure. The EntryPoints project was part of the virtual campus project ETH World (formerly available under www.ethworld.ch, project home page now offline) and addressed the coupling of the physical campus infrastructure with the ETH "infostructure".

    By embedding hyperlinks into the ETH campus and attaching information to physical objects, visible entry points into the information space of ETH World were created, enabling a natural interaction between the physical and virtual environment and thus providing ubiquitous access to ETH World. Providing location information for physical rooms and artifacts simplified the retrieval of information that is associated with them and also allowed people to navigate more easily. Through ongoing evaluation, important questions regarding privacy and social acceptance of such a paradigm were analyzed.

    ETHOC - Every Thing Has Online Content. In a ubiquitous world, physical objects (like paper documents) possess an electronic representation, so-called virtual counterparts, which supply additional functionality and resources. The ETHOC system virtually linked printed documents with virtual counterparts. The user could access and interact with the virtual counterparts by means of various mobile devices. Bar codes and mobile bar code readers were used as the linking technology to access virtual resources as well as additional virtual features of the enhanced printed documents.

    UPDATE: Please note that the official ETHOC Home Page (formerly available at www.ethoc.ethz.ch) with the ETHOC Web interface is no longer online at ETH Zurich.

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  7. Secure and Generic Services for Mobile Agent Applications

  8. Moving from platform to platform to perform their tasks, mobile agents are subject to attacks by potentially malicious hosts. As a consequence, it is desirable to protect these agents against manipulations and fraud while also maintaining a maximum degree of inter-operability and flexibility. In this context, we investigated and developed generic and secure services for autonomous agents as part of open mobile agent systems (IBM Aglets) and applications, employing the IBM JavaCard as a trusted hardware platform.

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  9. IFW/RZ Wireless LAN Project

  10. In the year 2000, I was involved in the initial planning and direction of the ETH Zurich Wireless LAN Project, where we installed the first large-scale Wi-Fi network in our office building (IFW/RZ building) at ETH Zurich. Today, Wireless LAN access is up and running in all parts of the ETH university campus. In the early days, I also administered the initial project home page, which offered information on WLAN services available at the ETH Zurich, including information on technical aspects, security bulletins, required equipment, drivers and support.

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Last modified: Sep 02 2010 03:17:02  jb