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Infrastructure support for mobile collaboration

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2 Author(s)
Litiu, R. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; Zeitoun, A.

Future groupware systems will need to extend collaboration beyond the desktop. They will need to support computing devices with a wide range of capabilities, varying network connectivity, and increasing mobility of users. We have designed and implemented a component-based framework for building reconfigurable distributed applications that address the specific needs of mobile environments. This paper focuses on the use of this framework to support mobile collaboration. Components of a groupware application can move across heterogeneous devices while maintaining persistent logical connectivity with groupware services and other users, even during transient network failures. Users do not see any interruptions in the services accessed, and they do not need to manually re-establish connections with the communication parties. New collaboration features can be more easily implemented. For instance, users may "park" their client agents temporarily at a fixed host while they are disconnected. The parked agent can continue to maintain connectivity with other group members on behalf of the user, if desired. We show how this framework can be used to structure distributed applications that adapt their behavior and their interface to the context in which they execute. We give examples of groupware applications we have implemented.

Published in:

System Sciences, 2004. Proceedings of the 37th Annual Hawaii International Conference on

Date of Conference:

5-8 Jan. 2004