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During the last years, a continuous convergence and fusion of computing and networking systems is stressed in the ICT research community. Context awareness appears to be a major research "glue-point" of such kind of heterogeneous environments' integration. In this survey paper, we aim to assemble all the "puzzle-pieces" of the emerging research area of Context Aware Mobile and Wireless Networking (CAMoWiN) in order to provide the reader a holistic representation of the work having been done in the past emphasizing in recent research efforts. A precise definition of abstract Context Aware (CA) functionalities together with a clear classification of related state-of-the-art proposals are provided in the form of a proposed taxonomy scheme per CA functionality. Each taxonomy scheme can also serve as a sufficiently general framework permitting the easy classification of novel CAMoWiN solutions emerging in the near future. Therefore, our study not only defines all the possible components of a CAMoWiN architecture and clearly points out the similarities and differences of all research efforts in the field but also evaluates future research trends and paves the way for the researchers to work beyond the concepts investigated in this work. Finally, apart from identifying the open challenges, which arise when applying traditional concepts of pervasive computing to mobile and wireless networks, we further map them to the Mobile Cloud Computing paradigm, whose concepts appear to be very promising regarding next generation networking and computing environments' integration.
Date of Publication: First Quarter 2013