1. Context-aware software infrastructure
  2. Adaptive software components
  3. Pervasive adaptive emotional interaction
  4. Pervasive adaptive cognitive interaction
  5. Pervasive adaptive physical interaction
  6. Adaptive automotive demonstrator


Objective 1: Context-aware software infrastructure

The first tier of the middleware deals with the context-based infrastructure. By employing close interactions with emotive and cognitive information for pervasive adaptive computing, a prototype able to deal with real-world environments will be created. In the first tier, focus will be on both theoretical background and tools for creating and handling context-aware software systems. This objective brings the concept of awareness into the software infrastructure.


Objective 2: Adaptive software components

The second tier of the middleware deals with the component parts; in particular, adaptability and runtime management of components are investigated. Both formal background and tools for creating and handling pervasive adaptive software components will be investigated. This objective offers solution for software based pervasive adaptation.

In particular, the software research part in REFLECT will ensure that the new problems posed by the development of context-based pervasive adaptive systems are well understood and addressed. We want to support an intuitive human-machine interface, deal with changing contexts, and provide runtime adaptability and updateability both with and without developer interaction. To deal with the pragmatic problems of developing pervasive adaptive software, we will provide tool support for developing pervasive adaptive components. These tools will render the development and deployment of new pervasive adaptive components in heterogeneous environments more predictable and transparent for both developers and end-users.


Objective 3: Pervasive adaptive emotional interaction

In the future, environments will be adaptive to persons. One of the major research topics within the project is concerned with how environments can adapt to the emotional state of their inhabitants. In order to do so, a two-step process is needed: First, the emotional state or mood of the person has to be detected and diagnosed based on either psycho-physiology or behavioural expression, and second, the environment has to react appropriately. An appropriate reaction could be to change the room illumination to warmer colours if it is detected that its inhabitant is feeling tense, or to select more arousing music when the person is feeling drowsy in the afternoon. Thus the adaptive environment will take into account the emotional state of the inhabitant or operator and the goal of the adaptation is to promote positive emotional states and to counteract negative states.

Care should be taken that information is presented in a manner that is adapted to the person’s state. E.g., if a message on an interface is followed by a frown (surprise), such a message probably was not clear and should be formulated differently, or presented in another modality.


Objective 4: Pervasive adaptive cognitive interaction

Cognitive experience is defined by the level of problem-solving, planning, working memory requirements and multitasking associated with any task activity. Difficult and demanding tasks are defined by the level of mental effort that is required. The cognitive experience of the person is captured by psycho-physiological activity from autonomic and electrocortical sources. The purpose of this part of the project is to use psycho-physiology to monitor the level of cognitive demand experienced by the person and to adapt the software environment to avoid sustained periods of high mental effort, which may be experienced as tiring and aversive. Therefore, the software has a number of adaptive strategies at its disposal, e.g. providing online help, to selectively reduce the cognitive requirements of the task and to alleviate the burden of high mental effort.


Objective 5: Pervasive adaptive physical interaction

Pervasive and adaptive approach to physical condition, actions and experiences are truly different from the classical approaches to these phenomena. Instead of explicit system control, based on physical actions which are typical for most present systems, this project will observe and sense the users presence and activities, take into account collected ergonomic and biomechanical parameters and adapt its functioning accordingly. The goal is to research the potentialities of using the human body and its movements in a given scenario as (un)conscious indicator for the pervasive adaptive system to provide optimal system behaviour and most pleasurable physical conditions to people in their daily activities. Of a special interest is a combination of this research with emotional and cognitive experience. Using all these factors with an appropriate software support will allow us to develop a new generation of pervasive adaptive systems.


Objective 6: Pervasive adaptive automotive demonstrator

The research and development being conducted within the project will be summarized and justified in a comprehensive and engaging user experience such as driving a performance road car. This objective will consist in the design, development and validation of a seamless, pervasive, REFLECTive and adaptive human-machine interface which integrates and generalises the methods for grasping emotional, cognitive and/or physical experiences to provide a more pleasurable and safer user experience. The focus on a complex and demanding scenario such as driving, which gathers the physical, cognitive and emotive interactions into a unique user experience, will thus foster the transfer and exploitation of the developed concepts and solutions even in other less complex application areas.