Pliable Self-Adaptation

Mixed reality both emphasizes the role of self-adaptation and poses some new challenges to self-adaptation:

-         Mixed reality systems are often deployed in open and highly dynamic environments. Unlike conventional software systems, where stakeholders are expected to agree on a set of requirements before a system is built, ubicomp users bring their own independent requirements to the spaces they visit. From the point of view of a space and of the systems therein, requirements change as users come and go.  For example, a system in a smart home may open at least some of its features to impromptu users and their devices in cases such as friends coming over for a party, a nurse visiting an elderly person, or firemen arriving at a scene.  With purely software systems, such scenarios result in the dynamic deployment of separate systems for each set of requirements.  In ubicomp, the unavoidable sharing of cyber-physical services, such as thermostats, leads instead to one evolving system.

-         Application requirements may call for dynamic change of features in response to context, aka context awareness, corresponding to modes of operation in different situations.  Some of these changes may be parametric, e.g. decide on the ring volume of a cell phone depending on the location, but other changes may involve significant reconfiguration, e.g., of a building automation system during a fire.

-         Mixed reality environments are often harsh on systems: users may arbitrarily turn off devices, forget to change batteries, or disconnect cables while moving around in their activities.  The challenge becomes to recover from the failure of any component, including those with responsibility for self-healing.

However, new system responsibilities at run time mean that more needs to be designed. 

Because domain experts and end users will play an increasing role in designing mixed reality systems, a key question is how to enable users to tailor self-adaptation to their needs.

See relevant publications.