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See detailCOLLABORATIVE RULE-BASED PROACTIVE SYSTEMS: MODEL, INFORMATION SHARING STRATEGY AND CASE STUDIES
Dobrican, Remus-Alexandru UL

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The Proactive Computing paradigm provides us with a new way to make the multitude of computing systems, devices and sensors spread through our modern environment, work for/pro the human beings and be ... [more ▼]

The Proactive Computing paradigm provides us with a new way to make the multitude of computing systems, devices and sensors spread through our modern environment, work for/pro the human beings and be active on our behalf. In this paradigm, users are put on top of the interactive loop and the underlying IT systems are automated for performing even the most complex tasks in a more autonomous way. This dissertation focuses on providing further means, at both theoretical and applied levels, to design and implement Proactive Systems. It is shown how smart mobile, wearable and/or server applications can be developed with the proposed Rule-Based Middleware Model for computing pro-actively and for operating on multiple platforms. In order to represent and to reason about the information that the proactive system needs to know about its environment where it performs its computations, a new technique called Proactive Scenario is proposed. As an extension of its scope and properties, and for achieving global reasoning over inter-connected proactive systems, a new collaborative technique called Global Proactive Scenario is then proposed. Furthermore, to show their potential, three real world case studies of (collaborative) proactive systems have been explored for validating the proposed development methodology and its related technological framework in various domains like e-Learning, e-Business and e-Health. Results from these experiments con rm that software applications designed along the lines of the proposed rule-based proactive system model together with the concepts of local and global proactive scenarios, are capable of actively searching for the information they need, of automating tasks and procedures that do not require the user's input, of detecting various changes in their context and of taking measures to adapt to it for addressing the needs of the people which use these systems, and of performing collaboration and global reasoning over multiple proactive engines spread across different networks. [less ▲]

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See detailA Context-Aware Collaborative Mobile Application for Silencing the Smartphone during Meetings or Important Events
Dobrican, Remus-Alexandru UL; Neyens, Gilles UL; Zampunieris, Denis UL

in International Journal On Advances in Intelligent Systems (2016), 9(1&2), 171-180

This study describes a mobile application, i.e., Silent-Meet, that uses group-driven collaboration and location-based collaboration for automatically switching smartphones into silent mode during meetings ... [more ▼]

This study describes a mobile application, i.e., Silent-Meet, that uses group-driven collaboration and location-based collaboration for automatically switching smartphones into silent mode during meetings or important events. More precisely, for the first step of the collaboration, a partial agreement algorithm will be used for establishing if a meeting is confirmed by its participants and, for the second round, confirming if the meeting will take place, based on the location of the participants. The application tries to avoid those cases when a meeting is accepted but the participants are not coming to the meeting or when participants do not reply to the meeting invitations but they are still attending the meeting. SilentMeet uses a new technique for exchanging information, for coordinating and for taking distributed decisions, called Global Proactive Scenarios (GPaSs). For executing GPaSs, a rule-based middleware architecture for mobile devices is utilised. GPaSs and the middleware architecture allow developers of collaborative applications to define the actions of their applications in a structured way without having to take care of the communication and coordination of the mobile devices. Also, there is no need for developing a server-side application; all the logic is integrated into GPaSs. Apart the main goal of the application, which is to silence mobile phones during meetings, there are three secondary objectives: a) to provide an collaborative application capable of acquiring contextual information from various devices, b) to check if it is possible to achieve collective reasoning using a rule-based middleware architecture for mobile devices, and c) to validate GPaSs in a real-case example. [less ▲]

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See detailA Proactive Solution, using Wearable and Mobile Applications, for Closing the Gap between the Rehabilitation Team and Cardiac Patients
Dobrican, Remus-Alexandru UL; Zampunieris, Denis UL

in Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics 2016 (ICHI 2016) (2016)

Exercise training (ET) is one of the decisive and crucial factors for reducing and preventing unexpected cardiac events. The aim of this work is to implement a proactive e-Health system that will allow ... [more ▼]

Exercise training (ET) is one of the decisive and crucial factors for reducing and preventing unexpected cardiac events. The aim of this work is to implement a proactive e-Health system that will allow patients, following a Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) program outside the hospital, to exercise safely, according to their recommended training zones. The e-Health system includes a smartwatch application, a smartphone application and several server-side applications, working on predefined personalised scenarios, which are alerting, guiding and supporting the patients. The heart rate (HR) of patients is continuously measured, recorded and analysed during ET with the help of wearable devices. While training, patients benefit from multiple levels of feedback. Communities of patients are created for stimulating and motivating patients to perform according to their CR program. Opposed to traditional home-based CR e-Health applications, profiles and training zones are created and handled dynamically for each patient. [less ▲]

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See detailEnhancing Mobile Devices with Cooperative Proactive Computing
Neyens, Gilles UL; Dobrican, Remus-Alexandru UL; Zampunieris, Denis UL

in Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Advanced Collaborative Networks, Systems and Applications (COLLA 2015) (2015)

With the increasing popularity of smartphones and with the fact that they are connected to the Internet most of the time, people manage to stay online everywhere they go. They can access online services ... [more ▼]

With the increasing popularity of smartphones and with the fact that they are connected to the Internet most of the time, people manage to stay online everywhere they go. They can access online services remotely at any time they want, using their mobile devices. However, in order to make the best out of these circumstances, the users have to use sophisticated mobile applications. These applications do not have to only address key aspects like collaboration and cooperation between various devices but have to deal also with the involvement of the users in order to achieve the desired outcome. The main contribution of this paper is to present a solution, i.e., Proactive Engine for Mobile Devices (PEMD), together with its implementation for Android based systems, for enhancing mobile devices with proactive roperties. The model serves as a basis for developing smart applications that are able to perform complex real-world tasks. Furthermore, it provides a method for achieving cooperation, coordination and collaboration of multiple smart devices. Finally, we provide the performance experiments and we discuss the results and the effects of using PEMD on different devices. [less ▲]

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See detailSilentMeet - A Prototype Mobile Application for Real-Time Automated Group-Based Collaboration
Dobrican, Remus-Alexandru UL; Neyens, Gilles UL; Zampunieris, Denis UL

in Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Advanced Collaborative Networks, Systems and Applications (COLLA 2015) (2015)

Today’s growing world of mobile devices offers all the necessary elements for developing collaborative mobile applications. However, this brings new challenges like how to handle the high complexity of ... [more ▼]

Today’s growing world of mobile devices offers all the necessary elements for developing collaborative mobile applications. However, this brings new challenges like how to handle the high complexity of efficient collaborative mechanisms or automatize part of the user’s interaction with the applications, as too many actions are required from the users in order to perform even the most basic operations. This paper describes an experimental mobile application, i.e., SilentMeet, that uses a rule-based middleware architecture for mobile devices and a new technique for exchanging information, for coordinating and for taking distributed decisions. More precisely, the application is designed to detect, based on collaboration, possible meetings or events with more than 2 participants and automatically switch the smartphone into silent mode. The goal of SilentMeet can be divided into 2 two main parts: 1) to develop a collaborative application with the help of rule-based systems; and 2) implement and evaluate Global Proactive Scenarios (GPaSs) in a real-case example. [less ▲]

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See detailMoving Towards a Distributed Network of Proactive, Self-Adaptive and Context-Aware Systems
Dobrican, Remus-Alexandru UL; Zampunieris, Denis UL

in ADAPTIVE 2014 - The Sixth International Conference on Adaptive and Self-Adaptive Systems and Applications (2014)

Instead of being static and waiting passively for instructions, software systems are required to take a more proactive approach in their behavior in order to anticipate and to adapt to the needs of their ... [more ▼]

Instead of being static and waiting passively for instructions, software systems are required to take a more proactive approach in their behavior in order to anticipate and to adapt to the needs of their users. To design and develop such systems in an affordable, predictable and timely manner is a great engineering challenge. Even though there have been notable steps towards distributed self-adaptive and context-aware systems, there is still a lack of methodologies on how to model and implement applications which have to distribute and to manage large amounts of information. In this work-in-progress, we address this issue by proposing a self-adaptive and context-aware model with a structure that allows the system to learn from the user’s behavior by using Proactive Computing. The novelty comes from the possibility of having a distributed network of Proactive Engines in which the exchange of contextual information would help each system to take smart decisions. [less ▲]

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See detailA Proactive Approach for Information Sharing Strategies in an Environment of Multiple Connected Ubiquitous Devices
Dobrican, Remus-Alexandru UL; Zampunieris, Denis UL

in Proceedings of the 11th IEEE International Conference on Ubiquitous Intelligence and Computing (UIC 2014) (2014)

The current trend in Ubiquitous Computing is to develop smaller, smarter and adaptive devices that are continuously connected to the Internet through wireless technologies. This offers a great opportunity ... [more ▼]

The current trend in Ubiquitous Computing is to develop smaller, smarter and adaptive devices that are continuously connected to the Internet through wireless technologies. This offers a great opportunity for cooperation between these devices. Although much related work has been performed on collaboration techniques between smart devices, most of the work is not suited for large-scale networks, where their number can increase significantly. Following this context, we investigate how information is exchanged and handled in a distributed way in a Collaborative Ubiquitous Environment. To be perceived as collaborative and proactive, each single component has to coordinate with the others in smart way. In order to achieve these key features, we introduce the concept of Global Proactive Scenarios (GPASs). To support the deployment of these scenarios, we propose a specially designed intelligent architecture for ubiquitous systems that allows them to be context-aware, proactive and self-adaptive. Furthermore, we provide an example of joint effort for illustrating the full potential of a network of interconnected proactive systems. [less ▲]

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See detailMoving Towards Distributed Networks of Proactive, Self-Adaptive and Context-Aware Systems: a New Research Direction?
Dobrican, Remus-Alexandru UL; Zampunieris, Denis UL

in The International Journal on Advances in Networks and Services (2014), 7(3 & 4), 262-272

Instead of being static and waiting passively for instructions, software systems are required to take a more proactive approach in their behavior in order to anticipate and to adapt to the needs of their ... [more ▼]

Instead of being static and waiting passively for instructions, software systems are required to take a more proactive approach in their behavior in order to anticipate and to adapt to the needs of their users. To design and develop such systems in an affordable, predictable and timely manner is a great software engineering challenge. Even though there have been notable steps for modeling self-adaptive and contextaware systems, there is still a lack of a generic model agreed by the research community for developing smart applications. The goal of this study is to explore the idea of having a multiple networks of proactive context-aware adaptive systems working together for achieving common goals. To support our vision, we introduce a context-aware self-adaptive software model for mobile devices capable of learning from the user’s behavior by using Proactive Computing. The novelty comes from the possibility of developing smart applications that would benefit from the proposed properties. Moreover, we discuss a motivating scenario that lead to this work and propose a case study where a collaborative e-Learning application is implementing our model. [less ▲]

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See detailEmpirical Investigations on Community Building and Collaborative Work inside a LMS using Proactive Computing
Dobrican, Remus-Alexandru UL; Reis, Sandro UL; Zampunieris, Denis UL

in Proceedings of E-Learn - World Conference on E-Learning 2013 Conference (2013)

Today learning is becoming more of a social process; traditional e-learning platforms like Learning Management Systems (LMSs) need to rapidly evolve in order to offer users not only conventional learning ... [more ▼]

Today learning is becoming more of a social process; traditional e-learning platforms like Learning Management Systems (LMSs) need to rapidly evolve in order to offer users not only conventional learning tools but also a flexible environment to collaborate and share ideas. Current LMSs are difficult to use, collaboration and interaction is limited within courses and they lack the option for customization to allow users a personalized learning environment. In order to satisfy the increasing needs of learners, Communities of Practice (CoPs) were automatically and dynamically developed on our local LMS, Moodle™, with the help of Proactive Computing. During the summer semester at the University of Luxembourg, we recorded and observed how communities were created, how they evolved over time and what role they played in facilitating the learning process. Our findings support our hypotheses that integrating social aspects into a LMS makes learning more accessible, captivating and personalized. [less ▲]

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See detailSUPPORTING COLLABORATIVE LEARNING INSIDE COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE THROUGH PROACTIVE COMPUTING
Dobrican, Remus-Alexandru UL; Zampunieris, Denis UL

in Proceedings of the 5th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, Barcelona, Spain 1-3 July, 2013 (2013)

This work focuses on a particular area of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) which looks at how to create, organize and develop Communities of Practice inside a Virtual Learning Management ... [more ▼]

This work focuses on a particular area of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) which looks at how to create, organize and develop Communities of Practice inside a Virtual Learning Management System (VLMS), i.e. Moodle™, with the help of Proactive Computing. The goal is to increase the on-line participation of students, stimulate the learning process and address common issues in higher education institutions, like transportation, housing, health concerns and students social activities. To achieve this goal, we propose different ways of organizing students into virtual communities with a clear purpose and we provide the tools for building and sharing the knowledge, while our system informs, guides and assists students through the whole process. The current level of involvement of the students at our university’s local Moodle™ platform is quite low, despite the fact the students are obliged to use the platform for extracting, viewing and submitting assignments and other course-related materials. This is why we consider Moodle™ quite static and limited from the point of view of the interface and from the existing ways of creating learning communities. By employing Proactive Computing ([11]), the system becomes aware to the actions or lack of actions of its users, and, on the basis of predefined proactive scenarios, takes appropriate actions for steering users towards enhanced collaboration and social learning. Using the structure of the proactive rule defined in ([13]), we have developed a new set of proactive rules which aims to automatically initiate, maintain and expand social interactions inside communities of students. Each rule is part of one of the stages of the Proactive Cycle, the whole model of proactive scenarios meant to support collaborative techniques for sharing experience, news and practices. The Proactive Cycle is divided into three main categories: “Setting-up Social Groups”, “Enhancing Social Life” and “Adjusting the Social Groups”. Each community starts its life-cycle in the first category and then, after developing over a certain period of time, it will either become a significant community or the system will merge it with another group, or even ending its life-cycle if there are not so many members or the group is inactive. The set of rules will run on the Proactive Engine, developed by Zampunieris ([13]), and aside the local Moodle™ server at our university. A new Java Web Socket Server will ensure an encrypted real-time connection between the Proactive Engine and the Moodle™ blocks (parts of the user interface) developed specially for these experiments. These first series of experiments are taking into account around 1300 real students who currently use the Moodle™ platform over a full semester. We believe our study will be significant in terms of understanding the evolution of virtual study communities, for providing a better learning experience to the users, and in terms of integrating new technologies into an existing learning management system (LMS). The results of this study, which is deployed over the summer semester, are expected to emphasize the importance of having a dynamic, proactive and intuitive learning environment. The Proactive Engine is capable to be integrated with other LMS systems, which would help the whole learning community. [less ▲]

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See detailProactive Dynamic Community of Practice
Dobrican, Remus-Alexandru UL

Bachelor/master dissertation (2012)

The main purpose of this Master Thesis was to invent and design Proactive Scenarios that could help students from the University of Luxembourg to improve their social experience on the Moodle™ e-learning ... [more ▼]

The main purpose of this Master Thesis was to invent and design Proactive Scenarios that could help students from the University of Luxembourg to improve their social experience on the Moodle™ e-learning platform through the automatic perception of who the user is, where does he/her come from, what are his/her online activities or what do users have in common, and through constant help, guidance and assistance generated by the system with the help of Proactivity. The first part of this work was dedicated to reading, analyzing and comparing stateof- the-art papers, articles and tools in research fields like Proactivity, Communities of Practice, Situation/Context Awareness and Learning Management Systems, followed by the creation and validation of the Proactive Cycle meant to group students, which are inscribed in the same study program or coming from the same city, into social communities where the practice can take multiple shapes. [less ▲]

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