Evolution of Modern Library Services: The Progression into the Mobile Domain

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The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

Evolution of Modern Library Services:

The Progression into the Mobile Domain


Damien Meere
1
, Ivan Ganchev
1
, Máirtín O’Droma
1
,
Mícheál Ó hAodha
1
, Stanimir Stojanov
2
,

1
University of Limerick,
2
University of Plovdiv

Outline



Present a brief overview of the overall network architecture, proposed by the
Distributed eLearning Center (DeLC) initiative.




Outline the implementation of user and service profiles, highlighting important
information within these profiles with a bearing on the context within which
services are ultimately delivered to the end
-
user.



Discuss enhancements to library
-
based services through the incorporation of
various InfoStation
-
based services.




Outline requirements on software agents, as well as implementation issues
regarding how these intelligent agents utilize various profiles in order to facilitate a
personalized and contextualized learning environment for system users.

The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

System Architecture


The following presented architecture seeks to harness the communicative
potential offered by modern mobile devices, to facilitate learners with an
innovative and pervasive learning experience which can be dynamically altered
and tailored to suit the context of the individual learner.



This
InfoStation
-
based network architecture provides access to mLearning
services, for users equipped with mobile wireless devices, via a set of
InfoStations deployed in key points across the University Campus., in
particular within a Library environment.



Whilst within these overlapping “Pockets” in range of the InfoStations clients
may access various localised and personalised mLearning services in a “many
-
time, many
-
where” fashion through a geographically dispersed high speed
connection.

The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

System Architecture

I nf oSt at i on Cent er
Wi MAX
/
Wi Fi
I nf oSt at i on
Wi Fi
/
Bl uet oot h
I nf oSt at i on
Wi Fi I nf oSt at i on
Bl uet oot h I nf oSt at i on
Bl uet oot h I nf oSt at i on
Wi Fi I nf oSt at i on
PDA
Lapt op
/
Not ebook
Smar t
Mobi l e
Phone

InfoStations multi
-
protocol support within overlapping pockets of InfoStation
coverage

The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

System Architecture


Due to the geographically dispersed nature of the connection, it is necessary
for intelligent agents to operate throughout the architecture.



Acting as
Personal Assistants
(PAs), these agents may function autonomously in
order to satisfy any user service requests they encounter, while in or out of
contact with other agents (working on InfoStations and/or the InfoStation
Center).



As service sessions may be split between various InfoStations, the PA may
make a service request while within the range of an InfoStation, and then pass
out of the coverage area.



During this time when the user is isolated from InfoStation coverage, the PA
functions autonomously, adopting the functionality of the service until the user
has completed the task.

The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

System Architecture

The following illustrates the main components within each of the three tiers of
the system:



The mobile device
houses the light weight PA facilitating the user’s access to
the various services.



The
InfoStations

houses the Discovery, Presentation and Rendering Self
-
Service module, which is used to establish connections to mobile devices
which enter within range. Also housed is a cache of recently accessed user
and service profiles, as well as a repository of available services.



The
InfoStation Center
, which stands at the core of the system, is
concerned with the creation and updating of content throughout the
system. From this central point, service updates can be propagated across
the system.

The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

System Architecture

Personal
Assistant
Discovery
Presentation and
Rendering Self
-
Service
Content and Service Domain
Content
&
Content
Creation
Service Deployment
&
Service Creation
Content Delivery
Support Functions
Content Management
,
Media
,
DB
,
Transcoding
Partner
Support
Functions
Common Support
Functions
Provisioning
Data Access
Device Management
Service Catalogue
Charging
Operations and
Maintenance
Profile Management
Discovery
Presentation and
Rendering Self
-
Service
Service
Control and
Execution
Services
Charging
&
Billing
URM
RP
Operation and
Maintenance
AAA
Business
Support
Domain

InfoStation
Cached
Profiles
Service
Catalogue
Service
1
Service
Repository
User Mobile
Device
InfoStation Center
Service
2
Service
3
Service n
Master Profile
Repository
The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

Definition of Context


With the increasing level of diversity of end user devices, the service content
must be translated to meet the requirements of increasingly heterogeneous
interfaces.



PA’s are afforded the capability of having explicit knowledge of capabilities of
the device on which the agent is based, and the ability of convey this
information to the entity offering the service.



Capability and Preference Information (CPI), conveyed according to the
Composite Capability
-
Preference Profile (CC/PP)

standard, and in particular its
User
Agent Profile (UAProf)

module.



The CC/PP specification defines a structured framework through which
devices can define critical criteria relating to their capabilities.

The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

Definition of Context


Utilizing the CPI conveyed within various profiles, the service provider (i.e.
InfoStations) can tailor its service offer to the requested delivery context.



The UAProf represents this CPI in a two
-
level hierarchy consisting of various
components

(dealing with a different characteristic of the device) and
associated
attributes
.



The details specified within an instance of the UAProf, and its components,
enables an InfoStation to dynamically adapt and customize the mobile services
according to the specifications of that device.

The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

Definition of Context


The following illustrates a sample of a device’s hardware component with
attributes which may each have a bearing on the appearance of the final
delivered contextualised service content.

<
prf
:
component
>

<
rdf
:
Description rdf
:
ID
="
HardwarePlatform
"
>

<
rdf
:
type rdf
:
resource
="
http
://
www
.
openmobilealliance
.
org
/
tech
/
profiles
/
UAPROF
/
ccppschema
-
20021212
#
HardwarePlatform
" /
>
<
prf
:
ScreenSize
>
176
x
220
<
/
prf
:
ScreenSize
>

<
prf
:
Model
>
V
3
i
<
/
prf
:
Model
>

<
prf
:
ScreenSizeChar
>
17
x
11
<
/
prf
:
ScreenSizeChar
>

<
prf
:
BitsPerPixel
>
16
<
/
prf
:
BitsPerPixel
>

<
prf
:
ColorCapable
>
Yes
<
/
prf
:
ColorCapable
>

<
prf
:
TextInputCapable
>
Yes
<
/
prf
:
TextInputCapable
>

<
prf
:
ImageCapable
>
Yes
<
/
prf
:
ImageCapable
>

<
prf
:
Keyboard
>
PhoneKeypad
<
/
prf
:
Keyboard
>

<
prf
:
NumberOfSoftKeys
>
2
<
/
prf
:
NumberOfSoftKeys
>

<
prf
:
PointingResolution
>
None
<
/
prf
:
PointingResolution
>

<
prf
:
CPU
>
Motorola LTE
-
ARM
7
TDMI
-
S
<
/
prf
:
CPU
>

<
prf
:
Vendor
>
Motorola
<
/
prf
:
Vendor
>

<
prf
:
PixelAspectRatio
>
1
x
1
<
/
prf
:
PixelAspectRatio
>

<
prf
:
SoundOutputCapable
>
Yes
<
/
prf
:
SoundOutputCapable
>

<
prf
:
StandardFontProportional
>
No
<
/
prf
:
StandardFontProportional
>

<
prf
:
VoiceInputCapable
>
Yes
<
/
prf
:
VoiceInputCapable
>

<
/
rdf
:
Description
>
<
/
prf
:
component
>
The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

Definition of Context


Within this InfoStation
-
based system, we define a number of user related
attributes such as user name, course, department etc.

<
prf
:
component
>
<
rdf
:
Description rdf
:
ID
="
UserPlatform
"
>

<
rdf
:
type rdf
:
resource
="
http
://
www
.
ece
.
ul
.
ie
/
trc
/
profiles
/
UAPROF
/
ccppschema
-
1
#
UserPlatform
" /
>
<
prf
:
Name
>
John Doe
<
/
prf
:
Name
>
<
prf
:
StudentID
>
0123456
<
/
prf
:
StudentID
>
<
prf
:
Faculty
>
ECE
<
/
prf
:
Faculty
>
<
prf
:
Course
>
Electronic

Eng
ineering
<
/
prf
:
Course
>
<
prf
:
Year
>
4
<
/
prf
:
Year
>
<
prf
:
Classes
>

<
rdf
:
Bag
>
<
rdf
:
li
>
CE
4517
<
/
rdf
:
li
>
<
rdf
:
li
>
CE
4607
<
/
rdf
:
li
>
<
rdf
:
li
>
CE
4717
<
/
rdf
:
li
>
<
rdf
:
li
>
CE
4817
<
/
rdf
:
li
>
<
rdf
:
li
>
CE
4907
<
/
rdf
:
li
>
<
rdf
:
li
>
EE
4607
<
/
rdf
:
li
>

<
/
rdf
:
Bag
>
<
/
prf
:
Classes
>
<
prf
:
Advisor
>
Dr
.
Ivan Ganchev
<
/
prf
:
Advisor
>
<
prf
:
email
>
0123456
@
STUDENT
.
ul
.
ie
<
/
prf
:
email
>
<
prf
:
QCA
>
3
.
47
<
/
prf
:
QCA
>
<
prf
:
FYP
>
JD
09
<
/
prf
:
FYP
>
<
prf
:
FYPSupervisor
>
Dr
.
Ivan Ganchev
<
/
prf
:
FYPSupervisor
>
<
prf
:
FYPTitle
>
Design and Implementation of an Animated Interactive Tutorial
<
/
prf
:
FYPTitle
>
<
/
rdf
:
Description
>
<
/
prf
:
component
>
The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

Definition of Context


It is essential that the user
-
based attributes within the CPI be taken into
account in order to avoid unnecessarily advertising irrelevant services and
content to library users.



For example the services and service content utilized by members of the
Business faculty will generally differ greatly from those being utilized by
members of the Electronic and Computer Engineering faculties.



Essentially, this innovative approach to user preference dissemination facilitates
the successful delivery of highly
-
personalised services to the client device.

The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

Library
-
based Services


This architecture offers the opportunity for the expansion of existing library
-
based services into the mobile domain.



Two m
-
Library services envisaged for implementation within this architecture
being:


Library Catalogue, Loans & Reservations Service


The Interactive Library Map Service.


Recommendations Service



These services enable users more efficient access to resources and
information whilst moving throughout the library.



This infrastructural system, and it’s inherent mobility, affords an ideal
opportunity to enhance the user’s library experience.

Library
-
based Services

Library Catalogue, Loans & Reservations Service



This service builds on the

existing database and cataloguing system to facilitate
student’s with access to the library catalogue whilst on the move throughout
the library.



A benefit of this system would be to reduce the need for library users to
queue for access to library computers, in order to search for resources.



The service enables users to monitor the status of resources they may have
loaned out from the library.



Users can monitor when exactly the resource is due back in the library, and
indeed the fines incurred upon failure to return it before the designated time
has passed.

Library
-
based Services

Interactive Library Map Service



In collaboration with the Library Catalogue service, this service facilitates the
quick and efficient location of resources within the library.



Users are provided specific directions to collections of materials, most suitable
to them (e.g. Science, Engineering, Languages) or indeed to the location of a
very specific resource which the user may have requested after a search
through the library catalogue.



In the delivery of this service, the content must be adapted and customized
according to the capabilities of the user device and the user preferences, i.e.
Whether the user is utilizing a device with limited graphical display capabilities
or a resource
-
rich device
-

provide textual information or complete hyper
-
media format of the service.

Resource Recommendations Service



This service builds on the collaboration between the Library Catalogue
service and the Interactive library map service.



On analysis of the user’s CPI, and previous interactions with the Library
Catalogue service, the Library
-
based InfoStation can discern what resources
might interest the user, and recommends these.



Then in collaboration with the Library Catalogue service, facilitates the quick
and efficient location of these resources

Library
-
based Services

Library
-
based Services

Library
-
based Services

Library
-
based Services

Library
-
based Services

Library
-
based Services

Library
-
based Services

Agent Implementation


To assist users with interactions within the service environment, user’s mobile
device houses an intelligent agent, operating as a Personal Assistant (PA).



Due to the inherent dynamism and mobility of the system, these agents
possess the intelligence to adapt to changing environments and to the
idiosyncrasies of the each distinct individual user.



Within their own immediate environments, these agents can take initiative and
operate autonomously towards certain goals.



However whilst within range of the network, the InfoStation agent and the PA
coordinate themselves and cooperate to fulfil various network management
tasks and any user service requests.

The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

Agent Implementation


The PA has the capability to acquire information dynamically about all entities
within the environment, i.e. through its interactions with the user, and through
the use of the profiles, the PA can discover some of the essential information
about the individual.



Over time the PA can develop a model of the user’s behaviour by keeping
track of the user’s habits and preferences. Depending on the whether or not
the user accesses services and eContent presented by the PA, it can judge its
success.



Essentially, over time the PA can alter its behaviours to suit the user and offer
an increasingly higher level of customization and personalisation of services.



This is especially the case with the automated recommendations service,
which takes into account the users pervious service usage.

The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

Agent Implementation


In order to facilitate this multi
-
agent architecture the network entities (agents)
have been developed utilizing the Java Agent DEvelopment (JADE) framework
developed by TILAB.



This framework simplifies the implementation of multi
-
agent systems through
a middle
-
ware supporting a set of tools that facilitate the debugging and
deployment phases.



JADE ‘s APIs function completely independent of the underlying network and
Java version, meaning the JADE environment can be tailored to fit the
constraints of environments with wide variations of access to resources.

The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

Agent Implementation


The JADE architecture utilizes specific modules, enabling JADE to be
configured to suit the varying deployment environments, the most important
modules with regards this system being the Lightweight Extensible Agent
Platform (LEAP) module.



This module replaces some parts of the JADE kernel providing a modified
light
-
weight run
-
time environment for enabling FIPA agents to execute on a
wide range of Java
-
enabled resource constrained mobile devices.



By utilizing the JADE
-
LEAP, the runtime environment (or container) can be
split into a
FrontEnd

(running on the mobile device itself), and the
BackEnd

(running from a fixed network entity


InfoStation)

The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

Agent Implementation

JADE
-
LEAP split
-
container execution.













The splitting of the container into two separate, yet connected entities is
particularly useful with regards resource constrained devices, as the FrontEnd
of the container is far more lightweight in terms of the required memory and
processing power than the entire container.

FrontEnd
FrontEnd
BackEnd
BackEnd
InfoStation
Mobile User Domain
JADE
-
LEAP
Split Container
InfoStation Center
J
2
SE Container
MIDP Container
CDC Container
A
1
A
2
A
4
A
3
A
5
A
6
(
Mediator
)
JADE
-
LEAP Main
Container
The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009

Summary

The Second International m
-
Libraries Conference

Vancouver BC Canada
,
23
-
24
June 2009



We present a brief overview of the overall network architecture, proposed by
the Distributed eLearning Center (DeLC) initiative.




We outlined the implementation of user and service profiles, highlighting
important information within these profiles with a bearing on the context
within which services are delivered to the end
-
user devices.



We discussed enhancements provided to library
-
based services through the
incorporation of the InfoStation
-
based system.




We outlined the requirements on the software agents, as well as
implementation issues regarding how these intelligent agents utilize profile
information in order to facilitate a personalized and contextualized learning
environment for system users.