NC State University

Department of Computer Science Colloquia 2002-2003

A telecast from UNC as part of
Triangle Computer Science Distinguished Lecturer Series

Date:   Monday, November 11, 2002
Time:   4:00 PM (Talk)
Place:   313 EGRC, NCSU Centennial Campus (click for courtesy parking request)

Speaker:  M. Satyanarayanan , CMU

Pervasive Computing: Vision and Challenges

Abstract:   The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it." With these words Mark Weiser began his seminal 1991 paper that described his vision of ubiquitous computing, now also called pervasive computing. The essence of that vision was the creation of environments saturated with computing and communication capability, yet gracefully integrated with human users. After a decade of hardware progress, many critical elements of pervasive computing that were exotic in 1991 are now viable commercial products: handheld and wearable computers, wireless LANs, and devices to sense and control appliances. We are now well positioned to begin the quest for Weiser's vision. This talk will discusses the challenges in computer systems research posed by pervasive computing. It will begin by examining the relationship of this new field to its predecessors, distributed systems and mobile computing. It will then identify four new research thrusts: effective use of smart spaces, invisibility, localized scalability, and masking uneven conditioning. These frame the key research problems that will have to be solved if pervasive computing is to become a reality.

Short Bio:   Professor Satyanarayanan is an experimental computer scientist who has pioneered research in the field of mobile information access. One outcome of this work is the Coda File System, which supports disconnected and bandwidth-adaptive operation. Key ideas from Coda have been incorporated by Microsoft into the IntelliMirror component of Windows. Another outcome is Odyssey, a set of open-source operating system extensions for enabling mobile applications to adapt to variation in critical resources such as bandwidth and energy. Coda and Odyssey are building blocks in Project Aura, a research initiative at Carnegie Mellon to build a distraction-free ubiquitous computing environment. Earlier, Satyanarayanan was a principal architect and implementor of the Andrew File System, which was commercialized by IBM. Satyanarayanan is the Carnegie Group Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He is currently on partial sabbatical, serving as the founding director of an Intel research lab in Pittsburgh that focuses on software systems for data storage. He received the PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon, after Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Pervasive Computing.

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