Home-Explorer: Ontology-based physical artifact search and hidden object detection system

Bin Guo, Satoru Satake, Michita Imai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


A new system named Home-Explorer that searches and finds physical artifacts in a smart indoor environment is proposed. The view on which it is based is artifact-centered and uses sensors attached to the everyday artifacts (called smart objects) in the real world. This paper makes two main contributions: First, it addresses, the robustness of the embedded sensors, which is seldom discussed in previous smart artifact research. Because sensors may sometimes be broken or fail to work under certain conditions, smart objects become hidden ones. However, current systems provide no mechanism to detect and manage objects when this problem occurs. Second, there is no common context infrastructure for building smart artifact systems, which makes it difficult for separately developed applications to interact with each other and uneasy for them to share and reuse knowledge. Unlike previous systems, Home-Explorer builds on an ontology-based knowledge infrastructure named Sixth-Sense, which makes it easy for the system to interact with other applications or agents also based on this ontology. The hidden object problem is also reflected in our ontology, which enables Home-Explorer to deal with both smart objects and hidden objects. A set of rules for deducing an object’s status or location information and for locating hidden objects are described and evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-103
Number of pages23
JournalMobile Information Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Context aware
  • Ontology
  • Semantic web
  • Smart object
  • Ubiquitous computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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