Lowering the Barriers to Participation in the Development of Human-Artifact Interaction Systems

B. I.N. Guo, Satoru Satake, Michita Imai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The development of wireless sensor networks enables sensors to be embedded in everyday artifacts to create smart artifacts. Smart artifacts can deliver a variety of context-aware human-centric services. However, current systems mainly rely on ad-hoc definitions of context information, which makes it difficult to achieve knowledge sharing, reuse and reasoning. Moreover, smart-artifact applications developed by experts sometimes cannot meet end users' needs, but current systems do not allow end users to exert control over their smart homes. To avoid having to start from scratch when building new smart-artifact systems, and to empower experienced computer users to participate in the control of their smart environments, we developed a new knowledge infrastructure called Sixth-Sense. Unlike previous systems, Sixth-Sense builds on semantic web technologies. It defines a normalized ontology (called SS-ONT) using OWL. SS-ONT is focused on modeling general human-artifact interactions, and reflects several vital aspects of these interactions, such as artifact property and status description, and artifact-artifact and artifact-human relationships. Using this ontology model as a basis, we address some of the principles involved in performing context querying and context reasoning. An initial user study with 14 experienced computer users was conducted to determine the usability of our system. We also evaluate the runtime performance of our system and discuss some of the lessons learnt from the evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-502
Number of pages34
JournalInternational Journal of Semantic Computing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec 1


  • Ontology
  • context-aware computing
  • semantic web
  • smart home control
  • smart object

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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