Project Glossary



An actuator is a mechanical device for moving or controlling a mechanism or system.

[from Wikipedia]

Administrating CSS
This is a role a CSS can adopt. It does not have to meet the membership criteria of the CIS and it has the following duties.

  • To ensure the CIS is registered/advertised to other CSSs.
  • To enforce the membership criteria (when new participant CSS request to join the CSS).
  • To broker a governance model, where decisions are sent to the most appropriate CSS(s) to handle it. For example, in a democratic model, all other members vote on a decision, the administrating CSS collects these votes, and informs the requester(s) of the decision. The administrating node does not make the decision just facilitates the decision making process.
Ambient Intelligent (AmI) Community
see Pervasive Community
Architecture Viewpoint
It is a technique for abstraction using a specific set of architectural concepts and structuring patterns, in order to focus on particular concerns within a system.
A relationship between two or more entities. Implies a connection of some type – for example one entity uses the services of another, or one entity is connected to another over a network link.


A business role: Individuals or companies that act as intermediary between two parties. For example, brokers who exploit data discovered by SOCIETIES platform for the use of 3rd party services.


see Community Interaction Space
CIS Service
A service that is offerred as part of a CIS’s capabilities, where the access is provided using a prescribed graphical user interface and/or API.
see Cooperating Smart Space
CSS Node
It’s a logical node/device/cloud instance running CSS software, that coordinates with other CSS Nodes to form a participant’s CSS.
A logical entity encapsulating data and behavior. A class is a template for an object – the class is the design, the object the runtime instance.
It’s used to describe the collection of participants with common interests or purpose. It is defined as follows:

“a social, religious, occupational, or other group, sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society”


Community Context
A set of context information derived from a group of end-users or their devices in a specific Community. This data set is dynamically formed from in-range CSSs, individual privacy settings, filtered and combined using conflict resolution techniques and context inheritance mechanisms. (see also Context)
Community Interaction Space
It’s a representation of a Pervasive Community and has one or more CSS associated with it. It includes:

  • a unique identity, name and description.
  • membership criteria (can be empty for open/public communities)
  • a set of one or more administrating CSSs.
  • a dynamic membership list of member CSSs.
  • a set of shared services/resources.
  • optional community centric information such as preferences, intent models, context, etc.
Community Orchestration
The ability to help users manage the intelligent identification, formation, organisation, membership and termination of communities. This ability is based on end-user supplied rules for community life-cycle management and community membership and associated context information.
Community Preferences
A stereotypical set of preferences or template, for a whole community, based on the preferences of individual community members. (see also Preference)
Community Providers
A business role: These are stakeholders that specialize in CIS management including the customization and the definition of communities for specific customer needs. This stakeholder is not involved in every community definition but yet is needed when its client business or organization does not have the required technical skills or will to do this on their own. Example stakeholders: community discovery providers and community creators.
Community administration
Community administration is the procedures and actions performed in order to maintain, arbitrate and orchestrate the partipants of the community in terms of the hardware and software components.
Community creation criteria
The judgement or decision that supports the creation of a dynamic or not community, based on the initial characteristics and the requirements of the user/group/event that triggers the formulation of a community.
A business component is the software implementation of an autonomous concept or process. It consists of all the software artefacts necessary to represent, implement, and deploy a given business concept as an autonomous, reusable element of a larger distributed information system.
Component Model
The component model provides a detailed view of the various hardware and software components that make up the proposed system. It shows both where these components reside and how they inter-relate with other components. Component requirements detail what responsibilities a component has to supply functionality or behavior within the system.
Computer supported co-operative work
Computer supported co-operative work (CSCW) addresses “how collaborative activities and their coordination can be supported by means of computer systems”.


  • Grudin, J. (1994). “Computer-Supported Cooperative Work: History and Focus”. Computer 27 (5): 19–26. doi:10.1109/2.291294.
  • Carstensen, P.H., Schmidt, K. (1999). Computer supported cooperative work: new challenges to systems design. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
Confidence is generally described as a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective.


  • World Database of Trust Harvey S. James, Jr., Ph.D (Updated August 2007) A variety of definitions of trust are collected and listed.
Confidentiality in a general sense refers to the duty not to share information with persons who are not qualified to receive that information. In a more specific sense, it refers to the confidentiality of communications provided for in Article 5 of the E-privacy Directive 2002/58/EC and in Article 36 of Regulation (EC) No 45/2001.

Confidentiality of processing also refers to the obligation of any person acting under the authority of the controller or the processor, who has access to personal data, not to process them except on instructions from the controller, unless he is required to do so by law (see Article 16 of Directive 95/46/EC and Article 21 of Regulation (EC) No 45/2001).


Conflict resolution
Conflict resolution is a range of methods of eliminating sources of conflict. Conflict is actual or perceived opposition of needs, values and interests. A conflict can be internal (within oneself) to individuals. Conflict, as a concept, can help explain many aspects of social life such as social disagreement, conflicts of interests, and fights between individuals, groups, or organizations.


  • James A. Schellenberg (1996), “Conflict Resolution”, State University of New York Press.
In data protection terminology, consent refers to any freely given, specific and informed indication of the wishes of a data subject, by which he/she agrees to personal data relating to him/her being processed (see Article 2 sub (h) of Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and Article 2 sub (h) of Regulation (EC) No 45/2001.

Consent is an important element in data protection legislation, as it is one of the conditions that can legitimise processing of personal data. If it is relied upon, the data subject must unambiguously have given his/ her consent to a specific processing operation, of which he/she shall have been properly informed. The obtained consent can only be used for the specific processing operation for which it was collected, and may in principle be withdrawn without retroactive effect.


Content Producers
A business role: Individuals or companies that develop content e.g. Films, music, games, weather forecast, news, advertisements, etc.
Content Providers
A business role: These are companies that make content available via community services to targeted end-users. They obtain these distribution rights from Content Producers. Examples include: Conference Organizers, University Administrators.
Context is any information that can be used to characterize the situation of an entity. An entity is a person, place, or object that is considered relevant to the interaction between a user and an application, including the user and applications themselves.


  • Dey, A. (2001) Understanding and Using Context. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 5(1), 4-7.
Context Change
An alteration in an individual’s or a community’s context information. This alteration can be the addition of new information, the removal of old information, or an update of existing information. (see also Context)
Context Providers
A business role: Companies that can provide context information (e.g. location) that could be used as input to services implemented on top of the SOCIETIES platform. These companies could also act as combiners for various existing context sources.
Context State Model
A context state model is a filtered view of a community’s or an individual’s context information used for analysing community membership. Context State Models are formed using trajectory data mining techniques, to give a snapshot of pertinent context information for stereotypical community memberships. (see application of technique in Community Orchestration)
Context awareness
Context-awareness refers to the idea that computers can both sense, and react based on their environment. Devices may have information about the circumstances under which they are able to operate and based on rules, or an intelligent stimulus, react accordingly. Context-aware devices may also try to make assumptions about the user’s current situation. In addition, context-aware systems are concerned with the acquisition of context (e.g. using sensors to perceive a situation), the abstraction and understanding of context (e.g. matching a perceived sensory stimulus to a context), and application behaviour based on the recognised context (e.g. triggering actions based on context).


Context inference
Context inference (also known as context reasoning) is the process of extracting the probability that a particle of contextual information would be in a specific state after some kind of interaction with other context information or the environment. It is the process of making context information explicitly available from other context sources (called lower-level context in this regard). It is part of context refinement and is based on drawing conclusions from existing information.


  • Angermann, M., Robertson, P. and Strang T. Issues and requirements for Bayesian approaches in context aware systems. In LoCA, pages 235-243, 2005.
  • Persist Deliverable D2.5
Context management
Context management includes the distributed context maintenance, access, update and synchronisation, as well as, the provision of a transparent interface to context handling, support of ad-hoc context exchange, real-time and non-real-time context handling.


  • K. Henricksen, J. , Indulska, “Developing Context-Aware Pervasive Computing Applications: Models and Approach”, Pervasive and Mobile Computing 2, pp. 37 37-64, 2006
Context of use
Context of use for a product: the goals of the user community, and the main user, task and environmental characteristics of the situation in which it will be operated.


  • Martin Maguire, “Context of Use within usability activities”, Int. J. Human-Computer Studies, Vol. 55, pp. 453-483, 2001.
Context reasoning
See Context refinement
Context refinement
Context refinement can be any method that accesses available context information of any kind and refines/enriches it, with the right quality and relevance. It is any process that creates new knowledge based on available context information.


  • Frank K., Robertson R., Mcburney S., Kalatzis N., Roussaki I., Marengo M., “A Hybrid Preference Learning and Context Refinement Architecture”, 2009.
Cooperating Smart Space
A CSS represents a single participant (user or organisation), and includes their information, and services within a distributed collection of CSS Nodes. It provides both a pervasive capability and a social networking capability in an integrated form. A CSS can be associated to zero or more Community Interaction Spaces (CIS), which are a representation of multi-participant community. A CSS can interact, communicate, or share directly with another CSS, not mediated by a CIS.
Crowd computing
Crowd computing is an overarching term that defines the plethora of human interaction tools that enable idea sharing, non-hierarchical decision making and the full utilisation of the world’s mind space. Examples of these tools (many falling under the Web2.0 umbrella) include collaboration packages, information sharing software, such as wikis, blogs, alerting systems, social networks, SMS, MMS, Twitter, Flickr, MS SharePoint, and even mashups.


  • J. Surowiecki, “The Wisdom of Crowds”, New York: Random House, Inc, 2005


Data protection legislation
For an annotated list of the data European Union protection laws and directives, as well as pdf files of their contents, see the website of EDPS: European Data Protection Supervisor:

Database management system
A database management system (DBMS) is a set of software tools designed and implemented in order to assist the maintenance and utilisation of large collections of data.


  • Database Management Systems, by Raghu Ramakrishnan, Johannes Gehrke, McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math, 3rd edition, 2002.
Dependability is a value showing the reliability of a person to others because of his/her integrity, truthfulness, and trustfulness, traits that can encourage someone to depend on him/her. Dependability as applied to a computer system is defined as the trustworthiness of a computing system which allows reliance to be justifiably placed on the service it delivers.


  • J.C. Laprie, “Dependability: Basic Concepts and Terminology”, Springer-Verlag, 1992
Deployment Architecture
A view of the proposed hardware that will make up the new system, together with the physical components that will execute on that hardware. Includes specifications for machine, operating system, network links, backup units &etc.
Deployment Model
A model of the system as it will be physically deployed
Device Management
Management of any sensor, actuator or display device that can be connected to a CSS node and manipulated or queried by the device manager drivers. Examples of such devices are RFID Sensors, display monitors, pressure pad sensors, actuators etc.(see Sensor, and Actuator).
Digital Identity Management
Identity management means managing various partial digital identities (usually denoted by digital pseudonyms) of an individual person, i.e., administration of identity attributes including the development and choice of the partial digital identity and digital pseudonym to be (re-)used in a specific context or role. Identity management is called privacy-enhancing if it sufficiently preserves unlinkability (as seen by an attacker) between the partial digital identities of an individual person. It involves the process of digital identity selection and the processes related with digital identity providers.


  • Pfitzmann, A., & Hansen, M. (2000-2010). A terminology for talking about privacy by data minimization: Anonymity, Unlinkability, Undetectability, Unobservability, Pseudonymity, and Identity Management.
Digital Identity Provider
A digital identity provider is an entity which provides basic services regarding the support of partial digital identities, namely authentication and identifier/pseudonym management, within some identity domain. In “Laws of Identity”, Kim Cameron chooses to not use the very generic “attribute values” used by Pfitzmann and Hansen, and instead defines digital identity as “a set of claims made by one digital subject about itself or another digital subject”. In this terminology, a digital identity provider is a digital subject that provides authentication and identification claims relatively to another digital subject. Relying parties that trust a digital identity provider can use such claims to identify the user.

Digital Identity Selection
Digital identity selection is the process of selecting the most appropriate partial digital identity for interacting with some service or resource. For this to happen information related to the various partial digital identities of an individual person has to be available. Consequently, in order to preserve as much as possible the linkability information between different partial digital identities, this process should take place in an environment accessible (as much as possible) only to the user. The most appropriate partial digital identity is typically the one that minimizes partial digital identity linking risk and data disclosure while satisfying the requirements of the operation to be performed on that service or resource.


  • Pfitzmann, A., & Hansen, M. (2000-2010). A terminology for talking about privacy by data minimization: Anonymity, Unlinkability, Undetectability, Unobservability, Pseudonymity, and Identity Management.
  • Papadopoulou, E.; McBurney, S.; Taylor, N.; Williams, M.H.; , “Linking Privacy and User Preferences in the Identity Management for a Pervasive System,” Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology, 2008. WI-IAT ‘08. IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on , vol.1, no., pp.192-195, 9-12 Dec. 2008 doi: 10.1109/WIIAT.2008.331
Direct Trust
A trust relationship derived from the experiences of direct interactions between two parties can be characterised as direct trust.


  • T. Beth, M. Borcherding, and B. Klein, “Valuation of Trust in Open Networks,” European Symposium on Research in Security, Springer-Verlag, pp. 3-18, 1994.
  • J. Jiang, H. Bai, and W. Wang, “Trust and Cooperation in Peer-to-Peer Systems,” Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Grid and Cooperative Computing (GCC 2003), pp. 371-378, 2003.
Disaster management
Disaster management is a process or strategy that is implemented when any type of catastrophic event takes place. Sometimes referred to as disaster recovery management, the process may be initiated when anything threatens to disrupt normal operations or puts the lives of human beings at risk. Governments on all levels, as well as, many businesses create some sort of disaster plan that make it possible to overcome the catastrophe and return to normal function as quickly as possible.


  • Disaster management and preparedness, Thomas D. Schneid, Larry Collins, Lewis Publishers, 2001.


External Service
A service that has been developed independently from SOCIETIES and has no technical or functional dependency with it.


Federated Identity
In a digital identity provider scenario we have trust relationships between the relying parties and the digital identity providers. In a federated identity scenario we also have trust relationships between different digital identity providers. This enables entities using partial digital identities from different identity domains to interact.


Graphical User Interface
Is defined as:

  • An assemblage of persons or objects gathered or located together; an aggregation: a group of dinner guests; a group of buildings.



Hardware Manufacturers
A business role: These are device manufacturers, who are responsible for new intelligent devices or upgrading existing ones that could support the new applications, and sensor manufacturers, who are responsible for building, supplying or adjusting sensors to support context-aware applications.


Identifiability of a subject from an attacker’s perspective means that the attacker can sufficiently identify the subject within a set of subjects, the identifiability set. Identifiability is the negation of anonymity.

Associated with this concept is usually the identifier, which is a value that by itself identifies the subject from the set of all the subjects.


  • Pfitzmann, A., & Hansen, M. (2000-2010). A terminology for talking about privacy by data minimization: Anonymity, Unlinkability, Undetectability, Unobservability, Pseudonymity, and Identity Management.
Pfitzmann and Hansen define identity as any subset of attribute values of an individual person which sufficiently identifies this individual person within any set of persons. So usually there is no such thing as “the identity”, but several of them. Identity enables both to be identifiable as well as to link (some) Items Of Interest (IOIs – messages, information, …). Formally speaking, identity can be explained and defined as a property of an entity in terms of the negation of anonymity and the negation of unlinkability.

Philosophically, Identity is what defines if one entity is the same as other or not. It is also a social construct of how we see ourselves and, probably more importantly, how others see us. This concept of identity distinguishes between “I” and “Me”. For more on this refer to George H. Mead: Mind, Self and Society; Chicago Press 1934


  • Pfitzmann, A., & Hansen, M. ( 2000-2010). A terminology for talking about privacy by data minimization: Anonymity, Unlinkability, Undetectability, Unobservability, Pseudonymity, and Identity Management.
Identity Domain
An identity domain is a subject identifier namespace administered by one entity, typically the digital identity provider. Subjects can authenticate with the administering entity w.r.t. identifiers that belong to the domain it administers. Subjects that are authenticated with the administering entity inherently trust it to provide claims about other subjects authenticated in the same domain. They may perform the role of relying parties towards the trusted party that authenticates them.
Identity Selection Preference
Identity Selection Preferences are used during the Digital Identity Selection process and suggest whether an identity should be used under the current context for a specific transaction. An identity selection preference is a type of privacy preference. An Identity Selection Preference is related to only one identity.


Indirect Trust
A trust relationship or a potential trust relationship built from recommendations by a trusted third party or a chain of trusted parties (trust path) is called indirect trust.


  • T. Beth, M. Borcherding, and B. Klein, “Valuation of Trust in Open Networks”, European Symposium on Research in Security, Springer-Verlag, pp. 3-18, 1994.
  • J. Jiang, H. Bai, and W. Wang, “Trust and Cooperation in Peer-to-Peer Systems,” Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Grid and Cooperative Computing (GCC 2003), pp. 371-378, 2003.
An integrator tests and validates the platform and third party services by specifying, implementing and executing integration tests. It is a technical role preformed by a person or group of people.
Infrastructure Providers
A business role: These are stakeholders that either provide the SOCIEITES platform or infrastructure that integrates with the SOCIETIES platform and/or provides data to the SOCIETIES platform. Examples include: CIS/SOCIETIES platform providers, CSS interactive devices providers, CSS providers, Conference CIS providers, Connectivity providers, Network infrastructure providers, etc.
Interoperability is a property referring to the ability of diverse systems and organizations to work together (inter-operate).


  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. IEEE Standard Computer Dictionary: A Compilation of IEEE Standard Computer Glossaries. New York, NY: 1990


Learning is acquiring new knowledge, behaviours, skills, values, preferences or understanding, and may involve synthesising different types of information. In computer science, it refers to the computer systems’ ability to evolve behaviours based on empirical data, such as from sensor data or databases.

A system self improves by employing mechanisms that allow it to learn how to tailor its behaviour to better meet the needs of the individual user based on previous user behaviour and contextual states.


  • Grusec, Joan E.; Hastings, Paul D., “Handbook of Socialization: Theory and Research”, Guilford Press, 2007
Location (physical)
A specific instance of dynamically derived context information that defines the physical whereabouts of the corresponding entity.


The team that produces, develops and maintains the SOCIETIES platform.
Mobile OS Providers
A business role: These companies are responsible for producing mobile operating systems that are capable of supporting or even make easier for the user to take advantage of the SOCIETIES features.
Multi-Domain Federated Identity
In a single identity domain scenario we have trust relationships between the digital subjects that authenticate within some domain and the entity that administers that domain, typically a digital identity provider. This is typically referred to as a form of federation in identity management. However, in a scenario with multiple identity domains openly communicating, the implications of the concept of federation become slightly different. Trust relationships between the different domain administering entities become necessary, first and foremost to transmit claims that identify subjects across these identity domains.


Online community
An online community is a virtual community that exists online whose members enable its existence through taking part in membership rituals. An online community can take the form of an information system where anyone can post content, such as a Bulletin board system or one where only a restricted number of people can initiate posts, such as Weblogs. Online communities have also become a supplemental form of communication between people who know each other primarily in real life.


  • Kim, A.J., “Community Building on the Web : Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities”, Peachpit Press, 2000
Operating System
Is software that runs on computers, it manages its hardware resources, and it provides common services for the execution of application software.
A Business role: These are existing stakeholders that are expected to gain profit by introducing CIS into their business. These can be, for example, small-medium businesses that want to better identify relevant customers and provide additional focused services and benefits to them or aid organizations that can gain from faster assessment of situations using wisdom of the crowd. Example stakeholders: public transport companies, sport facility centres, theatre-halls, conference centres, government agencies, centres for satellite based crisis information, end user’s companies, restaurants, university management offices, sponsor companies, etc.


Partial Digital Identity
A partial identity is a (linkable) subset of attribute values of a complete identity, where a complete identity is the union of all attribute values of all identities of this person. Whereas we assume that an “identity” sufficiently identifies an individual person (without limitation to particular identifiability sets), a partial identity may not do so. A partial digital identity is the digital representation of a partial identity. Whenever we speak of digital identity, we peak of partial digital identity since the strict definitions of digital identity and complete digital identity are not useful.

A digital pseudonym might be an identifier for a partial digital identity. Re-use of the partial identity with its identifier(s), e.g., a pseudonym, supports continuity in the specific context or role by enabling linkability with, e.g., former or future messages or actions. Furthermore, it provides the possibility to authenticate w.r.t. the partial digital identity.


  • Pfitzmann, A., & Hansen, M. (2000-2010). A terminology for talking about privacy by data minimization: Anonymity, Unlinkability, Undetectability, Unobservability, Pseudonymity, and Identity Management.
It is used to refer to a single user or organisation which is contained within a collection.
Personal Data
Personal Data According to Article 2 (a) of Regulation (EC) No 45/2001: “Any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person, referred to as “data subject” – an identifiable person is someone who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identification number or to one or more factors specific to his or her physical, physiological, mental, economic, cultural or social identity”.

The name and the social security number are two examples of personal data which relate directly to a person. But the definition also extends further and also encompasses for instance e-mail addresses and the office phone number of an employee. Other examples of personal data can be found in information on physical disabilities, in medical records and in an employee’s evaluation.
Personal data which is processed in relation to the work of the data subject remain personal/individual in the sense that they continue to be protected by the relevant data protection legislation, which strives to protect the privacy and integrity of natural persons. As a consequence, data protection legislation does not address the situation of legal persons (apart from the exceptional cases where information on a legal person also relates to a physical person).


Personal Smart Space
A Personal Smart Space (PSS) is defined by a set of services within a dynamic space of connectable devices where the set of services are owned/controlled or administered by a single user or organisation. It facilitates interactions with other PSSs, is self-improving and capable of pro-active behaviour. A PSS has the following characteristics:

  • it is user centric and can move with the user.
  • it has an “owner”, the person or legal entity on whose behalf the smart space operates.
  • it respects the privacy of the user and guards personal information disclosure.
  • it allows services and applications to be shared with other PSSs.
  • it supports operation in an ad-hoc environment.
  • it learns from previous interactions, to partially automate recurring tasks or actions or suggest alternates.
  • it allows 3rd party applications deployed to a PSS to adapt to the current situation and context.


  • I. Roussaki, N. Kalatzis, K. Doolin, N. K. Taylor, G. Spadotto, N. Liampotis, M. H. Williams, “Self-improving personal smart spaces for pervasive service provision”, Towards the Future Internet, IOS Press, 2010, pp. 193-203
Personalisation involves the use of technology to accommodate the differences between individuals and the unique characterization of a person’s needs and expectations from an environment/situation.

Personalisation is the set of processes that adapt the behaviour of a system so it appears differently to different users or to the same user in different contexts. By “appears” we mean more than just the colour of the screen but the way in which the system reacts to the user. This includes the services it selects, chosen devices, how services are manipulated at runtime and any automatic triggering it may do on the user’s behalf.


  • Sarah McBurney, M. Howard Williams, Nick K. Taylor, Eliza Papadopoulou, “Managing User Preferences for Personalization in a Pervasive Service Environment”, Advanced International Conference on Telecommunications, p. 32, The Third Advanced International Conference on Telecommunications (AICT’07), 2007
  • Haag et al., Management Information Systems for the Information Age, 3rd edition, 2006.
Pervasive Infrastructure
Pervasive infrastructure is the hardware and software requirements in order to fulfil the pervasive computing paradigm centred on a high-level conceptual model consisting of devices, users, software components and user interfaces. It is a collection of hardware elements and software components provided by possibly different providers, enabling network connectivity, context-awareness, and various businesses or other kind of logic on a relatively large scale, usually hosted by immovable in public places or private corporations.


  • Karen Henricksen, Jadwiga Indulska and Andry Rakotonirainy, “Infrastructure for Pervasive Computing: Challenges”
Pervasive community
A pervasive community is a group of, two or more, individuals who have agreed to share some, but not necessarily all, of their pervasive resources – personal information, context data, services, devices – with other members of that community. A pervasive community, once constituted, forms a Community Interaction Space (CIS). There is a one-to-one mapping between pervasive communities and CISs.

Members of a pervasive community interact with a CIS via their own personal Co-operating Smart Space (CSS). There is a one-to-one mapping between individuals and CSSs. The only way in which an individual can participate in a CIS is via their CSS but they can also interact with other CSSs without having to form pervasive communities or create CISs. Individuals may belong to any number of pervasive communities, and thus CISs, simultaneously. Individuals may also, of course, interact with other individuals without using CSSs by employing more traditional mechanisms.
The individual members of a pervasive community do not need to be human beings. They can also be organisations, smart space infrastructures, autonomous or semi-autonomous agents, etc. The key defining characteristic of a pervasive community member is the ability to provide and/or take advantage of pervasive technology. Thus, business enterprises, smart shopping malls, robotic companions, etc. can form pervasive communities with human beings or, indeed, with each other.
Pervasive communities can be dynamic in nature, with CISs being formed in an ad hoc fashion as and when required. They can also be created, or become, more permanent and continue to exist even when all the participating members, or their CSSs, are offline. Pervasive communities can also spawn sub-communities or merge with other communities.
The pervasive resources which can be shared via a CIS include, service provision, actuator control and both individual and community context information, preferences and behaviours.

A platform is a set of software components or hardware subsystems, with related technologies that provides a set of precise functionality defined via interfaces and usage patterns. Components supported by that platform can interact and execute without being aware for the details of how the functionality provided by the platform is implemented.
Platform / Core Service
Core Services are functional capabilities exposed by the platform itself. These are services packaged with the SOCIETIES platform, by the platform manufacturer.
Point of Interoperability
A Point of Interoperability (POI) is defined as a point in the architecture where information between two interoperable components is exchanged.
Preference could be conceived of as an individual’s attitude towards a set of objects, typically reflected in an explicit decision-making process. Alternatively, one could interpret the term “preference” to mean evaluative judgment in the sense of liking or disliking an object which is the most typical definition employed in psychology. However, it does not mean that a preference is necessarily stable over time. Preference can be notably modified by decision-making processes, such as choices, even in an unconscious way.


  • Lichtenstein, S., & Slovic, P., “The construction of preference”, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively. In computer science, privacy concerns exist wherever uniquely identifiable data relating to a person or persons are collected and stored. In some cases, these concerns refer to how data is collected, stored, and associated. In other cases the issue is who is given access to information. Other issues include whether an individual has any ownership rights to data about them, and/or the right to view, verify, and challenge that information.


  • D.J. Solove, M. Rotenberg, P.M. Schwartz, “Privacy, Information And Technology (Aspen Elective)” , Aspen Publishers, 2006
Privacy Policy
A privacy policy is a legal document that discloses some or all of the ways a party gathers, uses, discloses and manages a customer’s data. The exact contents of a privacy policy will depend upon the applicable law and may need to address the requirements of multiple countries or jurisdictions.


Privacy Policy Agreement
Privacy Policy Agreement is the document generated after a successful privacy policy negotiation and defines:

  • the list of data that the user will disclose to the service,
  • what operations (READ, WRITE, CREATE, DELETE) are allowed to be performed on each data item,
  • the conditions placed on the service with regard to the processing of each data item such as sharing with 3rd parties, data retention period, user’s right to opt-out etc

Both parties keep a copy of the Privacy Policy Agreement for auditing purposes

Privacy Policy Negotiation
Privacy policy negotiation is the process of making a mutual agreement between the privacy policy of a service provider and the privacy policy of a service consumer.


Privacy Preference
A Privacy Preference expresses the user’s wishes with regards to his privacy, that is the disclosure of his personal data and their processing after disclosure. A Privacy Preference can be dependent on the user’s context and the requestor’s trust evaluation.
Pro-activity is the ability to being anticipatory and taking charge of situations, i.e. acting in anticipation of future problems, needs, or changes. Pro-activity should take decisions on behalf of the user in order to personalise services and environments.


  • R.J. Thierauf, “Effective Business Intelligence Systems”, Quorum Books, 2001


Quality of Context
Quality of Context (QoC) denotes a set of parameters, used to describe the quality of certain Context Information elements. Examples of QoC parameters include: Accuracy, Probability of Correctness, Reliability, Resolution, Timeliness, Frequency, Price, etc.


  • Tobias Zimmer, “Towards a Better Understanding of Context Attributes”. In Proceedings of PerCom 2004, pages 23-28, Orlando, USA, March 2004.


Reasoning is the process of looking conclusions or actions. In computer science, reasoning is the area dedicated to understanding different aspects of reasoning in a way that allows the creation of software which allows computers to reason completely or nearly completely, automatically.


  • J. Copeland, “Artificial Intelligence:a philosophical introduction”, Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.
Relief Worker
These end-users are assessment experts who arrive at a disaster scene, in order to assess damage, available resources, and so help coordinate the disaster relief actions. They are supported by experts located off-site (i.e. away from the disaster area) that coordinate the assessment from operation centres.
Reputation is the opinion (more technically, a social evaluation) of the group of entities toward a person, a group of people, or an organisation on a certain criterion. It is an important factor in many fields, such as education, business, online communities or social status. Reputation can be considered as a component of the identity as defined by others.


  • A. Ghose, P. G. Ipeirotis, and A. Sundararajan,”The Dimensions of Reputation in Electronic Markets”. NYU Center for Digital Economy Research, 2006
Is a service with a maximum constraint on the number of concurrent users. For example, a display may only be used by one user at a time. Thus it is termed a resource, but still is represented by a service. (Other physical constraints of a resource are handled by the service properties, and runtime behaviour) See Resource sharing for a more information.
Resource sharing
Resource sharing is required when two systems attempt to use the same service in parallel. It may be the case that only one system can use the service at a time in which case access to the resource must be shared. It can also be the case that multiple systems can use the service at a time but personalisation must be mediated to adapt the service to best meet the needs of all systems involved.

Resource sharing systems include peer to peer computing, utility computing, cluster computing, autonomic computing and grid computing, as well as, their field of applications. In pervasive computing, resource sharing implies the use of common computational or device sources such as processing power, storage, network bandwidth, printer usage, etc.

Within SOCIETIES, a CSS can be though of as a system, and the term used to represent the following behaviour: to grant specific usage rights to the specified service from other CSSs; and to announce the availability of a specified service to other CSSs.


  • Amgad Madkour, Sherif G. Aly, “Resource Sharing Systems: A Combinatorial Application to Pervasive Computing”, IEEE/ACS International Conference on Computer Systems and Applications, Amman, Jordan , May 2007.


Computer security is a branch of computer technology known as information security as applied to computers and networks. The objective of computer security includes protection of information and property from theft, corruption, or natural disaster, while allowing the information and property to remain accessible and productive to its intended users. The term computer system security means the collective processes and mechanisms by which sensitive and valuable information and services are protected from publication, tampering or collapse by unauthorised activities or untrustworthy individuals and unplanned events respectively. The strategies and methodologies of computer security often differ from most other computer technologies because of its somewhat elusive objective of preventing unwanted computer behaviour instead of enabling wanted computer behaviour.


  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. IEEE Standard Computer Dictionary: A Compilation of IEEE Standard Computer Glossaries. New York, NY
A sensor is a device that measures a physical quantity and converts it into a signal which can be read by an observer or by an instrument.


  • F. Zhao, L. Guibas, “Wireless Sensor Networks: An Information Processing Approach”, Morgan Kaufmann, 2004
Sensor network
A sensor network consists of spatially distributed autonomous sensors to cooperatively monitor physical or environmental conditions, such as temperature, sound, vibration, pressure, motion or pollutants, etc.


  • F. Zhao, L. Guibas, “Wireless Sensor Networks: An Information Processing Approach”, Morgan Kaufmann, 2004
A service is a mechanism to enable access to one or more capabilities, where the access is provided using a prescribed interface and is exercised consistent with constraints and policies as specified by the service description.
Service Consumers
A business role: The end users or entities using the final products and services.
Service Manifest
The Service Manifest is a machine readable information for 3rd party services and persists everything that is relevant to fully describe a service to the SOCIETIES platform.
Service Marketplace
A searchable index for CSSs when looking for services contained in a well-known Service Store
Service Producer
A business role: The developer or team of developers responsible for the production of a service. (see External Service, Third party Service).
Service Provider
A business role: These are stakeholders who make available software services for use by other parties. The can also act as service producers. These can be high-level services, addressed directly to end users, or low-level, for example middle-ware that enables the creation, deployment, and provision of complicated services. Example stakeholders: Enterprises or associations that want to provide services to affiliates. (see External Service, and Third Party service).
Service-oriented architecture
A service-oriented architecture (SOA) is essentially a collection of services. These services communicate with each other. The communication can involve either simple data passing or it could involve two or more services coordinating some activity. Some means of connecting services to each other is needed.


Smart Home Integrators
A business role: The companies building or equipping smart homes and deploying smart home services, providing their expertise to unify interoperability issues between devices and sensors from different hardware providers, services from different service providers, and a variety of technologies, offering ease of use and joined up solutions to the end user.
Smart space
A smart space is a collection of devices and software components which enable context-awareness and pro-actively adapt to user’s preferences.


  • I. Roussaki, N. Kalatzis, K. Doolin, N. K. Taylor, G. Spadotto, N. Liampotis, M. H. Williams, “Self-improving personal smart spaces for pervasive service provision”, Towards the Future Internet, IOS Press, 2010, pp. 193-203
Social Network Providers
A business role: Companies or individuals who operate an existing social network site e.g. Facebook, or new emerging social network sites, e.g. Diaspora. (see also Social Network Site)
Social Network Site
A social networking site (or service) is an electronic “place” where people interact and implement the principles of social computing, by employing and/or using services and participate in events and diverse activities.


  • L. Freeman, “The Development of Social Network Analysis”, Vancouver: Empirical Press, 2006
Social computing
Social computing is a general term for an area of computer science that is concerned with the intersection of social behaviour and computational systems. It is used in the following two ways. In the weaker sense of the term, social computing has to do with supporting any sort of social behaviour in or through computational systems. It is based on creating or recreating social conventions and social contexts through the use of software and technology. Thus, blogs, email, instant messaging, social network services, wikis, social bookmarking and other instances of what is often called social software illustrate ideas from social computing, but also other kinds of software applications where people interact socially. In the stronger sense of the term, social computing has to do with supporting “computations” that are carried out by groups of people. Examples of social computing in this sense include collaborative filtering, online auctions, prediction markets, reputation systems, computational social choice, tagging, and verification games.

  • L. Freeman, “The Development of Social Network Analysis”, Vancouver: Empirical Press, 2006
Software Provider
A business role: These are stakeholders who make available software services for use by other parties. The can also act as service producers. Example stakeholders: Enterprises or associations that want to provide services to affiliates. (see External Service, and Third Party service)
Synchronization Mark-up Language


Telco Operators
A business role: They provide the network infrastructure for supporting middleware and services.
Third Party Service
An extension or utilisation mechanism that can be used to add applications which interact with, or extend the services of the SOCIETIES platform. These are developed independently from the SOCIETIES platform and may have different licensing conditions. However, they have a technical or functional dependency on the SOCIETIES platform.
Third Party Service Provider
A business role: In the SOCIETIES context these are companies or individuals providing sets of 3rd party services that are integrated with the SOCIETIES platform. Such companies are usually operate in a specific business domain. Examples of these services include, electronic medical records services, emergency services, social shopping services, community service providers, etc.
Trust is the firm belief in the competence of an entity to act dependably, securely, and reliably within a specified context.

Trust is a subjective expectation an agent has about another’s future behavior based on the history of their encounters.


  • Grandison, T. and Sloman, M. (2000). A survey of trust in internet applications. IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials, 4(4):2-16.
  • Mui, L., Mohtashemi, M., and Halberstadt, A. (2002). A computational model of trust and reputation. In Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on System Science, pages 280-287.
Trust Management
Trust management was defined by Grandison as the “activity of collecting, encoding, analyzing and presenting evidence relating to competence, honesty, security or dependability with the purpose of making assessments and decisions regarding trust relationships”.


  • T. Grandison, “Trust Management for Internet Applications”, PhD thesis, Imperial College London, 2003.


Ubiquitous computing
Ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) is a post-desktop model of human-computer interaction in which information processing has been thoroughly integrated into everyday objects and activities. In the course of ordinary activities, someone “using” ubiquitous computing engages many computational devices and systems simultaneously, and may not necessarily even be aware that they are doing so. This model is usually considered an advancement from the desktop paradigm.

This paradigm is also described as pervasive computing, ambient intelligence, where each term emphasises slightly different aspects. When primarily concerning the objects involved, it is also physical computing, the Internet of Things, haptic computing, and things that think. Rather than propose a single definition for ubiquitous computing and for these related terms, a taxonomy of properties for ubiquitous computing has been proposed, from which different kinds or flavours of ubiquitous systems and applications can be described.


  • Satyanarayanan, M.: Pervasive computing: vision and challenges. IEEE Personal Communications Magazine, Vol. 8. ( 2001) 10-17.
  • G. D. Abowd and B. N. Schilit. Ubiquitous computing: the impact on future interaction paradigms and HCI research. In CHI ‘97: CHI ‘97 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems, pages 221-222, New York, NY, USA, 1997. ACM.
Use Case
A Use Case represents a discrete unit of interaction between a user (human or machine) and the system. A Use Case is a single unit of meaningful work; for example creating a train, modifying a train and creating orders are all Use Cases.

Each Use Case has a description which describes the functionality that will be built in the proposed system. A Use Case may ‘include’ another Use Case’s functionality or ‘extend’ another Use Case with its own behavior.
Use Cases are typically related to ‘actors’. An actor is a human or machine entity that interacts with the system to perform meaningful work.

Further qualified as:

  • End-user who has CSS related technology installed on their devices and use SOCIETIES and its services to interact with others via CIS’s or CSS’s directly. An end user can be specialised further for a particular domain (eg. see Relief worker).
  • Developer – See service producer definition, can be specialised further depending on the type of service eg. see Third Party Service, see External Service, or see Manufacturer for services included in the platform.
  • Organisation – A legal entity or group of people with a common identity and defined purpose.
  • Company – A legal entity with a common identity and affiliation eg. group of employees.
  • Integrator – See Integrator.
User Intent
The desired purpose, goal or aim of a end users behaviour (set of actions). Combining the user’s past actions with context snapshots can permit the discovery of past, and prediction of future end user goals. Within SOCIETIES this is an estimation of the end users true intent, which may never be divulged to the system.


Virtual community
A virtual community is a social network of individuals who interact through specific media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual interests or goals.


  • Kim, A.J., “Community Building on the Web : Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities”, Peachpit Press, 2000