Thomson, G. and Nixon, P. and Terzis, S. (2004) Towards ad-hoc situation determination. In: First International Workshop on Advanced Context Modelling, Reasoning And Management, 2004-01-01, Nottingham, England.
Toolkits such as PlaceLab  have been successful in making location information freely available for use in experimental ubiquitous computing applications. As users' expectations of ubiquitous computing applications grow, we envisage a need for tools that can deliver a much richer set of contextual information. The high-level situation of the current environment is a key contextual element, and this position paper focuses on a method to provide this information for an ad-hoc group of people and devices. The contributions of this paper are i) a demonstration of how information retrieval (IR) techniques can be applied to situation determination in context-aware systems, ii) a proposal of a novel approach to situation determination that combines these adapted IR techniques with a process of cooperative interaction, and iii) a report of preliminary results. The approach offers a high level of utility and accuracy, with a greater level of automation than other contemporary approaches.
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