UMBC ebiquity

Platys: From Position to Place in Next Generation Networks

Status: Past project

Project Description:

Platys is a collaborative research project between UMBC and groups at North Carolina State (led by Munindar Singh and Injong Rhee) and Duke (led by Romit Roy Choudhury) Universities. The group will share $1.8M in research funding from NSF's Network Science and Engineering program.

Platys will develop a high-level notion of 'context' that exploits the capabilities of next generation networks to enable applications that deliver better user experiences. In particular, it exploits mobile devices—always with a user -- to capture key elements of context: the user's location and, through localization, characteristics of the user’s environment. Current practice captures location at the level of position -- as geospatial coordinates. But what matters for experience is the user’s place: a location in conceptual terms such as “at home,” “jogging,” or “grocery shopping” -- descriptions that combine positions with activities, environmental properties, and the activities of other nearby people.

Realizing this notion of place requires that information from devices and infrastructure flow in ways unanticipated in current network architectures. It presumes enabling opportunistic interactions while preserving the users’ privacy and designing incentive mechanisms to promote cooperation without exploitation of any. The above architectural concerns lie far beyond traditional network topics such as routing.

Research at UMBC will focus on three areas: using Semantic Web technologies to develop the semantic models needed to represent a person's context and associated preferences, finding and exploiting the knowledge on the Web that can be used to infer context-related characteristics, and developing effective privacy preserving techniques and controls to protect users' privacy.

The overall project goal is to develop, demonstrate, and evaluate a novel network architecture that gives primacy to user experience. It will lead to theoretical advances in semantic context modeling, mobility tracking at multiple levels of abstraction, collaborative localization, and incentive mechanisms. Networked applications offering enhanced user experience will have significant payoffs for industry and the productivity and quality of life of citizens. A prototype system will implement and evaluate context-aware services in university settings with prospects of expansion to K-12 schools and public facilities.

Start Date: September 2009

End Date: August 2014

Principal Investigator:
Tim Finin
Anupam Joshi

Affiliated Faculty:
Laura Zavala

Prajit Kumar Das
Radhika Dharurkar
Dibyajyoti Ghosh
Pramod Jagtap
Arnav Joshi
Wenjia Li
Primal Pappachan

Tags: mobile computing, context, privacy, semantic web


There are 14 associated publications:  Hide the list...

13 Refereed Publications


1. Prajit Kumar Das, "Context-Dependent Privacy and Security Management on Mobile Devices", PhdThesis, Ph.D. Dissertation, August 2017, 51 downloads.


2. Prajit Kumar Das et al., "Capturing policies for fine-grained access control on mobile devices", InProceedings, 2nd IEEE International Conference on Collaboration and Internet Computing (CIC 2016), Pittsburgh, PA, USA, November 1-3, 2016, November 2016, 229 downloads.

3. Prajit Kumar Das et al., "Preserving User Privacy and Security in Context-Aware Mobile Platforms", InBook, Mobile Application Development, Usability, and Security, October 2016, 227 downloads.

4. Prajit Kumar Das et al., "Semantic knowledge and privacy in the physical web", InProceedings, Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Society, Privacy and the Semantic Web - Policy and Technology (PrivOn2016) co-located with 15th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2016), October 2016, 418 downloads.

5. Prajit Kumar Das et al., "Context-Sensitive Policy Based Security in Internet of Things", InProceedings, 2016 IEEE International Conference on Smart Computing (SMARTCOMP), May 2016, 627 downloads.


6. Primal Pappachan et al., "Mobipedia: Mobile Applications Linked Data", InProceedings, 14th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2015), Bethlehem, PA (USA), October 2015, 378 downloads.


7. Primal Pappachan et al., "A Semantic Context-Aware Privacy Model for FaceBlock", InProceedings, Second International Workshop on Society, Privacy and the Semantic Web - Policy and Technology (PrivOn 2014), Riva del Garda (Italy), October 2014, 913 downloads.


8. Prajit Kumar Das et al., "Energy efficient sensing for managing context and privacy on smartphones", InProceedings, First Workshop on Society, Privacy and the Semantic Web - Policy and Technology (PrivOn 2013) co-located with the 12th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2013), Sydney, Australia., October 2013, 607 downloads.


9. Dibyajyoti Ghosh et al., "Privacy control in smart phones using semantically rich reasoning and context modeling", InProceedings, Proceedings of the IEEE Workshop on Semantic Computing and Security, May 2012, 772 downloads.


10. Pramod Jagtap et al., "Preserving Privacy in Context-Aware Systems", InProceedings, Proceedings of the Fifth IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing, October 2011, 1082 downloads.

11. Laura Zavala et al., "Mobile, Collaborative, Context-Aware Systems", InProceedings, Proceedings of the AAAI Workshop on Activity Context Representation: Techniques and Languages , August 2011, 1916 downloads.

12. Pramod Jagtap, "Privacy Preservation in Context Aware Systems", MastersThesis, , May 2011, 952 downloads.


13. Palanivel Andiappan Kodeswaran et al., "A Declarative Approach for Secure and Robust Routing", InProceedings, Proceedings of the 3rd ACM Workshop on Assurable & Usable Security Configuration , October 2010, 1256 downloads.

1 Non-Refereed Publication


1. Pramod Jagtap et al., "Privacy Preservation in Context Aware Geosocial Networking Applications", TechReport, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, May 2011, 1311 downloads.


There are 4 associated resources:  Hide the list...

1. Context-Aware Policies for Privacy on Mobile Devices , Presentation.

2. Context-Dependent Privacy and Security Management on Mobile Devices, Presentation.

3. Context-Dependent Privacy and Security Management on Mobile Devices, Presentation.

4. UMBC IOT Android client, Source Code.


Research Areas:
 Context-Aware Computing
 Machine learning
 Mobile Computing
 Networking and systems
 Pervasive computing
 Security, Trust and Privacy