An Integrated Architecture for Secure Information Discovery, Composition and Management in Pervasive Environments

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Computing in this day and age is on the way to becoming completely ubiquitous and pervasive. The computational capability of commonly used devices, like cellular phones and handhelds, and their ability to Wirelessly communicate with other devices are driving forces behind the progress of pervasive computing. Wireless technologies of the hour – the various flavors of the IEEE 802.11 standard and Bluetooth – are playing an important role in allowing the multitude of devices to spontaneously form short-range, short-term, ad-hoc networks. In order to support and maintain these networks, efficient routing and transport protocols are required. Much of the research in academia and industry has and continues to be focused on the development and improvement of these protocols. The next, and perhaps most important (from user perspective) step is for applications on the devices forming these networks to exchange information with one another. Unlike devices in infrastructure-based networks, however, those in ad-hoc networks are often restricted in terms of power and memory capabilities. These restrictions reduce the possibility that the devices can store all required information and services locally. Thus, in order to satisfy user requests, applications on a device must be able to discover information on other devices in the ad-hoc network. In some situations, information available on multiple devices must be composed together after being discovered before being presented to the user. Users often pose queries to applications, which in turn may query other applications in the ad-hoc network to eventually obtain an answer. Needless to say, all of these tasks must be performed in a secure manner.

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