Tuplespace-based Coordination Infrastructures for Interactive Workspaces

Brad Johanson and Armando Fox

Submitted to the Journal of Systems and Software Special Issue on Application Models and Programming Tools for Ubiquitous Computing


The current interest in programming models and software infrastructures to support ubiquitous and environmental computing is heightened by the falling cost of hardware and the ubiquity of local-area wireless networking technologies. Interactive workspaces are technologically augmented team-project rooms that represent a specific sub-domain of ubiquitous computing. We argue both from related work and from our own experience with a prototype that the tuplespace model of communication forms a good basis for a coordination infrastructure for such workspaces. This paper presents the usage and characteristics expected of interactive workspaces, from which we derive a set of key system properties for any coordination infrastructure in an interactive workspace. We show that the design aspects of tuplespaces, augmented with some new extensions, yield a system model, which we call the Event Heap, that satisfies all of the desired properties. We also briefly discuss why other coordination models fall short of the desired properties, and describe our experience using our implementation of the Event Heap model. The paper focuses on a justification of the use of tuplespaces in interactive workspaces, and does not provide a detailed discussion of the Event Heap implementation or our more general experience with interactive workspaces, each of which is treated in detail elsewhere.


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