ContextAlert: context‐aware alert mode for a mobile phone

Santi Phithakkitnukoon (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
Ram Dantu (University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)

International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications

ISSN: 1742-7371

Publication date: 7 September 2010



Mobile computing research has been focused on developing technologies for handheld devices such as mobile phones, notebook computers, and mobile IP. Today, emphasis is increasing on context‐aware computing, which aims to build the intelligence into mobile devices to sense and respond to the user's context. The purpose of this paper is to present a context‐aware mobile computing model (ContextAlert) that senses the user's context and intelligently configures the mobile phone alert mode accordingly.


The paper proposes a three‐step approach in designing the model based on the embedded sensor data (accelerometer, GPS antenna, and microphone) of a G1 Adriod phone. As adaptivity is essential for context‐aware computing, within this model a new learning mechanism is presented to maintain a constant adaptivity rate for new learning while keeping the catastrophic forgetting problem minimal.


The model has been evaluated in many aspects using data collected from human subjects. The experiment results show that the proposed model performs well and yields a promising result.


This paper is distinguished from other previous papers by: first, using multiple sensors embeded in the mobile phone, which is more realistic for detecting the user's context than having various sensors attached to different parts of user's body; second, by being a novel model that uses sensed contextual information to provide a service that better synchronizes the user's daily life with a context‐aware alert mode. With this service, the user can avoid the problems such as forgetting to switch to vibrate mode while in a meeting or a movie theater, and taking the risk of picking up a phone call while driving, and third, being an adaptive learning algorithm that maintains a constant adaptivity rate for new learning while keeping the catastrophic forgetting problem minimal.



Phithakkitnukoon, S. and Dantu, R. (2010), "ContextAlert: context‐aware alert mode for a mobile phone", International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 1-23.

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