Pervasive computing (PervComp) is one of the most challenging research topics nowadays. Its complexity exceeds the outdated main frame and client-server computation models. Its systems are highly volatile, mobile, and resource-limited ones that stream a lot of data from different sensors. In spite of these challenges, it entails, by default, a lengthy list of desired quality features like context sensitivity, adaptable behavior, concurrency, service omnipresence, and invisibility. Fortunately, the device manufacturers improved the enabling technology, such as sensors, network bandwidth, and batteries to pave the road for pervasive systems with high capabilities. On the other hand, this domain area has gained an enormous amount of attention from researchers ever since it was first introduced in the early 90s of the last century. Yet, they are still classified as visionary systems that are expected to be woven into people’s daily lives. At present, PervComp systems still have no unified architecture, have limited scope of context-sensitivity and adaptability, and many essential quality features are insufficiently addressed in PervComp architectures. The reference architecture (RA) that we called (PervCompRA-SE) in this research, provides solutions for these problems by providing a comprehensive and innovative pair of business and technical architectural reference models. Both models were based on deep analytical activities and were evaluated using different qualitative and quantitative methods. In this thesis we surveyed a wide range of research projects in PervComp in various subdomain areas to specify our methodological approach and identify the quality features in the PervComp domain that are most commonly found in these areas. It presented a novice approach that utilizes theories from sociology, psychology, and process engineering. The thesis analyzed the business and architectural problems in two separate chapters covering the business reference architecture (BRA) and the technical reference architecture (TRA). The solutions for these problems were introduced also in the BRA and TRA chapters. We devised an associated comprehensive ontology with semantic meanings and measurement scales. Both the BRA and TRA were validated throughout the course of research work and evaluated as whole using traceability, benchmark, survey, and simulation methods. The thesis introduces a new reference architecture in the PervComp domain which was developed using a novel requirements engineering method. It also introduces a novel statistical method for tradeoff analysis and conflict resolution between the requirements. The adaptation of the activity theory, human perception theory and process re-engineering methods to develop the BRA and the TRA proved to be very successful. Our approach to reuse the ontological dictionary to monitor the system performance was also innovative. Finally, the thesis evaluation methods represent a role model for researchers on how to use both qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate a reference architecture. Our results show that the requirements engineering process along with the trade-off analysis were very important to deliver the PervCompRA-SE. We discovered that the invisibility feature, which was one of the envisioned quality features for the PervComp, is demolished and that the qualitative evaluation methods were just as important as the quantitative evaluation methods in order to recognize the overall quality of the RA by machines as well as by human beings.


Computer Science & Engineering Department

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2017

First Advisor

Hosny, Hoda Mohamed

Committee Member 1

Shalan, Mohamed

Committee Member 2

El Kassas, Sherif


392 p.

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


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