Mobile Digital Assistants for Community Support
We applied mobile computing to community support and explored mobile computing with a large number of terminals. This article reports on the Second International Conference on Multiagent Systems (ICMAS'96) Mobile Assistant Project that was conducted at an actual international conference for multiagent systems using 100 personal digital assistants (PDAs) and cellular telephones. We supported three types of service: (1) communication services such as e-mail and net news; (2) information services such as conference, personal, and tourist information; and (3) community support services such as forum and meeting arrangements. After the conference, we analyzed a large amount of log data and obtained the following results: It appears that people continuously used PDAs in their hotel rooms after dinner; e-mail services were used independently of the conference structure, but the load on information services reflected the schedule of the conference. Postquestionnaire data showed that our trial was considered interesting, although people were not fully satisfied with the PDAs and services provided. Participants showed a deep interest in mobile computing for community support.
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