Tutorial 4 (PM)
Developing Presence and Awareness Services

Prof. Ramiro Liscano

School of Information Technology and Engineering, University of Ottawa
Email: rliscano@site.uottawa.ca


About 10 years ago, voice communications was the dominant communication mode utilized by the public in order to achieve an immediate connection with another person. This, at times, was not very effective. Hence, voice mail was developed so that a person could leave a message. After the formation of the Internet, email has become as relevant and important for communications as has voice. In the past several years, a third mode of communication has emerged known as Instant Messaging (IM). It is a form of semi-synchronous mode of communication that bridges the gap between voice and email. This new communication service introduces two new distinct features that are not available in previous communication services. These are awareness of the availability of a person previous to attempting a call (this is what we term as presence and awareness) as well as text messaging that operates in a semi-synchronous manner (commonly referred to as Instant Messaging).

Presence and awareness communication services reverse the classical phone model where the originators of calls are blind to the receiver's availability and therefore encourage spontaneous communications. The result is that a whole new set of features and interactions exist that never existed in the old style of voice telephony.

This tutorial reviews protocols and platforms that can be used for presence and awareness. At the end of the tutorial, the participants should have a reasonable understanding of:

Although the talk will be a tutorial on Presence and Awareness protocols, it will also expose some research issues on presence and awareness policies by introducing a Presence and Availability Policy Language (PAPL) based on the IETF Call Processing Language (CPL) structure. 


Ramiro Liscano is Assistant Professor at the School of Information Technology and Engineering at the University of Ottawa. He has 18 years experience both in an industrial and government research environment in personal communication agents, spontaneous networking, service discovery, and distributed call control. As a senior research engineer with the Strategic Technology Group at Mitel Networks, he helped develop a Presence and Awareness platform that was the foundation for research in Ad hoc Communications. He received his Ph.D. from the Systems Design Engineering Dept. at the University of Waterloo in 1998. He is also an adjunct professor of the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University, and is a member of the IEEE and Professional Engineers of Ontario.