Pervasive Computing: Vision and Challenges

M. Satyanarayanan


This paper discusses the challenges in computer systems research posed by the emerging field of pervasive computing. It first examines the relationship of this new field to its predecessors: distributed systems and mobile computing. It then identifies four new research thrusts: effective use of smart spaces, invisibility, localized scalability, and masking uneven conditioning. Next, it sketches a couple of hypothetical pervasive computing scenarios, and uses them to identify key capabilities missing from today’s systems. The paper closes with a discussion of the research necessary to develop these capabilities.