Welcome to

This Website is a platform for researchers and practitioners about user context. In our view, user context is the things that influence knowledge work. Through user observation a context-sensitive application can detect the user's current work context and support the user with suggestions and other services.

Context-awareness requires some sort of user observation (also called user logging). Therefore this website also hosts implementations for user observation components.

This website is not about theoretical issues of user context! Instead, it aims at discussing and gathering working code and schemas!


Implementations and projects that observe the user and collect user operations, and implementations that calculate the current user context, and applications that make use of this for the benefit of the end user.

The UserObservationHub is a small desktop service (daemon) that listens for NOP signals coming in and forwards them to projects that want to use context. It is the intermediate service connecting user observation projects with projects that want to use context.

Projects that observe the user

  • The Dragontalk project provides a set of extensions for the Mozilla products Thunderbird (email client) and Firefox (web browser).
  • Personal Activity Search Track is logging information like user's Web queries, clickthrough history, focus switching between different applications, timestamps for opening/closing/editing the text files and email messages, history of file renaming and moving, etc. There is a plugin for the UserObservationHub that reads the log files generated by the PAS and feeds them to NOPs.
  • WindowsFileSystemObserver checks changes in the filesystem. It is written in Java and uses JNIWrapper.
  • LoggerOutlook - a logger plugin for Outlook 2007

Projects that use context

  • UserWorkContext service in NEPOMUK. This service listens to the UOH signals and manages the user's work context threads. It should be used in coordination with UOH to get something useful.
  • MyMory project. This project is about various forms of context. Sven Schwarz developed algorithms and mathematics to represent context in MyMory, and the libraries of MyMory are used in NEPOMUK.


A goal of this community portal is to discuss and build up a UserContextOntology and NopOntology

  • UserContextOntology is a top-level RDF Schema for modeling and processing user context. Besides mere user context data the UserContextOntology also provides operators and comparators for that data. Hence, two parties can share their user context data and will be able to understand and process the user context information at least on the upper level we define here.
  • The NopOntology. A RDF Schema to model the native operations a user does when using a device. The ontology models generic information objects (file, website, mail) and operations on them (open, close, save something).

Related Documentats and Projects

Relevant Papers, workshops/proceedings, products, platforms, etc go here.

Persons involved in this project

  • Sven Schwarz (context elicitation, user observation plugins)
  • Philipp Mohr
  • Lorcan Coyle
  • Leo Sauermann (code contributions, nepomuk integration)
  • Julien Gaugaz (ontology modelling)
  • Gianluca Demartini (ontology modelling)
  • Michal Kopycki (author of PAS logger)

SVN, source-code, ontologies ("Browse Sources" button/tab at the top-right) allows browsing the "sources" (including ontologies and whatever data). Mind, that this should only be used for taking a short look or overview over what's there.

Working with the sources should be done using an SVN client (e.g. subclipse: an eclipse plugin, or svn: at the command line). The URL for the SVN repository is                to be used as repository in subclipse; alternatively:     for one specific project

As you can see, is used for SVN while is the webfrontend for SVN.

Mailing list

We have a mailing list now: usercontext@…

You can subscribe and unsubscribe here:

AboutTrac links to the original start wiki page of this TRAC framework.

Last modified 15 years ago Last modified on 04/28/09 11:49:21