This third international workshop on Modeling and Retrieval of Context MRC 2006 was–again–a success. About 20 people participated in the workshop. This time even more emphasis was laid on discussions than on presentations. Seven papers were presented accompanied by a session with four posters and a demonstration session with six (!) applications (see agenda for details and presentation slides).
Day 1, as usual, was used to warm up to each other. We started with presentations and, as the first highlight, Anind Dey’s invited talk on „Usability in Context-Aware Applications“ where he gave a broad overview of his work at the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
As it is kind of tradition now in my workshops the participants collected topics of interest for discussion during and–that is always the hope!–after the workshop. Two topics were discussed: Context representation and context schema requirements (lead by Philipp Mohr) and Evaluation of context elicitation and context models (lead by Sven Schwarz and David Vallet). A short report on the results remains to be written and put up on the workshop website. It was nice to see groups of workshop participants sitting together during the main conference days discussing topics further.
Following another tradition of this workshop series most of us headed out for a joint dinner at a seafood restaurant called Barking Crab. This restaurant „with picnic table atmosphere“ was suggested by another passenger on the flight to Boston who happened to sit next to me on the plane and who grew up in Boston. Photos from this event will be put up on the workshop website. You will see that we all enjoyed the evening and the good food.
After getting to know each other a little bit better on the evening before, the next day started much easier as you can imagine. The main event on day 2 was the demo session. Each presenter described his demo briefly to the audience before each workshop participant could pick which demo he or she was most interested in. The demos then were presented and discussed in small groups.
The selected topics were intensely discussed in the afternoon before Sven Schwarz together with David Vallet and Philipp Mohr together with Richard Dapoigny presented preliminary results. As it turned out Sven’s and David’s topic could be laid to rest whereas more results are to be expected from the second group. Check the workshop website for more details later.
It is not yet clear whether there will be an MRC workshop in 2007. Stefan Schulz and I applied for hosting CONTEXT 2007 in Kaiserslautern. David Leake, who already organized MRC 2005 and 2006 with us, suggested this idea, backed up by Anind Dey and Roy Turner as we learned at the workshop. Keep your fingers crossed!