Many areas of private and personal life are already pervaded by IT applications. The Internet has become a part of everyday life for many people. More and more mobile phones allow high-speed Internet access. Social networks have influenced the nature of connections between people and will continue to enrich our lives with new forms of communication, coordination and interaction. The computerization and networking of everyday life is progressing continuously and rapidly.

The visionary Mark Weiser wrote: Ubiquitous computing technologies “weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it”. Thus, the provision and processing of information will be part of the surrounding infrastructure. Information and services will be ubiquitously available. The technology moves into the background and offers customized services adapted to the needs of the user.

From a technical perspective, ubiquitous computing (UC) leads to context-aware applications that adapt dynamically to their runtime environment in order to provide the user with services that are tailored to the particular situation. Hence, ubiquitous computing and self-adaptivity go hand in hand. This implies a variety of technical and non-technical consequences. The ubiquitous availability of services and the associated self-adaptation of applications create new challenges that clearly are not only technical in nature.


The goal of VENUS is to explore the design process of future networked, ubiquitous systems, which are characterized by situation awareness and self-adaptive behavior. The project will explore and extend the foundations of such systems and will in particular develop a design methodology that supports the development of socially acceptable ubiquitous computing applications, i.e. applications that not only satisfy the functional requirements but also comply with the given user requirements in terms of usability, trust, legal regulations and so on. Thus, VENUS focuses on the interactions between the new technology, the individual user and the society. The long-term goal of VENUS is the creation of a comprehensive interdisciplinary development methodology for the design of ubiquitous computing systems.


To address the technical and non-technical requirements the VENUS project is carried out by an interdisciplinary research team. The following disciplines and research groups are involved:

Computer Science

  • Software Engineering for UC, N.N.


Information Systems


  • Public Law particulary Environmental Law and Technology Law, Prof. Dr. Alexander Roßnagel

Work Program

VENUS addresses foundations, design methodology, and evaluation of context-aware, self-adaptive ubiquitous computing applications that comply with technical as well as non-technical requirements. The work program is structured into three activity groups, i.e. Foundations, Methodology, and Laboratory.

In Foundations we will build on and extend the state of the art in each of the involved research areas in view of the particular requirements of situative ubiquitous computing applications.

In Methodology we will develop a common, interdisciplinary design methodology that covers all phases of the software lifecycle. The unique distinctive characteristic of this methodology will be the integration of non-technical, i.e. social concerns right from the start of the development process.

In the Laboratory we will do practical experiments with the new design methodology, build and thoroughly evaluate demonstrators of innovative context-aware, self-adaptive ubiquitous computing applications.


The lack of a systematic development methodology that not only considers the technical requirements but also takes into account the social acceptability is a great challenge for the development of new technologies such as ubiquitous computing systems. VENUS will provide a comprehensive solution in form of an interdisciplinary and integrated methodology for the development of ubiquitous computing systems. This methodology will boost the development of new ubiquitous computing applications that meet the technical and non-technical user expectations.

Supporting Authorities

VENUS is a research cluster at the interdisciplinary Research Center for Information System Design (ITeG) at Kassel University, funded by the State of Hesse as part of the program for excellence in research and development (LOEWE).

Duration: 2010 - 2012

Contact Persons

  • Prof. Dr. Jan Marco Leimeister
  • Matthias Söllner