IEEE Communications Magazine

BusinessFinder: Harnessing presence to enable live yellow pages for small, medium and micro mobile businesses

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Applications leveraging network presence in next-generation cellular networks have so far focused on subscription queries, where "presence" information is extracted from specific devices and sent to entities who have subscribed to such presence information. In this article we present BusinessFinder, a service that leverages the underlying cellular presence substrate to provide efficient, ondemand, context-aware matching of customer requests to nomadic micro businesses as well as small and medium businesses having a mobile workforce. Presence, in the context of Business-Finder, is not simply limited to phone location and device status, but also encompasses dynamic attributes of vendors (both "mobile" and "static"), such as their current availability and workload, expertise and reputation. Besides presenting the architecture and implementation of BusinessFinder with a centralized source of context, we also describe early work on a novel resource-aware query routing algorithm that can efficiently support BusinessFinder query semantics in distributed presence environments of the future. © 2007 IEEE.