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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages 107-122

Semantic File Annotation and Retrieval on Mobile Devices

Sadaqat Jan, Maozhen Li, Ghaidaa Al-Sultany, Hamed Al-Raweshidy, and Ibrar Ali Shah

School of Engineering and Design, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, UK

Received 4 May 2011; Accepted 4 May 2011

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The rapid development of mobile technologies has facilitated users to generate and store files on mobile devices such as mobile phones and PDAs. However, it has become a challenging issue for users to efficiently and effectively search for files of interest in a mobile environment involving a large number of mobile nodes. This paper presents SemFARM framework which facilitates users to publish, annotate and retrieve files which are geographically distributed in a mobile network enabled by Bluetooth. The SemFARM framework is built on semantic web technologies in support of file retrieval on low-end mobile devices. A generic ontology is developed which defines a number of keywords, their possible domains and properties. Based on semantic reasoning, similarity degrees are computed to match user queries with published file descriptions. The SemFARM prototype is implemented using the Java mobile platform (J2ME). The performance of SemFARM is evaluated from a number of aspects in comparison with traditional mobile file systems and enhanced alternatives. Experimental results are encouraging showing the effectiveness of SemFARM in file retrieval. We can conclude that the use of semantic web technologies have facilitated file retrieval in mobile computing environments maximizing user satisfaction in searching for files of interest.