Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Ubicomp research project name collision

I find it interesting that Ubicomp and other computing researchers continually come up with the same names for their projects. For example, I found out today that HP Labs has a Personal Server project that sounds quite similiar to the Personal Server that Roy Want of Intel Research has been pushing for several years.

Similarly, Intel Research Seattle, where I work, has a project called Place Lab, which is a location-enhanced computing infrastructure that preserves privacy by computing a device's position using the ubiquitous radio beacons in the environment (e.g., WiFi access points). MIT has a Ubicomp project called Place Lab, which is an actual living laboratory for running “digital home” experiments (it is an apartment outfitted with sensors, cameras, etc.)

Does this cause a problem for the community?

Or does the project that has more research success swamp the poor souls who chose the same name?


cheesebikini said...

Welcome to the blogoverse, James!

Bill said...

After starting the XLibris project at Xerox we found somebody was using that name for vanity publishing and another company was using it for... erotica. Maybe we need to start RANA (Research Assigned Names Authority) like IANA!

Anonymous said...

XLibris is also used as a name for another research project (at Northwestern University's InfoLab). Jabberwocky represents yet another research project name "collision" (at Intel Research Berkeley and [again] the NWU InfoLab). As Bill once commented: "All good names get reused!".

I suspect that there probably is a process of "natural selection" that takes place with respect to any name and its association(s) ... I think there are more examples of this evolution in the acronym space, e.g., despite the growing success of Intel Research Seattle, most people probably associate "IRS" with another organization :-).

James: welcome to the blogosphere!