I just attended and presented a paper about ErdOS architecture in MobiArch'11, a workshop that this year was colocated with MobiSys. There were 7 presentations and they covered topics such as Multipath TCP, energy efficiency at different layers on a mobile handset and MANETs.

The first session was completely focused on multipath TCP. Cristopher Pluntke from UCL showed how Multipath TCP can reduce the energy consumption of mobile devices by trying to combine the best of cellular networks and WiFi worlds. In particular, their complementary power modes. The main component of their system is an scheduler (a Markov Decision Process) that takes into exploits a fairly accurate power model of both WiFi and Cellular interfaces to efficiently switch between these two interfaces to minimise the energy cost. As the author highlighted, this energy model is hardware dependent. Nevertheless, my feeling is that this system tries to make an optimal and efficient usage of all the available wireless interfaces without necessarily taking advantage of them simultaneously. In his own words, both the scheduler and the model can be extended, so they can consider other aspects such as network latency and the SNR of the link in order to take better decisions. The second presentation in this session was done by Costin Raiciu (University Politehnica Bucharest). In his paper Opportunistic Mobility with Multipath TCP, he suggests that the best layer to handle mobility is at the transport layer and Multipath TCP can play an important role to solve some of the issues related with mobility. One of the arguments of the papers is that, in addition to achieve a better throughput and support both IPv4 and IPv6 links, it can also provide energy savings. They carefully evaluated the overhead of supporting MPTCP on the mobile handset in terms of CPU, network and memory.

The second session was mainly about MANETs and how they can be integrated into a future mobile Internet architecture. The first talk was by David Bild (University of Michigan) about Using predictable mobility patterns to support scalable and secure MANETs of Hanheld devices. The paper looks more like a positioning paper and, in his opinion, location-centric networking can provide secure communications, specially in the case of personal communications between friends and family. His argument is supported by Barabasi's study about the predictability of human mobility so location can solve some of the open security issues in MANETs. The second paper was entitled GSTAR: Generalized Storage-Aware Routing for MobilityFirst in the Future Mobile Internet, presented by Samuel Nelson (Rutgers University). This paper is part of MobilityFirst Project and it clearly reminded me of a combination of Haggle-project with Content-centric networks. The authors consider that the fixed-host/server model that has dominated the Internet since its conception needs to evolve and it must consider mobility as a core component. Consequently, they suggest that giving support to DTNs/ad-hoc nets and Content-Centric networks will be necessary. Some of the problems they aim to address are host and network mobility (how can entities stay reachable), varying levels of wireless link quality (higher-level protocols respond), varying levels of connectivity (can disconnection be handled within the network itself?) and multi-homing. They propose that the naming system (also for content) must be human readable and context-based. They also aim to include intelligence in the network by providing it with resources and by increasing the possible routing options such as seamless routing protocols for local scale routing.

The last paper in this session was not completely in the scope of MANETs. Hossein Falaki (UCLA) presented SystemSens, an interesting tool for monitoring usage in smartphone research deployments. Despite its similarities with Device Analyzer (the work by Daniel Wagner and Andrew Rice, DTG group), SystemSens is considered mainly as a debugging tool. This application (runs as a background service and does not require rooting the handsets) can help developers to better understand the impact of their applications on a real systems on the wild before making a final deployment. It monitors variables that range from battery usage to CPU load and network state. The traces are initially logged locally on a SQL DB and then uploaded to a server. Developers can consequently identify unexpected behavior from the users and application and they can also identify bugs.

The final session was about energy efficiency. Hao Liu from Tsinghua University presented TailTheft, a paper related to TailEnder and TOP. This approach is not exclusively based on reducing the number of tails (i.e. the FACH power state on cellular networks) and on reducing the duration of the tail as the previous ones. In this case, the authors propose creating virtual tails to allow the system prefetching and deferring transfers via a dual queue scheduling algorithm. Applications can, in fact, predict its future transmission with a reasonable accuracy so this solution is conceived as an application-layer optimisation.  

Finally, the last presentation of the workshop was our ErdOS project. In our case, we propose a different approach to save energy at the operating system level by extending the duration of time that resources can remain in low power modes with two techniques:
a) by predicting when they are going to be accessed by applications and by predicting the state of the computing resources based on contextual information.
b) by enabling opportunistic access to resources available in co-located devices using low power interfaces such as bluetooth.

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