Mobile cloud computing
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Mobile Cloud Computing (MCC) is the state-of-the-art mobile distributed computing paradigm comprises three heterogeneous domains of mobile computing, cloud computing, and wireless networks aiming to enhance computational capabilities of resource-constrained mobile devices towards rich user experience. The ultimate goal of MCC is to enable execution of Rich Mobile Application on plethora of mobile devices with rich user experience. MCC provides business opportunities for mobile network operators as well as cloud providers. More comprehensively, MCC can be defined as "a rich mobile computing technology that leverages uniﬁed elastic resources of varied clouds and network technologies toward unrestricted functionality, storage, and mobility to serve a multitude of mobile devices anywhere, anytime through the channel of Ethernet or Internet regardless of heterogeneous environments and platforms based on the pay-as-you-use principle." MCC realizes its vision leveraging computational augmentation approaches by which resource-constraint mobile devices can utilize computational resources of varied cloud-based resources. In MCC, there are four types of cloud-based resources, namely distant immobile clouds, proximate immobile computing entities, proximate mobile computing entities, and hybrid (combination of the other three model). Giant clouds such as Amazon EC2 are in the distant immobile groups whereas cloudlet or surrogates are member of proximate immobile computing entities . Smartphones, tablets, handheld devices, and wearable computing devices are part of the third group of cloud-based resources which is proximate mobile computing entities.
Applications are run on a remote server and then sent to the user. Because of the advanced improvement in mobile browsers thanks to Apple, Google, Microsoft and Research in Motion, nearly every mobile should have a suitable browser. This means developers will have a much wider market and they can bypass the restrictions created by mobile operating systems.
Mobile applications are a rapidly developing segment of the global mobile market. They consist of software that runs on a mobile device and perform certain tasks for the user of the mobile phone. As reported by World Mobile Applications Market, about 7 billion (free and paid) application downloads were made globally in 2009 alone from both native and third-party application stores, generating revenues of $3.9 billion in the same year. The global mobile application market is expected to be worth $24.4 billion in 2015, growing at a CAGR of 64% from 2009 to 2015. Apple is a typical example for the explosion of mobile applications. Apple with a whopping more than 4 billion downloads to date commanded more than 90% of the application market share in 2009. The success of Apple’s App Store has not only established the scalability of mobile applications, but has also shown that the best of these offer the potential to generate enormous revenues.
The explosion in the use of electronic commerce (e-commerce) by the business sector has been tremendous since its inception only a few years ago. E-commerce is known as: buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. From governments to multinational companies to one-person start-ups, e-commerce is increasingly viewed as a key business modality of the future. Ease of transaction, widening markets, and decreased overheads are factors that make e-commerce solutions more and more attractive, as evident with the growth of on-line sales.
A new class of mobile applications, augmented reality (AR), has started to draw users’ attention. Wearable mobile devices, like gestural interface SixthSense and Google’s head-mounted display Project Glass, aim to blur the boundary between the cyber world and real world. For example, SixthSense can project augmented live news on a real-world newspaper; Google Glass can overlay wearers’ vision with map directions, calendar reminders, text messages, and so on. Augmented reality is also incorporated into mobile games, where virtual objects are projected into the real world so that users can interact with them. Nevertheless, algorithms in augmented reality are mostly resourceand computation-intensive, posing challenges to resource-poor mobile devices. These applications can integrate the power of the cloud to handle complex processing of aug- mented reality tasks. Specifically, data streams of the sensors on a mobile device can be directed to the cloud for processing, and the processed data streams are then redirected back to the device. It should be noted that AR applications demand low latency to provide a lifelike experience. In this sense, apart from exploiting cloud resources, a mobile device can also offload data processing to a nearby cloudlet or ad hoc mobile cloud as elaborated earlier to avoid unpredictable multihop network latencies.
Mobile learning today is becoming more popular as there are many people using mobile devices to enhance their learning. Mobile learning (m-learning) is not only electronic learning (e-learning) but e-learning plus mobility. It is clear that learning via mobile brings many benefits for mobile users. It brings the convenience for them since they can learn anywhere they want in any convenient time from a portable device. However, there is some research pointing out restrictions of traditional mobile learning such as: expensive mobile devices, high cost of network, poor network transmission rate, and limited educational resources. As a result, it is difficult for mobile learning to take full advantage and to be popular as well.
The development of telecommunication technology in the medical field helped diagnosis and treatment become easier for many people. This can help patients regularly monitor their health and have timely treatment. Also, it leads to an increase accessibility to healthcare providers, more efficient tasks and processes, and the improvement about quality of the healthcare services. Nevertheless it also has to face many challenges (e.g., physical storage issues, security and privacy, medical errors). Therefore cloud computing is introduced as a solution to address aforementioned issues. Cloud computing provides the convenience for users to help them access resources easily and quickly. Besides, it offers services on demand over the network to perform operation that meet changing needs in electronic healthcare applications.
The analysis of the impact of mobile computing on the various services shows how the mobile computing has changed each service. As mobile computing has become more popular over the past decade, it has been under continuous development with advances in hardware, software, and network. Mobile computing has various applications in our everyday life. Use of this technology has become a fundamental skill. With mobile computing we can check our email messages, our bills, our bank accounts, and our other private information just by using a mobile phone or laptop anywhere. All the functionalities obligate each exchange data to make it safe and immune from any attack. Mobile computing services have simplified our lives. Every day we get attached to a new device that includes a lot of functionalities and is based on mobile computing, as examples, BlackBerry from RIM, iPhone from Apple, Net-Book, etc.
In the MCC landscape, an amalgam of mobile computing,cloud computing, and communication networks (to augment smartphones) creates several complex challenges such as Mobile Computation Ofﬂoading, Seamless Connectivity,Long WAN Latency,Mobility Management,Context-Processing,Energy Constraint,Vendor/data Lock-in,Security and Privacy, Elasticity that hinder MCC success and adoption.
MCC is an emerging research area with significant research opportunities. Although significant research and development in MCC is available in the literature, still efforts in the following domains lacking:
- Architectural issues: A reference architecture for heterogeneous MCC environment is a crucial requirement for unleashing the power of mobile computing towards unrestricted ubiquitous computing.
- Energy-efficient transmission: MCC requires frequent transmissions between cloud platform and mobile devices, due to the stochastic nature of wireless networks, the transmission protocol should be carefully designed.
- Context-awareness issues: Context-aware and socially-aware computing are inseparable traits of contemporary handheld computers. To achieve the vision of mobile computing among heterogeneous converged networks and computing devices, designing resource-efﬁcient environment-aware applications is an essential need.
- Live VM migration issues:Executing resource-intensive mobile application via Virtual Machine(VM) migration-based application ofﬂoading involves encapsulation of application in VM instance and migrating it to the cloud, which is a challenging task due to additional overhead of deploying and managing VM on mobile devices.
- Mobile communication congestion issues: Mobile data trafﬁc is tremendously hiking by ever increasing mobile user demands for exploiting cloud resources which impact on mobile network operators and demand future efforts to enable smooth communication between mobile and cloud endpoints.
- Trust, security, and privacy issues: Trust is an essential factor for the success of the burgeoning MCC paradigm.
Worldwide MCC Research Groups
Several academic and industrial research groups in MCC have been emerging since last few years. Some of the most vibrant MCC research groups in academia with large number of researchers and publications are as follows.
- MobCC lab, Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, University Malaya. The lab was established in 2010 under the High Impact Research Grant, Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia. It has 17 researchers and has track of 22 published articles in international conference and peer reviewed CS journals. Further information is available here
- ICCLAB, Zürich University of Applied Sciences has a segment working on MCC. The InIT Cloud Computing Lab is a research lab within the Institute of Applied Information Technology (InIT) of Zürich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). It is to the fore-front of cloud research and covers large topic areas across the entire Cloud Computing technology stack and value proposition.
- More Groups may appear soon.
- Abolfazli, Saeid; Sanaei, Zohreh; Ahmed, Ejaz; Gani, Abdullah; Buyya, Rajkumar (1 July 2013). "Cloud-Based Augmentation for Mobile Devices: Motivation, Taxonomies, and Open Challenges". IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials 99 (pp): 1–32. doi:10.1109/SURV.2013.070813.00285.
- Fangming Liu, Peng Shu, Hai Jin, Linjie Ding, Jie Yu, Di Niu, Bo Li, "Gearing Resource-Poor Mobile Devices with Powerful Clouds: Architecture, Challenges and Applications";, IEEE Wireless Communications Magazine, Special Issue on Mobile Cloud Computing, vol. 20, no. 3, pp.14-22, June, 2013.
- Abolfazli, Saeid; Sanaei, Zohreh; Gani, Abdullah; Xia, Feng; Yang, Laurence T. (1 September 2013). "Rich Mobile Applications: Genesis, taxonomy, and open issues". Journal of Network and Computer Applications. doi:10.1016/j.jnca.2013.09.009.
- Sanaei, Zohreh; Abolfazli, Saeid; Gani, Abdullah; Buyya, Rajkumar (1 January 2013). "Heterogeneity in Mobile Cloud Computing: Taxonomy and Open Challenges". IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials (99): 1–24. doi:10.1109/SURV.2013.050113.00090.
- Fernando, Niroshinie; Seng W. Loke, Wenny Rahayu (2013). "Mobile cloud computing: A survey". Future Generation Computer Systems 29: 84–106.
- Peng Shu, Fangming Liu, Hai Jin, Min Chen, Feng Wen, Yupeng Qu, Bo Li, "eTime: Energy-Efficient Transmission between Cloud and Mobile Devices", in Proc. of IEEE INFOCOM (Mini-conference), Italy, April, 2013.
- Fangming Liu, Peng Shu, "eTime: Energy-Efficient Mobile Cloud Computing for Rich-Media Applications", IEEE COMSOC MMTC E-Letter (IEEE Communications Society, Multimedia Communications Technical Committee), vol. 8, no. 1, January 2013.
- "MobCC Lab". University Malaya. Retrieved 18 Aug 2013.
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