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Volume 21 / Issue 12

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-021-12-1594


Extending Mobile Cloud Platforms Using Opportunistic Networks: Survey, Classification and Open Issues

Shantanu Pal (University of St Andrews, United Kingdom)

Abstract: With the tremendous growth of mobile devices, e.g, smartphones, tablets and PDAs in recent years, people are looking for more advanced platforms in order to use their computational applications (e.g., processing and storage) in a faster and more convenient way. In addition, mobile devices are capable of using cloud-based applications and the use of such technology is growing in popularity. However, one major concern is how to efficiently access these cloud-based applications when using a resource-constraint mobile device. Because it requires a continuous Internet connection which is difficult to obtain in challenged environments that lack an infrastructure for communication (e.g., in sparse or rural areas) or areas with infrastructure (e.g., urban or high density areas) with restricted/full of interference access networks and even areas with high costs of Internet roaming. In these situations the use of opportunistic networks may be extended to avail cloud-based applications to the user.

In this paper we explore the emergence of extending mobile cloud platforms using opportunistic networks. The motivation of this paper is twofold. First, we classify the available mobile cloud architectures according to their intent, the way they deliver services, and survey the state of the art research and issues related to their performance (e.g., battery power, storage capacity, bandwidth utilisation), environments (e.g., heterogeneity of networks, user's collaborations), robustness (e.g., scalability and availability of resources) and efficiency (e.g., context aware mobile services, access costs, energy consumption). Second, we devise a new `mobile-opportunistic collaborative cloud' (MoCC) architecture which enhances mobile cloud platforms using opportunistic networks. Next, we outline the open issues and future research directions that need to be improved upon for delivering a more scalable, location-aware and context based service to the users.

Keywords: challenged Environments, cloud-based applications, mobile devices, opportunistic networks

Categories: C.2.0, C.2.1, H.4.3