CI-SUSTAIN: Collaborative Research: Sustaining Successful Smartphone Testbeds to Enable Diverse Mobile Experiments
Funding for this proposal was cut dramatically. As a result, only the lead organization (UB) received support from this award for the PhoneLab project and no support was provided to the University of Michigan for MobiLab. Due to the changes required by the lower funding level, only the public award abstract is included below and no copy of the proposal as submitted is provided. In this case, the public award abstract does a much better job of describing the reduced scope of the funded project.
Public Award Abstract
Today, smartphones are everywhere: connecting, informing, guiding, quantifying, and entertaining us. Vibrant smartphone software marketplaces put million of useful apps created by developers around the world at our fingertips. But while anyone can develop and deploy a smartphone app, apps rely on functionality provided by the underlying smartphone platform and operating system. The smartphone platform software is responsible conserving energy and prolonging battery lifetime, determining what network connection to use to balance speed and cost, accurately and efficiently determining the device’s location, and other critical tasks. How well it performs these functions affects all installed apps. And yet, the smartphone platform is closely controlled by smartphone vendors and so very difficult for researchers to modify or improve. PhoneLab addresses this experimental gap by allowing systems and networking researchers to modify the smartphone platform installed on several hundred users' primary smartphones.
PhoneLab consists of several hundred University at Buffalo affiliates who act as participants. Participants carry smartphones running a custom Android platform image maintained by PhoneLab administrators. The PhoneLab platform image is maintained in collaboration with the mobile systems and networking community. At any point it contains a mixture of instrumentation to generate datasets as well as novel features and new capabilities that are being evaluated. Once projects are reviewed for human subjects safety, researchers can download datasets generated by their experiments or by previous experiments. PhoneLab participants are incentivized to join ongoing experiments by a discounted service plan provided by Sprint. During this project period PhoneLab will be continuing to migrate from external to community sustainability while also improving our existing Android instrumentation.