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Distinguished Lecture Series

Mostafa H. Ammar
Georgia Institute of Technology

Friday, October 5, 2012
3780 WEB
Refreshments 3:20p.m.
Lecture 3:40 p.m.

Title: Mobile Computing in Cirrus Clouds: The Challenge of Intermittent Connectivity

Mobile devices are increasingly being relied on for tasks that go beyond simple connectivity and demand more complex processing. Remote cloud resources are often used today to off-load the heavy lifting needed by mobile computation tasks. In this talk, I will first discuss some of the unique challenges inherent in mobile cloud computing and briefly survey some recent research that has addressed these challenges.

I will then make the observation that, in reality, a mobile device often encounters, sometimes intermittently, many entities capable of lending computational resources. I will give an overview of this environment, which we call a Cirrus Cloud due to its intermittent connectivity feature, and explain how it provides a spectrum of computational contexts for remote computation in a mobile environment. An ultimately successful system will need to have the flexibility to handle intermittent connectivity and use a mix of options on that spectrum. I will discuss our recent work in two scenarios at the extremes of this spectrum: 1) a scenario where a mobile device experiences intermittent connectivity to a central cloud computing resource, and 2) a scenario where a mobile device off-loads computation to other mobile devices it might meet intermittently. I will present preliminary designs, implementations, and evaluations of systems that enable a mobile application to use remote computational resources to speedup computing and conserve energy in these scenarios. I will conclude with a brief discussion of our plans for future research that aim to unify the treatment of all Cirrus Cloud contexts..

Mostafa Ammar is a Regents Professor with the School of Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been with Georgia Tech since 1985 and served as Associate Chair of the School of Computer Science from 2006 to 2012. Dr. Ammar received the S.B. and S.M. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978 and 1980, respectively and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in 1985. Dr. Ammar's research interests are in network architectures, protocols and services. He has contributions in the areas of multicast communication and services, multimedia streaming, content distribution networks, network simulation and, most recently, in disruption-tolerant networks and virtual network design. He has published extensively in these areas. To date, 29 PhD students have completed their degrees under his supervision; many have gone on to distinguished careers in academia and industry. Dr. Ammar has served the networking research community in multiple roles. Most notably, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking (ToN) from 1999 to 2003, and he was the co-TPC Chair for the IEEE ICNP 1997, ACM CoNEXT 2006 and ACM SIGMETRICS 2007 conferences. He served on the steering commitee of ToN from 2005-2012 and currently serves on the steering committee of CoNEXT. His awards include the IBM Faculty Partnership Award (1996), Best Paper Award at the 7th WWW conference (1998), the Georgia Tech Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Advisor Award (2006), the Outstanding Service Award from the IEEE Technical Committee on Computer Communications (2010), and the ACM Mobihoc Best Paper Award (2012). Dr. Ammar was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 2002 and Fellow of the ACM in 2003.

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