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Mobile user recovery in the context of Internet transactions

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5 Author(s)
D. VanderMeer ; Coll. of Comput., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA, USA ; A. Datta ; K. Dutta ; K. Ramamritham
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With the expansion of Web sites to include business functions, a user interfaces with e-businesses through an interactive and multistep process, which is often time-consuming. For mobile users accessing the Web over digital cellular networks, the failure of the wireless link, a frequent occurrence, can result in the loss of work accomplished prior to the disruption. This work must then be repeated upon subsequent reconnection - often at significant cost in time and computation. This "disconnection-reconnection-repeat work" cycle may cause mobile clients to incur substantial monetary as well as resource (such as battery power) costs. In this paper, we propose a protocol for "recovering" a user to an appropriate recent interaction state after such a failure. The objective is to minimize the amount of work that needs to be redone upon restart after failure. Whereas classical database recovery focuses on recovering the system, i.e., all transactions, our work considers the problem of recovering a particular user interaction with the system. This recovery problem encompasses several interesting subproblems: (1) modeling user interaction in a way that is useful for recovery, (2) characterizing a user's "recovery state", (3) determining the state to which a user should be recovered, and (4) defining a recovery mechanism. We describe the user interaction with one or more Web sites using intuitive and familiar concepts from database transactions. We call this interaction an Internet transaction (iTX), distinguish this notion from extant transaction models, and develop a model for it, as well as for a user's state on a Web site. Based on the twin foundations of our iTX and state models, we finally describe an effective protocol for recovering users to valid states in Internet interactions.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 2 )