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Context-Based Network Estimation for Energy-Efficient Ubiquitous Wireless Connectivity

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2 Author(s)
Rahmati, A. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Rice Univ., Houston, TX, USA ; Lin Zhong

Context information brings new opportunities for efficient and effective system resource management of mobile devices. In this work, we focus on the use of context information to achieve energy-efficient, ubiquitous wireless connectivity. Our field-collected data show that the energy cost of network interfaces poses a great challenge to ubiquitous connectivity, despite decent availability of cellular networks. We propose to leverage the complementary strengths of Wi-Fi and cellular interfaces by automatically selecting the most efficient one based on context information. We formulate the selection of wireless interfaces as a statistical decision problem. The challenge is to accurately estimate Wi-Fi network conditions without powering up the network interface. We explore the use of different context information, including time, history, cellular network conditions, and device motion, to statistically estimate Wi-Fi network conditions with negligible overhead. We evaluate several context-based algorithms for the estimation and prediction of current and future network conditions. Simulations using field-collected traces show that our network estimation algorithms can improve the average battery lifetime of a commercial mobile phone for an ECG reporting application by 40 percent, very close to the estimated theoretical upper bound of 42 percent. Furthermore, our most effective algorithm can predict Wi-Fi availability for one and ten hours into the future with 95 and 90 percent accuracy, respectively.

Published in:

Mobile Computing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 1 )