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Towards a Distributed Platform for Resource- Constrained Devices

Messer, Alan; Greenberg, Ira; Bernadat, Philippe; Milojicic, Dejan; Chen, Deqing; Giuli, T.J.; Gu, Xiaohui

HPL-2002-26

Keyword(s): distributed platform; Java; resource constraints; mobile computing

Abstract: Many visions of the future predict a world with pervasive computing, where computing services and resources permeate the environment. In these visions, people will want to execute a service on any available device without worrying about whether the service has been tailored for the device. We believe that it will be difficult to create services that can execute well on the wide variety of devices that are being developed because of problems with diversity and resource constraints. We believe that these problems can be greatly reduced by using an ad-hoc distributed platform to transparently offload portions of a service from a resource-constrained device to a nearby server. We have implemented a preliminary prototype and emulator to study this approach. Our experiments show the beneficial use of nearby resources to relieve both memory and processing constraints, when it is appropriate to do so. We believe that this approach will reduce the burden on service developers by masking many of the details of device diversity, resource limitations, and resource fluctuations.

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