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Code In The Air: Simplifying Sensing and Coordination Tasks on Smartphones

Lenin S. Ravindranath, Arvind Thiagarajan, Hari Balakrishnan, Samuel Madden
HotMobile, La Jolla, CA, February 2012

A growing class of smartphone applications are tasking applications that run continuously, process data from sensors to determine the user's context (such as location) and activity, and optionally trigger certain actions when the right conditions occur. Many such tasking applications also involve coordination between multiple users or devices. Example tasking applications include location-based reminders, changing the ring-mode of a phone automatically depending on location, notifying when friends are nearby, disabling WiFi in favor of cellular data when moving at more than a certain speed outdoors, automatically tracking and storing movement tracks when driving, and inferring the number of steps walked each day. Today, these applications are non-trivial to develop, although they are often trivial for end users to. Additionally, simple implementations can consume excessive amounts of energy. This paper proposes Code in the Air (CITA), a system which simplifies the rapid development of tasking applications. It enables non-expert end users to easily express simple tasks on their phone, and more sophisticated developers to write code for complex tasks by writing purely server-side scripts. CITA provides a task execution framework to automatically distribute and coordinate tasks, energy-efficient modules to infer user activities and compose them, and a push communication service for mobile devices that overcomes some shortcomings in existing push services.

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Bibtex Entry:

   author =       "Lenin S. Ravindranath and Arvind Thiagarajan and Hari Balakrishnan and Samuel Madden",
   title =        "{Code In The Air: Simplifying Sensing and Coordination Tasks on Smartphones}",
   booktitle =    {HotMobile},
   year =         {2012},
   month =        {February},
   address =      {La Jolla, CA}