Faculty Recruitment - Lenin Ravindranath Sivalingam, "Improving Performance and Reliability of Mobile Applications"

Contact Name: 
Katie Dahm
Location: 
GDC 2.216
Date: 
Apr 24, 2014 11:00am - 12:00pm

Signup Schedule: https://apps.cs.utexas.edu/talkschedules/cgi/list_events.cgi

Speaker: Lenin Ravindranath Sivalingam/MIT

Audience: UTCS Faculty & Grad Students

Host: Emmett Witchel

Abstract: The mobile app ecosystem has grown at a tremendous pace, with billions of users, millions of apps, and hundreds of thousands of app developers. Mobile apps run across a wide range of network, hardware, location, and usage conditions that are hard for developers to emulate or even anticipate during lab testing. Hence, app failures and performance problems are common in the wild. Scarce resources, shift towards asynchronous programming patterns, and poor development support has made it more difficult for app developers to overcome these problems.

In this talk, I will present AppInsight, a system that makes it significantly easy for app developers to diagnose and improve their mobile apps. AppInsight does automatic instrumentation and lightweight monitoring of apps in the wild to pinpoint the root causes of failures and performance problems. I will then describe how AppInsight led us to build VanarSena, a system that does automated app testing to uncover common problems even before the app is released. The techniques in VanarSena are driven by data from AppInsight and a study of 25 million real-world crash reports. Finally, I will present Timecard which builds on insights and techniques from the above systems to enable apps to provide consistent performance in the wild. These systems have been successfully deployed at Microsoft to uncover problems in thousands of apps and have helped many app developers improve performance and reliability of their mobile apps.

Bio: Lenin Ravindranath is a PhD student at MIT, working with Prof. Hari Balakrishnan. His research interests include all aspects of mobile computing and networked systems. His recent research focuses on systems to help mobile app developers build better apps. Lenin has published more than 20 papers and has filed over a dozen patents. His work has been commercialized inside product groups at Microsoft as well as other mobile startup companies. His work on low-energy trajectory mapping won the best paper award at SenSys 2009. He received Cisco Graduate Fellowship in 2008 and Microsoft Research Graduate Fellowship in 2011.