Mobile Information Access

Mahadev Satyanarayanan

Department of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University

Wireless networks and powerful portable computers are here today. Soon there will be a proliferation of hand-held and wearable computers of every variety imaginable. How will people who use such computers access information from shared repositories?

I will begin by examining the intrinsic constraints of mobile computing. These constraints lead to the emergence of adaptation as an indispensable requirement of mobile clients. I will present a taxonomy of adaptation strategies, and explore their implications for the traditional client-server model.

A major part of the talk will focus on our exploration of application-transparent adaptation in the Coda File System. Disconnected and weakly-connected operation, key enabling technologies for mobile computing, were invented in the context of Coda. I will describe the implementation of these mechanisms and report on our experience with them. The talk will end with a brief glimpse of our current research on application-aware adaptation in Odyssey, a new platform for mobile computing.

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Last modified: October 21, 1997
Robert Blumofe