Cloud Computing

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Future Generation Computer Systems 29 (2013) 84–106

Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect

Future Generation Computer Systems
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/fgcs

Mobile cloud computing: A survey
Niroshinie Fernando ∗ , Seng W. Loke ∗ , Wenny Rahayu
Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering, La Trobe University, Australia

article

info

Article history:
Received 31 August 2011
Received in revised form
22 May 2012
Accepted 30 May 2012
Available online 6 June 2012
Keywords:
Mobile cloud computing
Task offload
Pervasive networks

abstract
Despite increasing usage of mobile computing, exploiting its full potential is difficult due to its inherent problems such as resource scarcity, frequent disconnections, and mobility. Mobile cloud computing can address these problems by executing mobile applications on resource providers external to the mobile device. In this paper, we provide an extensive survey of mobile cloud computing research, while highlighting the specific concerns in mobile cloud computing. We present a taxonomy based on the key issues in this area, and discuss the different approaches taken to tackle these issues. We conclude the paper with a critical analysis of challenges that have not yet been fully met, and highlight directions for future work.

© 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
The increasing usage of mobile computing is evident by the
study by Juniper Research, which states that the consumer and enterprise market for cloud-based mobile applications is expected to rise to $9.5 billion by 2014 [1]. In recent years, applications targeted at mobile devices have started becoming abundant

with applications in various categories such as entertainment, health, games, business, social networking, travel and news. The popularity of these are evident by browsing through mobile app download centers such as Apple’s iTunes or Nokia’s Ovi suite. The reason for this is that mobile computing is able to provide a tool to the user when and where it is needed irrespective of user movement, hence supporting location independence. Indeed, ‘mobility’ is one of the characteristics of a pervasive computing environment where the user is able to continue his/her work

seamlessly regardless of his/her movement.
However, with mobility comes its inherent problems such as resource scarceness, finite energy and low connectivity as outlined by Satyanarayanan in [2]. These pose the problem of executing many useful programs that could aid the user and create a pervasive environment. According to Tim O’Reilly ‘the future belongs to services that respond in real time to information provided either by their users or by nonhuman sensors’ [3]. Real time applications are just one type of mobile applications that demand high levels of responsiveness, that in turn, demand intensive computing resources.



Corresponding authors.
E-mail addresses: niro_ucsc@yahoo.com, tnfernando@students.latrobe.edu.au (N. Fernando), s.loke@latrobe.edu.au (S.W. Loke), w.rahayu@latrobe.edu.au (W. Rahayu).
0167-739X/$ – see front matter © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.future.2012.05.023

Some mobile applications, such as location based social networking, process and make use of the phone’s various sensor data. However, extensive use of sensors, such as obtaining a GPS reading, is expensive in terms of energy and this limits the mobile phone in providing the user a better service through its embedded sensors. Furthermore, consider applications that require extensive processing – image processing for video games, speech synthesis, natural language processing, augmented reality, wearable computing— all these demand high computational capacities thus restricting the developers in implementing applications for mobile phones. Considering the trends in mobile phone architecture and battery, it is unlikely that these problems will be solved in the...
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