A Reference Architecture for Mobile Code Offload in Hostile Environments

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Abstract

Handheld mobile technology is reaching first responders and soldiers in the field to aid in various tasks such as speech and image recognition, natural language processing, decision making, and mission planning. However, these applications are computation-intensive and we must consider that 1) mobile devices offer less computational power than a conventional desktop or server computer, 2) computation-intensive tasks take a heavy toll on battery power, and 3) networks in hostile environments such as those experienced by first responders and soldiers in the field are often unreliable and bandwidth is limited and inconsistent. While there has been considerable research in code offload to the cloud to enhance computation and battery life, most of this work assumes reliable connectivity between the mobile device and the cloud—an invalid assumption in hostile environments. This paper presents a reference architecture for mobile devices that exploits cloudlets—VM-based code offload elements that are in single-hop proximity to the mobile devices that they serve. Two implementations of this reference architecture are presented, along with an analysis of architecture tradeoffs.