Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)

, Volume 13, Issue 5–6, pp 603–638 | Cite as

Software Framework for Managing Heterogeneity in Mobile Collaborative Systems

  • Carlos D. CorreaEmail author
  • Ivan Marsic


Heterogeneity in mobile computing devices and application scenarios complicates the development of collaborative software systems. Heterogeneity includes disparate computing and communication capabilities, differences in users’ needs and interests, and semantic conflicts across different domains and representations. In this paper, we describe a software framework that supports mobile collaboration by managing several aspects of heterogeneity. Adopting graph as a common data structure for the application state representation enables us to develop a generic solution for handling the heterogeneities. The effect external forces, such as resource constraints and diverging user interests, can be quantified and controlled as relational and attribute heterogeneity of state graphs. When mapping the distributed replicas of the application state, the external forces inflict a loss of graph information, resulting in many-to-one correspondences of graph elements. A key requirement for meaningful collaboration is maintaining a consistent shared state across the collaborating sites. Our framework makes the best of maximizing the state consistency, while accommodating the external force constraints, primarily the efficient use of scarce system resources. Furthermore, we describe the mobility aspects of our framework, mainly its extension to peer-to-peer scenarios and situations of intermittent connectivity. We describe an implementation of our framework applied to the interoperation of shared graphics editors across multiple platforms, where users are able to share 2D and 3D virtual environments represented as XML documents. We also present performance results, namely resource efficiency and latency, which demonstrate its feasibility for mobile scenarios.


collaborative systems consistency maintenance content adaptation mobile computing scene simplification 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Birman, K. P. (1996): Building Secure and Reliable Network Applications. Manning Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  2. Bright, M.W., Hurson, A.R., Pakzad, S. 1994Automated Resolution of Semantic Heterogeneity in MultidatabasesACM Trans. on Database Systems19212253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Britton, K.H., Case, R., Citron, A., Floyd, R., Li, Y., Seekamp, C., Topol, B., Tracey, K. 2001Transcoding: Extending e-Business to New EnvironmentsIBM Systems Journal.40153178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ceri S. and J. Widom (1993): Managing Semantic Heterogeneity with Production Rules and Persistent Queues. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Very Large Data Bases, Dublin, Ireland, pp. 108–119.Google Scholar
  5. Cho, G., Shaw, D.X. 1997A Depth-First Dynamic Programming Algorithm for the Tree Knapsack ProblemINFORMS Journal of Computing.9431438Google Scholar
  6. Connolly, T., Begg, C., Strachan, A. 1996Database Systems: A Practical Approach to Design, Implementation, and Management.Addison-WesleyWokingham, UKGoogle Scholar
  7. Correa, C.D. and I. Marsic (2003): Software Framework for Managing Heterogeneity in Mobile Collaborative Systems. Proceedings of the ACM International Conferences on Supporting Group Work (GROUP ‘03), Sanibel Island, FL, pp. 125–134.Google Scholar
  8. Correa, C.D. and I. Marsic (2004): Simplification Architecture for Exploring Navigation Tradeoffs in Mobile VR. Proceedings of the IEEE Virtual Reality Conference (VR2004), Chicago, IL, pp. 133–140.Google Scholar
  9. Correa, C., I. Marsic and X. Sun (2002): Semantic Consistency Optimization in Heterogeneous Virtual Environments. Rutgers University, CAIP Center, Technical Report CAIP-TR-267. Online at: Scholar
  10. De Lara, E., R. Kumar, D.S. Wallach and W. Zwaenepoel (2003): Collaboration and Multimedia Authoring on Mobile Devices. Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services (MobiSys 2003), San Francisco, CA, pp. 287–301.Google Scholar
  11. Feiner, S., B. MacIntyer, T. Hollerer and T. Webster (1997): A Touring Machine: Prototyping 3D Mobile Augmented Reality Systems for Exploring the Urban Environment. Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium Wearable Computers (ISWC ‘97), Cambridge, MA, pp. 208–217.Google Scholar
  12. Fox, A., Gribble, S.D., Chawathe, Y., Brewer, E.A. 1998Adapting to Network and Client Variation Using Active Proxies: Lessons and Perspectives.IEEE Personal Communications (Special Issue on Adapting to Network and Client Variability).51019Google Scholar
  13. Funkhouser, T.A., Sequin, C.H. 1993Adaptive Display Algorithm for Interactive Frame Rates During Visualization of Complex Virtual Environments.Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH ‘93),27247254Google Scholar
  14. Hall, R.W., A. Mathur, F. Jahanian, A. Prakash and C. Rassmussen (1996): Corona: A Communication Service for Scalable, Reliable Group Collaboration Systems. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW ‘96), Boston, MA.Google Scholar
  15. Johnson, D.S., Niemi, K.A. 1983On Knapsacks, Partitions, and a New Dynamic Programming Technique for Trees.Mathematics of Operations Research,8114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Knister, M.J. and A. Prakash (1990): DistEdit: A Distributed Toolkit for Supporting Multiple Group Editors. Proceedings of the ACM Conferences on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW ‘90), Los Angeles, CA, pp. 343–355.Google Scholar
  17. Li, D. and L. Rui, (2002): Transparent Sharing and Interoperation of Heterogeneous Single-User Applications. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW ‘02), New Orleans, LA, November, pp. 246–255.Google Scholar
  18. Lum, W.Y. and F.C.M. Lau (2002): On Balancing Between Transcoding Overhead and Spatial Consumption in Content Adaptation. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom ‘02), Atlanta GA, pp. 239–250.Google Scholar
  19. Mani, I. 2001Automatic SummarizationJohn Benjamins Publishing CompanyAmsterdam/PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  20. Marcu, D. 2000The Theory and Practice of Discourse Parsing and Summarization.The MIT PressCambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  21. Marsic, I., X. Sun, C. Correa and T. Liu, (2002): Maintaining State Consistency Across Heterogeneous Collaborative Applications, Rutgers University, CAIP Center, Technical Report CAIP-TR-264. Online at: Scholar
  22. Mascolo, C., Capra, L., Zachariadis, S., Emmerich, W. 2002XMIDDLE: A Data-Sharing Middleware for Mobile Computing.Wireless Personal Communications: An International Journal.2177103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mason, A.E.W., Blake, E.H. 2001A Graphical Representation of the State Spaces of Hierarchical Level-of-Detail Scene Descriptions.IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics.77075CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Munson, J. and P. Dewan (1996): A Concurrency Control Framework for Collaborative Systems. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW ‘96), Boston, MA, pp. 278–287.Google Scholar
  25. Moving Picture Experts Group web page (2003) Online at: Scholar
  26. Phan, T., G. Zorpas and R. Bagrodia (2004): Middleware Support for Reconciling Client Updates and Data Transcoding. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services (MobiSys 2004), Boston, MA, pp. 139–152.Google Scholar
  27. Reitmayr, G. and D. Schmalstieg (2001): Mobile Collaborative Augmented Reality. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Augmented Reality (ISAR ‘01), pp. 114–123.Google Scholar
  28. Sciore, E., Siegel, M., Rosenthal, A. 1994Using Semantic Values to Facilitate Interoperability Among Heterogeneous Information Systems.ACM Transactions on Database Systems.19254290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Shirmohammadi, S., Saddik, A. El, Georganas, N.D., Steinmetz, R. 2003JASMINE: A Java Tool for Multimedia Collaboration on the InternetJ. Multimedia Tools and Applications.19528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sun, C. and C.A. Ellis (1998): Operational Transformation in Real-Time Group Editors: Issues, Algorithms and Achievements. Proceeding of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW ‘98), Seattle, WA, pp. 59–68.Google Scholar
  31. Sun, C., Chen, D. 2002Consistency Maintenance in Real-Time Collaborative Graphics Editing Systems.ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction.9141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. SyncML Initiative Ltd. (2002): SyncML–Mobile Data Synchronization Protocol. Online at: Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Advanced Information Processing (CAIP)Rutgers – The State University of New JerseyPiscatawayUSA

Personalised recommendations