Wireless Networks

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 1295–1311 | Cite as

Survey on mobile social networking in proximity (MSNP): approaches, challenges and architecture

  • Yufeng WangEmail author
  • Athanasios V. Vasilakos
  • Qun Jin
  • Jianhua Ma


Recently, mobile social networks (MSN) have gained tremendous attention, which free users from face-to-monitor life, while still can share information and stay in touch with their friends on the go. However most MSN applications regard mobile terminals just as entry points to existing social networks, in which centralized servers (for storage and processing of all application/context data) and continual Internet connectivity are prerequisites for mobile users to exploit MSN services, even though they are within proximity area (like campus, event spot, and community, etc.), and can directly exchange data through various wireless technologies (e.g., Bluetooth, WiFi Direct, etc.). In this paper, we focus on mobile social networking in proximity (MSNP), which is explicitly defined in our paper as: MSNP is wireless peer-to-peer (P2P) network of spontaneously and opportunistically connected nodes, and uses geo-proximity as the primary filter in determining who is discoverable on the social network. In this paper, first, primary support approaches related to MSNP available in literature, are summarized and compared, including MSN, mobile P2P and opportunistic networks. And then, we offer the special characteristics of MSNP, open issues and potential solutions. A networking technologies and platform independent architecture is proposed for developing MSNP applications, and proof-of-concept implementation of WiFi direct based MSNP application is also provided. Our primary goal is to identify the characteristics, technical challenges and potential solutions for future MSNP applications, capable to flexibly adapt to different application domains and deployment requirements.


Mobile social networking in proximity (MSNP) Spontaneous Opportunistic Peer-to-peer Platform independent development framework 



The work was partially supported by the JiangSu 973 Project BK2011027 and NSFC Grant 61171092.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yufeng Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Athanasios V. Vasilakos
    • 3
  • Qun Jin
    • 4
  • Jianhua Ma
    • 5
  1. 1.Nanjing University of Posts and TelecommunicationsNanjingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Networking and Switching Technology, Beijing University of Posts and TelecommunicationsBeijingChina
  3. 3.University of Western MacedoniaKozaniGreece
  4. 4.Waseda UniversityTokyoJapan
  5. 5.Hosei UniversityTokyoJapan

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