Contrail: Enabling Decentralized Social Networks on Smartphones

  • Patrick Stuedi
  • Iqbal Mohomed
  • Mahesh Balakrishnan
  • Z. Morley Mao
  • Venugopalan Ramasubramanian
  • Doug Terry
  • Ted Wobber
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7049)


Mobile devices are increasingly used for social networking applications, where data is shared between devices belonging to different users. Today, such applications are implemented as centralized services, forcing users to trust corporations with their personal data. While decentralized designs for such applications can provide privacy, they are difficult to achieve on current devices due to constraints on connectivity, energy and bandwidth. Contrail is a communication platform that allows decentralized social networks to overcome these challenges. In Contrail, a user installs content filters on her friends’ devices that express her interests; she subsequently receives new data generated by her friends that match the filters. Both data and filters are exchanged between devices via cloud-based relays in encrypted form, giving the cloud no visibility into either. In addition to providing privacy, Contrail enables applications that are very efficient in terms of energy and bandwidth.


Mobile Device Cloud Provider Location Update Shared Module Social Graph 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Stuedi
    • 1
  • Iqbal Mohomed
    • 2
  • Mahesh Balakrishnan
    • 3
  • Z. Morley Mao
    • 4
  • Venugopalan Ramasubramanian
    • 3
  • Doug Terry
    • 3
  • Ted Wobber
    • 3
  1. 1.IBM ResearchZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.IBM ResearchT.J. WatsonUSA
  3. 3.Microsoft ResearchSilicon ValleyUSA
  4. 4.University of MichiganUSA

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