wmcsa2000 - Optimising Thin Clients for Wireless...

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Optimising Thin Clients for Wireless Active-media Applications Cumhur Aksoy and Sumi Helal Computer & Information Science & Eng. Department University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-6120, USA http://www.harris.cise.ufl.edu/projects/wirelessTC helal@cise.ufl.edu This research was funded by a generous grant from Citrix System Corporation (Grant No. 4514227-12) Abstract The thin client model is uniquely suited for low- bandwidth mobile environments, where resource-poor devices may need to access critical applications over wireless networks. In this paper, we argue for the significant advantages of using thin clients, and in the same time point to how high network latency could limit its utility. We introduce the concept of localization as an optimization approach to reduce the ill effect of high latency on thin client performance, especially in active media applications. We present our localization approach and algorithm, and show the results of four experimental case studies that quantify the benefit of localization, and the potential success of using thin clients in high latency wireless networks. 1. Introduction With the proliferation of mobile devices and wireless networks, mobile computing is becoming a reality, touching everyday life through palm computers, cell phones, laptops, and other fancy gadgets. Today, there exist two types of networks and two types of computing platforms. Fixed and mobile devices have to communicate through fixed and/or wireless networks in a blend that is seamless to the user [1]. Moreover, the characteristics of networks and devices can vary significantly. The limitations in this new environment are either due to the nature of the resource-poor computing devices, or the low bandwidth, high latency, unreliable network connections. The classical client/server model, which relies on reliable networks and always-available clients can not adapt to the nature of this new environment. Several extensions have been introduced to the client/server model (surveyed in [6]), ranging from the proxy approach (adding a proxy between the client and the server, on either side or both), to adding disconnected operation capabilities to client/server applications (e.g. the Coda file system [5]), to using mobile agents as an adaptive computing model and a disconnection-friendly transport. However, most of these extensions are either application- specific, requiring modifications to pre-existing applications, or fall short of offering end-to-end guarantees. Adopting the thin client model into the mobile and wireless domain has received cursory consideration [6,7], but hasn't been investigated deeply enough. The thin client model has the following advantages, which make it a competing model to the proxy -based approach: § The thin client is relatively a small piece of software and therefore can fit easily in resource poor portable computers, especially hand-held and Palm computers. § The thin client is all that needs to be installed in the
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wmcsa2000 - Optimising Thin Clients for Wireless...

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