Research Assistant: E. Pitoura
Sponsor: Purdue Research Foundation
Recent advances in hardware and communication technology have provided the basis for mobile computing. Many companies in consumer electronics and communication have launched efforts to invest in developing this new capability for users. It is expected that in the near future, tens of millions of users will carry a portable computer with a wireless connection to a worldwide information network. The peculiarities of the mobile environment raise a series of new technical challenges. We have investigated the impact of mobility on software systems, reviewed current research, and posed a number of important research questions.
The focus of our ongoing research is to identify the impact of wireless communications on the design of information systems. Towards this end, we have defined an abstract model of variant inconsistency appropriate for a distributed environment with variable connectivity and frequent, predictable disconnections. The notion of inconsistency is being incorporated into the transaction model of the system with the introduction of two different types of transaction, weak and strong. The transaction model also advances the traditional models in that it supports mobility through transaction migration and reliability through transaction proxies.