Mobile Multimedia: Reflecting on Dynamic Service Provision

Mobile Multimedia: Reflecting on Dynamic Service Provision

Michael J. O’Grady (University College Dublin, Ireland), Gregory M.P. O’Hare (University College Dublin, Ireland) and Rem Collier (University College Dublin, Ireland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0038-6.ch013
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Abstract

Delivering multimedia services to roaming subscribers raises significant challenges for content providers. There are a number of reasons for this; however, the principal difficulties arise from the inherent differences between the nature of mobile computing usage, and that of its static counterpart. The harnessing of appropriate contextual elements pertaining to a mobile subscriber at any given time offers significant opportunities for enhancing and customising service delivery. Dynamic content provision is a case in point. The versatile nature of the mobile subscriber offers opportunities for the delivery of content that is most appropriate to the subscriber’s prevailing context, and hence is most likely to be welcomed. To succeed in this endeavour requires an innate understanding of the technologies, the mobile usage paradigm and the application domain in question, such that conflicting demands may be reconciled to the subscriber’s benefit. In this paper, multimedia-augmented service provision for mobile subscribers is considered in light of the availability of contextual information. In particular, context-aware pre-caching is advocated as a means of maximising the possibilities for delivering context-aware services to mobile subscribers in scenarios of dynamic contexts.
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Introduction

Mobile computing has fundamentally challenged many aspects and tenets of what was perceived, and experienced, by most people in traditional computing scenarios. Though a radical paradigm shift in itself, nevertheless, it was only over time that the nature of mobile computing began to crystallise. Indeed, it must be observed that this is an ongoing process. When the historical development of modern computing is considered, it can be seen why this is the case. If the 1960s are regarded as the beginning of the modern computing era, then conventional computing had been in existence almost 30 years before the use of computing in mobile scenarios became feasible. In this time, various techniques for engineering software solutions were developed and a consensus was growing about what constituted good practice principles. By introducing a mobile element into computing infrastructures, a further level of complexity was introduced into practically all elements of the software engineering lifecycle. In particular, data management and dissemination for mobile service delivery are interesting cases in point.

Data management for mobile users raises a number of difficulties. The ubiquitous issues of security and privacy are to the forefront of concerns for many. In particular, the issue of cache consistency, that is, ensuring that the data on the mobile device is consistent with that maintained on other devices, especially networked servers, is of particular importance. Data dissemination is dominated by the classic Push/Pull model, but its effectiveness is compromised by the inherent limitations of mobile computing. However, a more holistic view of data management and dissemination is emerging for mobile subscribers. In this view, the management and dissemination of data should be governed by prevailing contexts, particularly as these pertain to mobile subscribers.

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