STTR Phase I: Feasibility of Mobile Peer-to-Peer Search on Hand-held Devices

Period of Performance: 01/01/2006 - 12/31/2006


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Pirouette Software Consulting
1030 N. State St., Suite 40C
Chicago, IL 60610
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Illinois, Chicago
809 S Marshfield RM 608
Chicago, IL 60612
Institution POC


This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I research project will design MOBI-DIK, a system for local search in mobile peer-to-peer networks. A mobile peer-to-peer network is a set of portable devices such as laptops, PDA's and cellular phones, that communicate via short-range, unregulated wireless technologies, e.g., IEEE 802.11 (namely, Wi-fi) or Bluetooth. With such communication mechanisms, a mobile device carried by a pedestrian or mounted in a vehicle receives information from its neighbors, or from remote mobile devices by multi-hop transmission relayed by intermediate portable devices and stationary hotspots. MOBI-DIK is a set of software services, application program and user interfaces (i.e. a software platform)that facilitates the development of matchmaking and resource-discovery applications in mobile peer-to-peer networks. The set of services includes a data model to describe resources and requests, power, bandwidth, and memory management parameters, and a distributed algorithm for information discovery in mobile peer-to-peer environments. MOBI-DIK is based on the ideas of opportunistic resource dissemination (a mobile device propagates the resource-information to encountered devices, and obtains new information in exchange), application development utilizing Database Management System technology, information prioritization and filtering, and publish/subscribe technology. This project will evaluate the feasibility of MOBI-DIK in Bluetooth networks. In order to optimize the throughput it will evaluate the use of machine learning techniques for prioritizing information. The project will build a simulation test-bed for studying the system under various memory/bandwidth/power allocations, mobility and environmental parameters. MOBI-DIK will enable quick building of matchmaking or resource discovery services in many application domains, including social networks, transportation, mobile electronic commerce, emergency response, asset tracking and management, and mobile collaborative work. For example, in a large professional, political, or social gathering, the technology is useful to automatically facilitate face-to-face meetings based on matching profiles; or for sending free SMS messages. In transportation, the MOBI-DIK incorporated in navigational devices can be used to disseminate to other similarly equipped vehicles information about relevant resources such as free parking slots, traffic jams and slowdowns, available taxicabs, and ride sharing opportunities. In mobile electronic commerce, MOBI-DIK is useful to match buyers and sellers in a mall, or to trade data (e.g. music files) and knowledge. In emergency response, MOBI-DIK is useful for first responders to support rescue efforts even when the fixed infrastructure is inoperative; it will match specific needs with expertise, and help locate victims. In asset management, sensors mounted on neighboring smart artifacts (e.g. containers) can communicate and transitively relay alerts to remote check-points.