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Mobile Database Essay

4949 words - 20 pages

Mobile Databases: a Report on Open Issues and Research Directions *
Action members
1

EPFL, 2U. Grenoble, 3INRIA-Nancy, 4INT-Evry, 5U. Montpellier 2, 6U. Paris 6, 7U. Versailles

Abstract
This paper reports on the main results of a specific action
on mobile databases conducted by CNRS in France from
October 2001 to December 2002. The objective was to
review the state of progress in mobile databases and
identify major research directions for the French database
community. This paper gives an outline of the directions in
which the action participants are now engaged, namely:
copy synchronization in disconnected computing, mobile
transactions, database embedded in ultra-light ...view middle of the document...

Portable folders (e.g., medical folder on a smart card,
phonebook on a SIM card) are good representative of the
Mobile Client – Mobile Host class of applications
[PBVB01]. The requirements concern the management of
database embedded in ultra-light devices, data durability
(replicas have to be managed on the fixed network to
enforce crash resiliency) and copy synchronization in the
case of collaborative applications (e.g., to fix a meeting
date among agendas hosted by PDA). More generally,
Mobile Host applications will gain popularity with the
emergence of ambient intelligence, whatever be the client
mobility. For example, the vision of the future dataspace
paints a physical space enhanced with digital information
made available through large-scale ad-hoc sensor networks
[ImN02]. This introduces new requirements in terms of
query execution to access an information scattered on a
widely distributed population of weakly connected ultralight devices.
Even Fixed Client – Fixed Host applications may
involve mobile databases. Much work has been conducted
on moving objects [WXC98], e.g., to keep track of mobile
locations in telecommunication, transportation or traffic
regulation applications. However, we do not cover this
issue in this paper.
Achieving these requirements faces strong hardware
and software constraints introduced by the computing
environment: low bandwidth of wireless communication
channels, frequent disconnections, scarce computing,
storage and energy resources of the mobile devices and
inadequacy of the middleware initially designed to handle
fixed and wired clients and servers.
The remainder of this paper is organized as follows.
Sections 2 to 7 are each devoted to one issue addressed by
one or more participants in this specific action, namely:
copy synchronization in disconnected computing, mobile
transactions, database embedded in ultra-light devices,
confidentiality of data hosted by untrusted DSP, P2P
dissemination models and middleware adaptability to
mobility and disconnection. Section 8 concludes.

* This research action was funded by CNRS, the National Center for Scientific Research in France.
**Guy Bernard4, Jalel Ben-Othman7, Luc Bouganim7, Gérôme Canals3, Sophie Chabridon4, Bruno Defude4, Jean Ferrié5, Stéphane
Gançarski6, Rachid Guerraoui1, Pascal Molli3, Philippe Pucheral7, Claudia Roncancio2, Patricia Serrano-Alvarado2 and
Patrick Valduriez6. The action was headed by Philippe Pucheral.

2

Data synchronization

Disconnected work is an important issue for supporting
mobility. Disconnected work can be achieved by
replicating data on the mobile device before disconnection
and by merging divergent data when connection is again
available. This can occur with a single user and several
devices. In this case, all copies are managed by the same
user but at different times and places. Disconnected work
can also occur with multi-synchronous groupware. Each
member manages...

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