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Scientific assessment

First year: Research progress

According to the objectives of the project, the first year of the EMBRACE project was mainly dedicated to the task “Data acquisition and characterization”. In particular, it was devoted to the acquisition and characterization of real-world data concerning the mobility, content demand and personality traits of smartphone mobile users. Inria has access to Call Detail Record (CDRs) datasets (cellular datasets collected by a major telecom operator) and to MACACO datasets (GPS datasets collected in the context of EU CHIST-ERA MACACO project). These datasets are being used to characterize and model:

  • mobility behavior of users: visited points-of-interest; entropy and predictability of visited locations; routinary behavior (repetitiveness, confinement, shortest-path preferences); visited locations’ prediction;
  • content demand of users: entropy and predictability of generated traffic; volume traffic prediction; content demand profiling;
  • personality traits of users: correlation between mobility behavior and traits of users;

Apart from these datasets, other public available datasets (e.g., MIT, GeoLife dataset, etc) have been used by the EMBRACE partners and will be considered, when necessary. The above-mentioned information will be used to create a profile of mobile users to be used at tasks related to the design of Device-to-Device (D2D) communication, resource allocation as well as service orchestration models. Concerning such research activities:

  • Inria and UFMG have started research activities on D2D communication (i.e., corresponding to task 4 of EMBRACE work plan) exploring users’ similarity profiles and mobility features in terms of: interaction regularities, common visited locations, mobility speed and direction. These are still ongoing activities.
  • Inria and UFG have started research activities on resource allocation modeling leveraging users’ mobility and content demand behavior (i.e., corresponding to task 3 of EMBRACE work plan). The main goal would be to leverage mobile users’ behavior to better allocate resources in the network: Adapted hotspot allocation. This collaboration has started with two main activities (1) hotspot deployment in urban scenario; (2) allocating resources for CRAN (Cloud Radio Access Network) according to agglomeration of users per cell tower in urban areas. The 1st activity relies on the merge of two types of datasets describing mobility (i.e., extracted from the public available GPS-based GeoLife dataset) and synthetic mobile traffic (i.e., modeled from CDR dataset Inria has access) for smartphone users. The 2nd activity relies on aggregated information extracted from CDR datasets Inria has access. These are still ongoing activities.
  • Inria and UTFPR are performing research activities on adaptive channel allocation strategies for WiFi networks (i.e., corresponding to task 3 of EMBRACE work plan). The proposed strategy takes into account users’ behavior in terms of mobility, traffic, and popularity in order to adaptively decide in which channel a transmission should occur. A paper was published on the subject and concerned PhD student will defend his thesis in March 2018.
  • Inria, UTFPR, and UFMG are performing research activities on user profiling (i.e., task 1 of EMBRACE work plan) on online social networking data, characterizing user visits behavior and its associated preferences with different venues in the city. One journal paper was published on the topic, exploring user the differences of behavior associated with the gender. In addition, what motivates users in performing activities in these systems are also being investigated. In particular, a study was published investigating quantitatively the incentive mechanisms of Foursquare, a worldwide used social networking. The better understanding of incentive mechanisms is important for task 3 of EMBRACE work plan.

Besides the research collaboration here above described, a position paper discussing the implications of human behavior in the future of mobile networking is being prepared. The paper will regroup the expertise of all partners on the “Human and Mobile Network” loop and provide discussions and main insights on the evolution and future of mobile networking research.

First year: record of difficulties and events

First of all, it is worth to mentioning that, though Inria received the 1st year budget of EMBRACE in February 2017, the Brazilian partners either got the budget only in September 2017 (the case for UFG/FAPEG and UTFPR/Fundação Araucária) or still do not have any available budget dedicated to the project (the case for UFMG/FAPEMIG).  Thus, the research activities described here above have started based on collaboration interest of researchers, involving many visio conference meetings between partners.

The only performed visit/event in 2017 was held at UFMG from 24th to 25th October, when EMBRACE kickoff meeting took place. As foreseen in EMBRASE proposal, we took benefit of this meeting for training opportunities: with technical presentations of all partners, discussions of researchers with involved students (M.Sc. and PhD) of all partners, and debate/writing of a structure for the position paper (concerning discussion about sections and their content). Hence, visits of Brazilian partners to Inria are scheduled to happen at the beginning of 2018.

Moreover, as aimed in the EMBRACE proposal, partners of EMBRACE are involved in the organization of the CoUrb 2018 workshop (2nd Urban Computation Workshop) to be help jointly with SBRC 2018 (The Brazilian Symposium on Computer Networks and Distributed Systems). SBRC is considered to be the most important Brazilian scientific event on computer networks and distributed systems, and one of the most crowded in the computer science field. This makes this venue a perfect place to disseminate the EMBRACE project ideas.

CoUrb will attract papers on urban computing: An interdisciplinary area that connects information and communication technology, advanced management of a large volume of data and diverse methods of data analysis to propose efficient solutions to problems faced by cities. In addition, and more related to EMBRACE goals, urban computing also aims to understand the nature of urban and social phenomena to better plan the future of the city and increase the quality of life of its inhabitants (CoUrb 2017: https://sbrc2017.ufpa.br/workshop/courb/).  Aline C. Viana was invited to be the keynote of the CoUrb 2018 Workshop: On her talk, her research activities as well as EMBRACE goals and preliminary results will be presented.

Finally, UFMG partner is involved in the organization of IEEE ISCC 2018 (http://iscc2018.ieee-iscc.org/) to be also held in Brazil in June 2018. EMBRACE partners are planning to have the next project meeting after this venue.