CloudMoV Cloud-based Mobile Social TV
The rapidly increasing power of personal mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) is providing much richer contents and social interactions to users on the move. This trend however is throttled by the limited battery lifetime of mobile devices and unstable wireless connectivity, making the highest possible quality of service experienced by mobile users not feasible. The recent cloud computing technology, with its rich resources to compensate for the limitations of mobile devices and connections, can potentially provide an ideal platform to support the desired mobile services. Tough challenges arise on how to effectively exploit cloud resources to facilitate mobile services, especially those with stringent interaction delay requirements. In this paper, we propose the design of a Cloud-based, novel Mobile sOcial tV system (CloudMoV). The system effectively utilizes both PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) cloud services to offer the living-room experience of video watching to a group of disparate mobile users who can interact socially while sharing the video. To guarantee good streaming quality as experienced by the mobile users with time-varying wireless connectivity, we employ a surrogate for each user in the IaaS cloud for video downloading and social exchanges on behalf of the user. The surrogate performs efficient stream transcoding that matches the current connectivity quality of the mobile user. Given the battery life as a key performance bottleneck, we advocate the use of burst transmission from the surrogates to the mobile users, and carefully decide the burst size which can lead to high energy efficiency and streaming quality. Social interactions among the users, in terms of spontaneous textual exchanges, are effectively achieved by efficient designs of data storage with BigTable and dynamic handling of large volumes of concurrent messages in a typical PaaS cloud. These various designs for flexible transcoding capabilities, battery efficiency of mobile devices and spontaneous social interactivity together provide an ideal platform for mobile social TV services. We have implemented CloudMoV on Amazon EC2 and Google App Engine and verified its superior performance based on real-world experiments.