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Vision, Issues, and Architecture for Nomadic Computing
Rajive Bagrodia, Wesley W. Chu, Leonard Kleinrock, and
One-line summary: "Nomadicity may be defined as the
system support needed to provide a rich set of computing and
communication capabilities and services to nomads as they move from
lace to place in a transparent, integrated and convenient form."
- Nomadic computing: given the surge of mobility (portable
computers, wireless connectivity/communications infrastructure), support
for nomadicity must be developed. Nomadicity is defined as
the system support needed to "provide a rich set of computing and
communication capabilities and services to nomads ... in a transparent,
integrated and convenient form." The claim is that nomadicity is
largely a middleware problem.
- Architecture, Protocols, and Reference Model: These must be
defined. They must handle heterogenous operation, unpredictability
and variability in all parts of the system, scale and degradation,
QoS, ad-hoc access, cooperation, and adaptability. (Did I get all the
- Transparent Virtual Networking: This is essentially
disconnected operation, but at all levels of the system (file system,
RPC, databases, management). Optimistic replication and precaching
is the method suggested to achieve this.
- Intelligent Databases: Computer, analyze everything
in the universe and tell me the answer, then tell me the question.
The authors envisage an intelligent resource discovery facility
that can handle all sorts of heterogeniety in resource types, locations,
accesibility, through the use of AI-flavoured "knowledge bases".
Adaptive agents will provide approximate matching and query relaxation -
the process of matching a query when the user has no way of having
enough information to intelligently form the query.
- Performance Evaluation: Nomadic systems are large and complex;
modeling and evaluating such systems will become a difficult task. A
hybrid approach to simulation is suggested, in which real components
of the system are interspersed with simulators to achieve the overall
behaviour of the system at minimal cost (in time or effort).
Nomadicity is a real issue, and is a difficult issue. This paper does a
good job of introducing the concepts and problems we will face in
the future, and as such is a good contribution to the field of
- The authors attempted to show vision through suggesting reference
models and potential solutions to some of the problems, but IMHO their
visions were overly speculative, and as such, were more
science-fiction than science.
- Why did all of this database discussion creep into the paper? It
is to some degree irrelevant and obtrusive, given the paper's
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