Seamless mobility in ubiquitous computing environments
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Nominally, one can expect any user of modern technology to at least carry a handheld device of the class of an iPAQ (perhaps in the form of a cellphone). The availability of technology in the environment (home, office, public spaces) also continues to grow at an amazing pace. With advances in technology, it is feasible to remain connected and enjoy services that we care about, be it entertainment, sports, or plain work, anytime anywhere. We need a system that supports seamless migration of services from handhelds to the environment (or vice versa) and between environments. Virtualization technology is able to support such a migration by providing a common virtualized interface on both source and destination. In this dissertation, we focus on two levels of virtualization to address issues for seamless mobility. We first identify three different kinds of spaces and three axes to support mobility in these spaces. Then we present two systems that address these dimensions from different perspectives. For middleware level virtualization, we built a system called MobiGo that can capture the application states and restore the service execution with saved states at the destination platform. It provides the architectural elements for efficiently managing different states in the different spaces. Evaluation suggested that the overhead of the system is relatively small and meets user's expectation. On the other hand, for device level virtualization, Chameleon is a Xen-like system level virtualization system to support device level migration and automatic capability adaptation at a lower level. Chameleon is able to capture and restore device states and automatically accommodate the heterogeneity of devices to provide the migration of services. Device level virtualization can address some issues that cannot be addressed in middleware level virtualization. It also has less requirements than middleware level virtualization in order to be applied to existing systems. Through performance measurements, we demonstrate that Chameleon introduces minimal overhead while providing capability adaptation and device state migration for seamless mobility in ubiquitous computing environments.