Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Z. Morley Mao Leads Researchers to Two Wins in FCC Open Internet Challenge

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A team of researchers led by Associate Professor Z. Morley Mao has won the FCC Open Internet App Challenge in two categories for their work in the development of MobiPerf, a mobile application that allows users to obtain a rich set of 3G network performance information.

Prof. Mao's team, which was composed of U-M researchers in the RobustNet Research Group and researchers from Microsoft, won two of four categories in the challenge: the Open Internet App Award and the People's Choice App Award.

MobiPerf is a lightweight and accurate mobile network measurement tool designed to collect anonymous network measurement information directly from mobile end users. It runs on Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile devices and completes within 2-3 minutes. Users are able to obtain a rich set of basic network information (e.g., the device's IP address as seen by the server and the network type, such as HSDPA), network performance information (e.g., downlink/uplink throughput), as well as a set of more advanced network properties including network policies (e.g., cellular ISPs' port blocking and NAT policies). MobiPerf helps to identify the bottleneck network behavior for resource constrained mobile platforms and exposes both the performance and energy impact of mobile network policies on end users.

in addition to Prof. Mao, the MobiPerf development team included U-M researchers Feng Qian, Cheng Chen, Junxian Huang, Yutong Pei, Zhiyun Qian, Birjodh Tiwana, Zhaoguang Wang, and Qiang Xu, and Microsoft researchers Paramvir Bahl and Ming Zhang.

Those interested in MobiPerf can download and use the software and download the research team's Open Internet Apps Challenge report.

Prof. Mao's research interests are in network systems, routing protocols, mobile and distributed systems, and network security. Her work involves both empirical data collection and analysis, as well as the design and implementation of new systems. She has taught Programming and Data Structures (EECS 280), Computer Networks (EECS 489), Advanced Computer Networks (EECS 589), and Advanced Topics in Computer Networks (EECS 589-4).

About the FCC Open Internet Apps Challenge

The FCC Open Internet Apps Challenge is a competition that encouraged the development of innovative and functional applications that provide users with information about the extent to which their fixed or mobile broadband Internet services are consistent with the open Internet. The research component of the challenge sought academic papers that analyze relevant Internet openness measurements, techniques, and data. The challenge was designed to encourage and reward the creation innovative and useful research.

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Posted: August 12, 2011