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Title: A Peer-to-Peer Network Framework Utilising the Public Mobile Telephone Network
Authors: Blunn, Martin
Supervisor(s): Kolberg, Mario
Magill, Evan
Keywords: Peer-to-Peer
Issue Date: 28-Jun-2011
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: P2P (Peer-to-Peer) technologies are well established and have now become accepted as a mainstream networking approach. However, the explosion of participating users has not been replicated within the mobile networking domain. Until recently the lack of suitable hardware and wireless network infrastructure to support P2P activities was perceived as contributing to the problem. This has changed with ready availability of handsets having ample processing resources utilising an almost ubiquitous mobile telephone network. Coupled with this has been a proliferation of software applications written for the more capable `smartphone' handsets. P2P systems have not naturally integrated and evolved into the mobile telephone ecosystem in a way that `client-server' operating techniques have. However as the number of clients for a particular mobile application increase, providing the `server side' data storage infrastructure becomes more onerous. P2P systems offer mobile telephone applications a way to circumvent this data storage issue by dispersing it across a network of the participating users handsets. The main goal of this work was to produce a P2P Application Framework that supports developers in creating mobile telephone applications that use distributed storage. Effort was assigned to determining appropriate design requirements for a mobile handset based P2P system. Some of these requirements are related to the limitations of the host hardware, such as power consumption. Others relate to the network upon which the handsets operate, such as connectivity. The thesis reviews current P2P technologies to assess which was viable to form the technology foundations for the framework. The aim was not to re-invent a P2P system design, rather to adopt an existing one for mobile operation. Built upon the foundations of a prototype application, the P2P framework resulting from modifications and enhancements grants access via a simple API (Applications Programmer Interface) to a subset of Nokia `smartphone' devices. Unhindered operation across all mobile telephone networks is possible through a proprietary application implementing NAT (Network Address Translation) traversal techniques. Recognising that handsets operate with limited resources, further optimisation of the P2P framework was also investigated. Energy consumption was a parameter chosen for further examination because of its impact on handset participation time. This work has proven that operating applications in conjunction with a P2P data storage framework, connected via the mobile telephone network, is technically feasible. It also shows that opportunity remains for further research to realise the full potential of this data storage technique.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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