Location Based Service (LBS) is one of the most popular types of applications in mobile networks. As the name suggests, the success of an LBS application depends on two pipelined procedures: localization and information transmission. In other words, an LBS application cannot start until all the mobile users have obtained their positions. The localization time of current methods is too long to support time-critical applications based on mobile networks, where users continually change their positions. This project envisions a radically new alternative to the intuitive pipelined procedures approach, where the LBS application can start before all the users? positions become available.

The intellectual merit lies in the concept of mobile essential localization, which is expected to significantly reduce both (i) localization time and (ii) energy consumption, while enhancing the location privacy and guaranteeing the success of LBS applications. The proposal entails high-risk as it is applied to real-time environments, which are highly unpredictable and dynamic. If successful, this novel paradigm could motivate scientific investigations aimed at a plethora of time-critical mobile network applications. One can expect high-reward in terms of applicability to areas of strategic interest including social and vehicular networks, and performance enhancements of such applications.

The broader impact of this project is reflected in several aspects: (i) The outcomes of this NSF project will have societal impact on facilitating the spread of mobile network usage; (ii) The new approaches may be adopted by US-based industry in their future designs and protocols for enhancing the location based service availability and its integrity; (iii) This EAGER projects investigates the time critical localization challenge from an interdisciplinary perspective combining Computer Science, Theoretical Computing, Electronic Engineering, and Communications; (iv) The resulting software codes will be disseminated to the public under open source license; and (v) New interdisciplinary graduate curriculum will be offered to students in MA/OH including minorities and underrepresented groups. Demos will be offered to Toledo Public School students.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Computer and Network Systems (CNS)
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Wenjing Lou
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Virginia Commonwealth University
United States
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