Infrastructureless Pervasive Information Sharing with COTS Devices and Software
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Information sharing is becoming a relevant issue for mobile broadband operators, due to the increasing popularity of social networks, to the increasing volumes of shared information, and to the steady increase in the number and capabilities of mobile devices connected to the Internet. Offloading information sharing services from the cellular infrastructure to device-to-device (D2D) communications can offer a welcome reduction of traffic. This paper discusses experiments with a smartphone information sharing application that can be used on commercial-off-the-shelf devices, with no need to root the device's software. In order to avoid unrealistic assumptions on the behavior of D2D communications, this work includes and builds upon the implementation of an Android application that supports infrastructureless distributed content sharing among wireless devices using Wi-Fi Direct. The collected experimental data permit a detailed analysis of the occurring events, and a careful assessment of the performance of pervasive information sharing services. Our experiments reveal that many assumptions commonly used in the literature do not hold in real settings. We conclude that delay-tolerant services can be supported, albeit we also show that high densities of devices can (somewhat counter-intuitively) impair performance.