Graduation Year

2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Computer Science and Engineering

Major Professor

Rafael Perez, Ph.D.

Keywords

Benchmarking, Wireless, Cellphones, Global Positioning System (GPS), Application development

Abstract

With sales reaching $4.4 billion dollars in the first half of 2006 in the United States alone, and an estimated 80% of the world receiving coverage for their wireless phones in that year, interest in these devices as more than mere communicators has greatly increased. In the mid-to-late 1990s, digital cameras began to be incorporated into cellphones, followed shortly thereafter by Global Positioning System (GPS) hardware allowing location-based services to be offered to customers. Since then the use of mobile phone hardware for non-communication purposes has continued to expand. Some models, such as the Motorola V3M, have been specifically geared toward the storage and display of music and visual media, as well as receiving Internet broadcasts.

It is perhaps surprising, therefore, that relatively little has been done from an academic standpoint to provide a qualitative and comprehensive method of evaluating the performance of mobile phones regarding their ability to function as computing devices. While some manuals do offer comparisons of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that aid in the development of cellphone applications, little documentation exists to provide objective measurements of performance parameters. This dissertation proposes a framework for evaluating the performance of mobile phones from a computational angle, focusing on three criteria: the processing power of the Central Processing Unit (CPU), data transfer capabilities, and the performance of the phone's GPS functionality for the appropriation of geographic location data.

Power consumption has always been a major source of interest in the study of computer systems, and the limited hardware resources of mobile devices such as laptop computers, Personal Data Assistants (PDAs) and cellular telephones makes this a key concern. The power consumption factors associated with operation are therefore considered alongside the three core criteria being studied in this framework. In addition to framework design, software tools for the evaluation of cellphones were also developed, and these were applied to a test case of the Sanyo SCP-7050 model. This provides an example of the utility of the framework in evaluating existing phone models and a foundation for the assessment of new models as they are released.

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