Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Hyrax: Cloud Computing on
Mobile Devices using MapReduce

Eugene E. Marinelli

September 2009

Masters Thesis


Keywords: Mobile, cloud, grid, distributed computing, Hadoop, Android, Hyrax, MapReduce, smartphones, middleware, filesystem, peer-to-peer

Today's smartphones operate independently of each other, using only local computing, sensing, networking, and storage capabilities and functions provided by remote Internet services. It is generally difficult or expensive for one smartphone to share data and computing resources with another. Data is shared through centralized services, requiring expensive uploads and downloads that strain wireless data networks. Collaborative computing is only achieved using ad hoc approaches.

Coordinating smartphone data and computing would allow mobile applications to utilize the capabilities of an entire smartphone cloud while avoiding global network bottlenecks. In many cases, processing mobile data in-place and transferring it directly between smartphones would be more efficient and less susceptible to network limitations than offloading data and processing to remote servers.

We have developed Hyrax, a platform derived from Hadoop that supports cloud computing on Android smartphones. Hyrax allows client applications to conveniently utilize data and execute computing jobs on networks of smartphones and heterogeneous networks of phones and servers. By scaling with the number of devices and tolerating node departure, Hyrax allows applications to use distributed resources abstractly, oblivious to the physical nature of the cloud.

The design and implementation of Hyrax is described, including experiences in porting Hadoop to the Android platform and the design of mobilespecific customizations. The scalability of Hyrax is evaluated experimentally and compared to that of Hadoop. Although the performance of Hyrax is poor for CPU-bound tasks, it is shown to tolerate node-departure and offer reasonable performance in data sharing. A distributed multimedia search and sharing application is implemented to qualitatively evaluate Hyrax from an application development perspective.

123 pages

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