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Electrical and Computer Engineering

ECE Team Wins Best Paper at MobiSys 2014 (June 2014)


Zhong, Amiri Sani, Yun 


Lin Zhong, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Ph.D. candidates Kevin BoosArdalan Amiri Sani, and Min Hong Yun won the best paper award from ACM MobiSys 2014 for their paper, titled, “Rio: A System Solution for Sharing I/O between Mobile Systems

Robert LiKamWa also won the Best Presenter Award from the Ph.D. forum held at the conference for his presentation, “Efficient Image Processing for Continuous MobileVision.”

"MobiSys is the flagship, premier event for mobile computing research. Lin was already receiving the SIGMOBILE Rockstar Award at the conference. Moreover, Lin has now received the best paper award from MobiSys in 3 of the last 4 years,” said Edward Knightly, Department Chair.  Dr. Zhong was MobiSys Technical Program Co-Chair in 2012 and was ineligible to submit in this role.  

“MobiSys is one of the most prestigious conferences in all of general computing. Being recognized and receiving the Best Paper Award is an outstanding honor that illustrates the strength of Lin’s research group,” said Behnaam Aazhang, Department Chair Emeritus. 

Dr. Zhong’s team developed a solution for sharing I/O between Mobile Systems.  I/O stands for “Input/Output”.  An I/O device in a computer system allows the user to interact with the computer. A microphone, display, touchscreen, mouse, keyboard, and camera are some examples of I/O. I/O devices are what Rio shares between mobile systems.  

“Users these days own a variety of computer systems, such as a smartphone, a tablet, a smart watch, a laptop, and even a pair of smart glasses. Currently, each of these systems come with their own separate operating system and applications,” team member Ardalan Amiri Sani said. “We imagine that all the different systems are a part of a bigger computer. We envision a single system image – operating system and application – running on all the user’s different devices." 




“For example, you would open Skype on a smartphone, and then seamlessly transitioning the call to a tablet, without having to first end the call on the smartphone. The software will be able to access all of the user’s I/O devices as a single computer,” Amiri Sani explained. 

The future of this project is through operating system vendors. 

“Rio is a part of a bigger vision, and potentially many more years of effort,” – Amiri Sani said. “We typically open source our work, and will probably do so again so that people can take what we’ve done and use it in their own research – to build on top of what we’ve done.”   

The next step would be integrating the technology into the public realm. Amiri Sani says the conference provides a platform for the research they’ve done to go even further. 

“Our hope is we showed the conference that such a thing is possible, then we open source it so that it can become more mainstream. For this to be widespread, software vendors of operating systems, like Apple, would adopt it and seamlessly transition users to this experience,” he explained. 

“MobiSys is the top conference in mobile computing. The acceptance rate for papers is very low. Winning the best paper there shows that people like what we do,” he continued. 




-Jennifer Hunter