First responders and others operating in crisis environments at the tactical edge increasingly use handheld devices to help with tasks such as face recognition, language translation, decision making, and mission planning.
These resource‐constrained environments are characterized by limited processing power and battery life of handheld devices, unreliable networks with limited and inconsistent bandwidth, uncertainly of available infrastructure and connectivity to the enterprise, and high cognitive load on end users. This presentation will cover three architecture patterns that address these challenges:
- The Data Source Integration pattern relies on server‐side standardized definitions of live or cached geo-located data feeds that can be customized and filtered on a single map‐based user interface on a mobile device. This pattern addresses the limitations of unreliable networks, uncertainty of connectivity to the enterprise, and high cognitive load.
- The Group Context Awareness pattern takes advantage of the fact that first responders and other groups at the edge typically operate in teams. It uses the context obtained from groups of handheld devices to make better decisions about how and when to disseminate and display information, taking advantage of the communication mechanisms available at the moment. This pattern addresses the challenges of limited battery life, uncertainty of available infrastructure, and high cognitive load.
- The Cloudlet‐Based Cyber‐Foraging pattern relies on the use of cloudlets as code‐offload elements to optimize resources and increase computation capability of mobile devices. Cloudlets are discoverable, localized, stateless servers running one or more virtual machines on which soldiers can offload resource-intensive computations from their mobile devices. The pattern addresses the challenges of limited processing power and battery life, unreliable networks, uncertainty of available infrastructure, and uncertainty of connectivity to the enterprise.
Prototype applications have been implemented for each of these patterns. Experiment results and participation in simulated exercises have shown the effectiveness of the patterns in addressing the challenges of resource-constrained environments.
This work was first presented at the Software Engineering Institute Architecture Technology User Network (SATURN) Conference, May 2013.