Seamless Mobility on Ubiquitous Hardware
Prof. Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Carnegie Mellon University

The term "mobile computing" typically evokes images of a laptop, handheld, or wearable computer. However, the plummeting cost of hardware suggests that pervasive computing infrastructure could minimize the need to carry such devices in the near future. In such a world, personal computing will be available anywhere on demand, like light at the flip of a switch. Only when a user starts to use a computer will it acquire his unique customization and state. When he finishes using the computer, this customization and state will disappear from it. Thus, a user could travel hands-free yet be confident of making productive use of slivers of free time anywhere

In this talk, I will describe Internet Suspend/Resume (ISR), a pervasive computing technology that rapidly personalizes and depersonalizes anonymous hardware for transient use. As its name implies, ISR mimics the closing and opening of a laptop. A user can suspend work on an ISR machine at one location, travel to another location, and resume work there on any other ISR machine. Hardware virtualization and file caching are the keys to ISR's precise customization and simple administration.

Professor Satyanarayanan is one of the founders of the field of mobile information access. One outcome of his work is the Coda File System which supports disconnected and bandwidth-adaptive operation. Key ideas from Coda have been incorporated by Microsoft into the IntelliMirror component of Windows 2000. The Cached Exchange Mode of Microsoft Outlook 2003 builds directly on Coda's caching approach to disconnected and weakly connected operation. Another outcome of Satyanarayanan's research is Odyssey, a set of open-source operating system extensions for enabling mobile applications to adapt to variation in critical resources such as bandwidth and energy. Coda and Odyssey are building blocks in Project Aura, a research initiative at Carnegie Mellon to build a distraction-free ubiquitous computing environment. Earlier, Satyanarayanan was a principal architect and implementor of the Andrew File System (AFS) which was commercialized by IBM.

Satyanarayanan is the Carnegie Group Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. From May 2001 to May 2004, he served as the founding director of Intel Research Pittsburgh, which focuses on software systems for distributed data storage. In this role, he was a co-inventor of the Internet Suspend/Resume approach to pervasive computing, as well as the Diamond approach to interactive search of complex, non-indexed data. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Pervasive Computing. He received the PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon, after Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He is a Fellow of the ACM and the IEEE.