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Characterizing mobile user habits: The case for energy budgeting

In this paper, we collect and analyze data from 85 smartphone users over a 9 month period. Different from existing work, we study device usage patterns in concert with network performance in space and time. Our results uncover predictable mobility patterns, where users are moving between hubs (i.e., home or workplace) and transit locations. In hubs, users are typically connected using Wi-Fi, while in transit locations cellular connectivity dominates with highly varying performance (from EDGE to HSPA+).

Interestingly, there are set of apps over time running on user devices, independent of the location, network conditions, and device resources (e.g., battery level). These apps can aggressively use the network, which leads to significant device resource consumption (e.g., energy), as shown by our controlled experiments. We discuss how our findings can be used to budget mobile device available resources and improve user experience.

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