Improving Mobile Application Performance : Challenges, Solutions and Best Practices

Improving Mobile Application Performance : Challenges, Solutions and Best Practices


Dr. Subhabrata (Shubho) Sen


Along with the spread of higher speed cellular technologies like 4G/LTE, the past few years have witnessed an explosive growth in mobile Internet data traffic. A recent industry report forecasts global mobile data traffic to increase 7x between 2016 and 2021. However the performance and energy bottlenecks of mobile applications are little understood due to a lack of visibility into the resource-constrained mobile execution environment and its potentially complex interaction with the application behavior.

Consider the popular activity of mobile web browsing. Today’s web page download process is ill-suited to cellular networks resulting in high page load times and radio energy usage. In this talk, I shall first overview some of the issues involved in supporting web browsing over cellular. I shall then present a solution approach called PARCEL that judiciously refactors browsing functionality between a proxy middlebox and a client. The proxy conducts redundant execution of browsing functionality to identify and proactively push objects for a client, thereby providing significant latency savings compared to traditional HTTP/1.1 and SPDY. I shall also overview Nutshell, a design for scaling such redundant execution proxies to support millions of users, by reducing the proxy computational overheads. Finally, time permitting, I shall briefly overview our research into improving the performance of another increasingly common activity in the mobile ecosystem - video streaming.


Dr. Subhabrata (Shubho) Sen is a Lead Scientist at AT&T Labs Research. His research interests include IP network management, application and network performance, cross-layer interactions and optimizations in cellular networks, video streaming, configuration management, network measurements, and traffic analysis. He has published 96 peer-reviewed research articles, and holds over 60 awarded patents. He is a recipient of the AT&T Science and Technology Medal, the AT&T Labs President Excellence award, and the AT&T CTO Innovation Award. He is a co-inventor of the open-source Application Resource Optimizer (ARO) tool for analyzing cellular friendliness of mobile app designs that earned top industry honors including the American Business Awards’ Tech innovation of the Year Gold Stevie award.

Shubho holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from Jadavpur University, India, and M.S. and PHD. in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has served earlier as an editor of the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking. He is an IEEE Fellow and a Member of ACM.