ATcrc Project 1.2: Frameworks for the Development of Next Generation Internet Applications

Project Team

Dr Caspar Ryan (Project Leader)
Associate Professor Jim McGovern
Associate Professor George Fernandez
Dr Pablo Rossi




Users are becoming more mobile, expecting instant connectivity using a diverse range of heterogeneous devices such as PDAs and mobile phones, which vary along a number of dimensions including screen size, form factor, processing speed, permanent storage, and power consumption. These devices are expected to diverge even further with future trends pointing towards 'wearable' computing and pervasive connectivity in the Next Generation Internet environment (3G communication technologies and beyond). Potential application domains, which can exploit this emerging infrastructure, include enterprise and business oriented solutions through to rich multimedia based video games and online/virtual communities, that not only provide commercial opportunities but social value by supporting existing community organisations and services.

Among these possible applications, online communities are seen as a huge potential growth area, echoing the popularity of 'reality' style programming such as Channel Ten's Big Brother, whilst giving consumers the opportunity to participate in a more immersive and interactive manner than is currently possible via the television or web viewing modes.

There is also much scope for community-oriented applications such as the co-ordination of workers and inter-worker communication in volunteer based emergency services such as the State Emergency Services (SES) (State of Victoria, 2003b) or County Fire Authority (CFA) (State of Victoria, 2003a). Furthermore, support groups such as SeniorLink (SeniorLink, 2003) and Meals on Wheels (Australian Meals on Wheels Association Inc., 2003) could use online communities as a means of extending their reach and facilitating community interaction between clients, beyond the traditional carer based relationship.


Australian Meals on Wheels Association Inc. (2003). URL: Retrieved, from the World Wide Web
SeniorLink. (2003). URL: Retrieved, from the World Wide Web
State of Victoria. (2003a). URL: Retrieved, from the World Wide Web
State of Victoria. (2003b). URL: Retrieved, from the World Wide Web


In order for the next generation applications described above to be viable, users must experience performance comparable to current desktop and LAN based application scenarios. From the perspective of the application developer, the difficulty of targeting different devices and maintaining multiple codebases is problematic, thereby slowing the development of applications that can effectively utilise existing and future communications infrastructure. For example, despite the supposed ‘write once run anywhere’ promise of languages such as Java, developers must still contend with a wide variety of API’s such as Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) (Sun Microsystems, 2003a), Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE) (Sun Microsystems, 2003b) and Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) (Sun Microsystems, 2003c), each following a different implementation approach. Consequently, application and Internet service providers (ASPs/ISPs) are faced with increasing costs as developers look to thin client solutions to avoid the complexities of client side development on multiple devices, leaving client resources unused, servers overloaded and end users with unresponsive user interfaces. 

To address the difficulty of developing such applications and thus realise the potential of next generation infrastructure, this project is concerned with novel techniques and frameworks for automating the dynamic distribution and execution of applications and their constituent components on heterogenous devices. Such frameworks will be built and tested on top of the hardware and software based simulation platforms of project 1.1.


Sun Microsystems. (2003a). URL: Retrieved, from the World Wide Web
Sun Microsystems. (2003b). URL: Retrieved, from the World Wide Web
Sun Microsystems. (2003c). URL: Retrieved, from the World Wide Web
Sub Projects

Sub Projects

An overview and introduction to the MobJeX framework can be found in this PowerPoint Presentation

Details can be found in the following publications and theses:


Rossi, P., & Ryan, C. An Empirical Evaluation of Dynamic Local Adaptation for Distributed Mobile Applications, Proc. of 2005 International Symposium on Distributed Objects and Applications (DOA 2005), Larnaca, Cyprus, October 2005

Ryan, C. & Rossi, P. Software, Performance and Resource Utilisation Metrics for Context-Aware Mobile Applications, 11th IEEE International Software Metrics Symposium (to appear), Como, Italy, September 2005.

Ryan, C. & Gonsalves, A. The Effect of Context and Application Type on Mobile Usability: An Empirical Study. Proc. of 28th Australasian Computer Science Conference (ACSC 2005), Newcastle, Australia, January 2005.

Ryan, C. &  Westhorpe, C. Application Adaptation through Transparent and Portable Object Mobility in Java, Proc. of 2004 International Symposium on Distributed Objects and Applications (DOA 2004), Agia Napa, Cyprus, October 2004, Springer-Verlag LNCS3291.

Ryan, C., & Perry, S. Client/Server Configuration in a Next Generation Internet Environment: End-User, Developer, and Service Provider Perspectives.   Advanced Telecommunications Networking and Applications Conference ATNAC 2003, Melbourne, Australia

Ryan, C., & Perry, S. MobJeX: A Declaratively Configurable Java Based Framework for Resource Aware Object Mobility. 2003 International Symposium on Distributed Objects and Applications, Catania, Sicily


Gani, H. The Impact of Runtime Metrics Collection on Adaptive Mobile Applications, RMIT Honours Thesis, 2005.

Westhorpe, C. Optimising Transparency, Performance and Reliability in the Mobility Subsystem of a Mobile Object Framework, RMIT Honours Thesis, 2004.

Donald, L. System Modelling and Rule Evaluation in an Adaptive Mobile Object Framework, RMIT Honours Thesis, 2004.

Perry, S. Object Transport and Reference Management in the MobJeX Framework, RMIT Honours Thesis, 2003.

Dorman, A. Execution Context Migration within a Standard Java Virtual Machine Environment, RMIT Honours Thesis, 2003.

Citro, S., McGovern, J., & Ryan, C. An Efficient Consistency Management Algorithm for Real-Time Mobile Collaboration, Proc. of the Fifth International Conference on Quality Software, IEEE Computer Society Press, Melbourne, Australia, September 2005.

McGovern, J. & Ryan, C. Adaptive Consistency Management Support for Limited Capacity Devices in Ad-hoc Mobile Networks.

 The 2004 International Symposium on Collaborative Technologies and Systems (CTS’04), San Diego CA USA