Recently, we started to experience a shift from physical communities to virtual communities, which leads to missed social opportunities in our daily routine. For instance, we are not aware of neighbors with common interests or nearby events. Mobile social computing applications (MSCAs) promise to improve social connectivity in physical communities by leveraging information about people, social relationships, and places. This article presents MobiSoC, a middleware that enables MSCA development and provides a common platform for capturing, managing, and sharing the social state of physical communities. Additionally, it incorporates algorithms that discover previously unknown emergent geo-social patterns to augment this state. To demonstrate MobiSoC's feasibility, we implemented and tested on smart phones two MSCAs for location-based mobile social matching and place-based ad hoc social collaboration. Experimental results showed that MobiSoC can provide good response time for 1,000 users. We also demonstrated that an adaptive localization scheme and carefully chosen cryptographic methods can significantly reduce the resource consumption associated with the location engine and security on smart phones. A user study of the mobile social matching application proved that geo-social patterns can double the quality of social matches and that people are willing to share their location with MobiSoC in order to benefit from MSCAs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Information Systems
- Hardware and Architecture
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Mobile social computing
- Smart phones