Dependability Evaluation of Cooperative Backup Strategies for Mobile Devices

Ludovic Courtès, Ossama Hamouda, Mohamed Kaâniche, Marc-Olivier Killijian, David Powell



Mobile devices (e.g., laptops, PDAs, cell phones) are increasingly relied on but are used in contexts that put them at risk of physical damage, loss or theft. This paper discusses the dependability evaluation of a cooperative backup service for mobile devices. Participating de-vices leverage encounters with other devices to temporarily replicate critical data. Permanent backups are created when the participating devices are able to access the fixed infrastructure. Several data replication and scattering strategies are presented, including the use of erasure codes. A methodology to model and evaluate them using Petri nets and Markov chains is described. We demonstrate that our cooperative backup service decreases the probability of data loss by a factor up to the ad hoc to Internet connectivity ratio.

Keywords: data backup; mobile devices; Markov evaluation; stochastic Petri nets