Precog: Intelligent Prefetching on Smartphones and Tablets for Time-Shifted WiFi Offloading

Technology #7295

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Raghupathy Sivakumar
Faculty Inventor Profile
External Link (www.ece.gatech.edu)
Shruti Sanadhya
Inventor Profile
External Link (www.linkedin.com)
Uma Parthavi Moravapalle
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Rene' Meadors
Marketing Associate (404)385-0434

Background: Browsing the Internet has moved away from desktop computers to cell phones, which use expensive data plans when away from WiFi.  Various caching schemes have been created to minimize data use, and users have changed their behavior to only browse high-bandwidth data when they have access to WiFi. As cellular data needs grow, methods to reduce the load on cell networks need to be developed to keep up with growing consumer demand.

Technology: Raghupathy Sivakumar, Shruti Sanadhya, and Uma Parthavi Moravapalle from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech have developed a server and client that monitors users’ patterns of use on websites, replacing the older style of caching that is based on only those URLs that are frequently accessed.  The modern web uses so much dynamic and secured content that requires a log-in, that such caching methods often fail. With Precog, the system maintains the state of the connection so that logging in is unnecessary,

This technology relies on the nature of dynamic sites’ layout, which does not change often despite frequent updates to content.  These updates lead to static addresses and locations, with this static content quickly losing relevance.  Instead of caching that old content, Precog goes to the same area of the site that changes often (for example, a Facebook wall) to grab the latest data and the predicable posts the user will click on. This approach offloads the costs of cellular data to much less expensive and higher bandwidth WiFi networks. Freeing up this bandwidth does not just reduce costs, it also frees up cell spectrum so it can support more concurrent users.

Potential Commercial Applications: This invention would be useful to either end users trying to minimize their cellular data usage or by the cell service providers to reduce their bandwidth requirements across their whole customer base.  The client-server nature even supports 3rd party providers to serve the same purpose.  Once developed, Precog would allow for a more modern, dynamic web available to cell phone users with minimum wait and cost.

Benefits / Advantages: 

  • Client/Server architecture offloads collection of new information to WiFi and the cloud
  • Supports dynamic nature of the modern web and keeps session log-ins
  • Based on predicting where the user will focus their attention instead of just a list of URLs
  • Minimizes costs through the whole value chain, freeing up spectrum for growing market of cell phone data users