SIGMOBILE Test-of-Time Paper Awards

The SIGMOBILE Test-of-Time awards recognize papers that have had a sustained and significant impact in the SIGMOBILE community over at least a decade. The award recognizes that a paper's influence is often not fully apparent at the time of publication, and it can be best judged with the perspective of time.

All papers published at least 10 years ago in a SIGMOBILE venue are eligible for this award. In addition, papers published at least 10 years ago in other venues are also eligible if they have had an exceptional influence on the SIGMOBILE community. The papers are judged by their influence since publication. The award includes an honorarium for each paper to be split amongst the authors and an award certificate of recognition for each author. A public citation for award papers will be placed on the SIGMOBILE website.

Selection Committee

The current SIGMOBILE Executive Committee shall appoint a chair of the selection committee for the award. The chair, in consultation with the Executive Committee, will appoint additional members to the committee. The committee will comprise of at least three members. Committee members will typically be invited from among the Technical Program Committee (TPC) Chairs of major SIGMOBILE conferences of the current year as well as from major SIGMOBILE conferences held ten years back. In addition, other established members of the SIGMOBILE community can also be invited to be part of the committee. For the sake of continuity, we will strive to retain at least one member of the selection committee in the next year. Finally, members may serve in the committee for up to three consecutive years.

Procedure & Deadline

As the nonimation procedure can differ across years, please refer to the latest annual page for the current procedure and deadline:

2022 Paper Awardees

Mahadev Satyanarayanan (Carnegie Mellon University), Paramvir Bahl (Microsoft Research), Ramon Caceres (AT&T Research), Nigel Davies (Lancaster University), "The Case for VM-based Cloudlets in Mobile Computing”, IEEE Pervasive Computing 8, no. 4 (2009): 14-23.

What is known as edge computing today can be traced back to this Cloudlets paper, which proposed the need to support localized data and computation, thus avoiding the high latency and bandwidth limitations associated with traditional cloud computing.

Clayton Shepard (Rice University), Hang Yu (Rice University), Narendra Anand (Rice University), Erran Li (Alcatel-Lucent), Thomas Marzetta (Alcatel-Lucent), Richard Yang (Yale University), Lin Zhong (Rice University). "Argos: Practical many-antenna base stations”, In Proceedings of the 18th annual international conference on Mobile computing and networking (ACM MobiCom), pp. 53-64. 2012.

ARGOS has closed important gaps between the theory and practice of massive MIMO (particularly in the context of zero forcing and conjugate beamforming), and has influenced the development of the 3GPP 5G standards.

2021 Paper Awardees

Jung Il Choi, Mayank Jain, Kannan Srinivasan, Philip Levis, and Sachin Katti. "Achieving Single Channel, Full Duplex Wireless Communication," MobiCom: The 16th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, Sep. 2010.

Melissa Duarte and Ashutosh Sabharwal. "Full-Duplex Wireless Communications Using Off-The-Shelf Radios: Feasibility and First Results," Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems, and Computers, Dec. 2010.

Full-duplex has been a long-standing open problem in wireless networking — can we design wireless radios that transmit and receive at the same time and frequency without interference? These two papers demonstrated the feasibility of practical full-duplex systems, spawning an entirely new area for research exploration. In doing so, they have delivered strong impact on academia and influenced industry deployments of next-generation wireless systems.

Chandra Narayanaswami, Noboru Kamijoh, Mandayam Raghunath, Tadanobu Inoue, Thomas Cipolla, Jim Sanford, Eugene Schlig, Sreekrishnan Venkiteswaran, Dinakar Guniguntala, Vishal Kulkarni, and Kazuhiko Yamazaki. "IBM's Linux Watch: The Challenge of Miniaturization," IEEE Computer, Vol. 35. No. 1, January 2002.

IBM’s Linux Watch was truly ahead of its time, and the recent proliferation of Linux-based smart watches demonstrates the ongoing relevance of this work. This multi-year, cross-disciplinary research resulted in a wide set of contributions that are found in many of today’s personal devices, including innovations such as a 740dpi OLED screen, being the most miniaturized Linux device at the time, now-standard power-saving techniques in hardware and software, and interaction advances for bezel and touch UX. This work showcases the value of having a challenging real-world goal motivating research, as such a goal excites and enables advances that have useful and long-term impact.

2020 Paper Awardee

Jason Flinn and M. Satyanarayanan. "Energy-aware adaptation for mobile applications”, ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSP), 1999.

This paper describes how an OS and applications can collaborate to adapt energy use on a mobile device. While at the time this was new ground, the approaches it presents are now simply standard practise, in the devices and apps we use every day. It is remarkable how prescient this 1999 paper was, and how well its ideas have stood the test of time. For example, the hardware and software approaches to energy adaptation it proposes are now commonplace, and the applications it analyses (browser, voice recognition, video player and maps) are still ubiquitous. This paper presaged a huge amount of work in energy adaptation by both academia and industry, and the area remains of core interest to SIGMOBILE.

2019 Paper Awardees

Patrick Murphy, Ashutosh Sabharwal, and Behnaam Aazhang. "Design of WARP: a wireless open-access research platform," European Signal Processing Conference, 2006.

WARP was a groundbreaking open-source specialized hardware platform for high-performance wireless research. As one of the very few university hardware projects that moved outside the university, WARP has served as an experimental enabler for hundreds of ideas, which otherwise would have hardly been demonstrated, due to code base limitations and the large cost of wireless platforms capable of supporting high-end research. In the process, WARP was instrumental in changing the way the SIGMOBILE wireless community did research – strong experimental evidence versus oversimplified simulations.

Prashanth Mohan, Venkata N. Padmanabhan, and Ramachandran Ramjee. "Nericell: Rich Monitoring of Road and Traffic Conditions using Mobile Smartphones," ACM SenSys, 2008.

Nericell pioneered the use of smartphones as a vehicular sensing platform, at a time when these devices lacked the sensing capabilities that are commonplace today. Nericell showed how smartphones could be used to sense various aspects of road and traffic conditions. In addition to the technical achievements, it influenced a large body of research,inspired others to develop novel uses of smartphone sensors, and fostered new lines of academic and commercial research.

Emiliano Miluzzo, Nicholas D. Lane, Kristof Fodor, Ronald Peterson, Hong Lu, Mirco Musolesi, Shane B. Eisenman, Xiao Zheng, and Andrew T. Campbell. "Sensing meets mobile social networks: the design, implementation and evaluation of the CenceMe application," ACM SenSys, 2008.

CenceMe was the first paper to demonstrate how smartphones can be used to derive rich behavioral insights continuously from onboard sensors. Since its publication, the work has inspired a huge body of research and commercial endeavors that has continued to increase the breadth and depth of personal sensing. Some of the activity inference methods that are now common in smartphone operating systems can be traced back to the original CenceMe system.

2018 Paper Awardees

M. Satyanarayanan. “Pervasive Computing: Vision and Challenges,” IEEE Personal Communications, 8(4), August 2001.

The paper connects the vision of pervasive computing to distributed systems and mobile computing as we knew them then, then draws fundamental observations of what system components still needed to be developed and how. The paper is a travel in time. What we call today the “Internet of Things” was already described here, along with many other fundamental concepts such as edge computing, cloud offloading, energy-driven adaptation, thick and thin clients. As an eminent example of abstract thinking, the author revealed the essence of each and every research challenge independent of the technology available back then.

Charles E. Perkins and Elizabeth M. Royer. “Ad-hoc On-Demand Distance Vector Routing,” ACM Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications (WMCSA), 1999

This paper presents AODV, perhaps the most influential ad hoc routing protocol to date. This algorithm proposes a novel and suitable solution for the operation of these dynamic and unstable networks. Its major impact on the industry and related standards demonstrate the practical importance of this work. Additionally, the protocol is a “must-teach” in academic curricula related to mobile networking.

Eugene Shih, Paramvir Bahl and Michael J. Sinclair, “Wake on Wireless: An Event Driven Energy Saving Strategy for Battery Operated Devices,” ACM MobiCom 2002.

This paper pioneered the systematic use of low- and high-power radios in a battery-constrained device, by separating data and control channels, to minimize overall energy consumption. The approach is now used commonly in today’s mobile devices. Additionally, the rigorous experimental approach had a significant impact on the research methodology in mobile computing community.

Jitendra Padhye, Victor Firoiu, Don Towsley and Jim Kurose, “Modeling TCP throughput: A simple model and its empirical validation,” 28(4), ACM SIGCOMM, 1998.

The TCP model presented in this work is arguably the one that significantly influenced the SIGMOBILE community. Not only elegantly simple but also capable of accurately predicting TCP’s throughput over a very wide range of loss rates. After two decades, it is still taught in several networking classes, and often used as a starting point for related modeling research.

Rudolf Ahlswede, Ning Cai, Shuo-Yen Robert Li and Raymond W. Yeung, “Network Information Flow,” 46(4), IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, July 2000.

This is the seminal work on network coding that had a profound impact on the networking and mobile systems communities. The information theoretic analysis led to significant academic work for more than a decade in the networking community on leveraging network coding to build systems that achieve higher reliability and throughput.

Bret Hull, Vladimir Bychkovsky, Yang Zhang, Kevin Chen, Michel Goraczko, Allen K. Miu, Eugene Shih, Hari Balakrishnan and Samuel Madden, “CarTel: A Distributed Mobile Sensor Computing System,” ACM SenSys 2006.

This seminal paper proposed to leverage commodity sensing units on on-the-road vehicles to revolutionize the monitoring of road traffic and road hazard/surface for improving road safety. In addition to significant academic impact, the paper also generated real-world impact with the proposed concept being widely adopted in popular map applications. Additionally, the network stack designs to tolerate intermittent connectivity also had an impact on delay-tolerant mobile networking, including those targeting remote inaccessible regions.

Past Awardees

Bianchi, Giuseppe. "Performance Analysis of the IEEE 802.11 Distributed Coordination Function." IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, volume: 18, issue: 3, March 2000.

This paper pioneered a new technique for throughput modeling of 802.11, which balanced tractability and accuracy, and which continues to be taught and used extensively in the study of WiFi protocols and its variants.

Nissanka Priyantha, Anit Chakraborty, Hari Balakrishnan. "The Cricket Location-Support System." Proceedings of the 6th annual international conference on Mobile computing and networking. 2000.

Cricket was one of the early systems to demonstrate a complete, end-to-end solution for indoor localization, combining both ultrasound and wireless sensing in a decentralized and privacy-compliant architecture. It is an excellent example of a mobile systems paper done right and has led to the technology being commercialized in the form of Cricket motes, which have been used by other teams in real-world deployments, including in hospital and shop floor settings.

Ken Hinckley, Jeff Pierce, Mike Sinclair, Eric Horvitz. "Sensing Techniques for Mobile Interaction." Proceedings of the 13th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology. 2000.

This paper showed how combinations of simple sensors could be used to create rich mobile interactions that are now commonplace in mobile devices today. It also opened up people's imaginations about how we could interact with mobile devices in the future, inspiring a wide range of research on sensor-based interaction techniques.

David Kotz and Kobby Essien. "Analysis of a Campus-wide Wireless Network." Journal of Wireless Networks. Volume 11 Issue 1-2, January 2005.

This paper was the first to systematically demonstrate how to measure and understand a production-scale wireless network, which was previously considered an impenetrable black box. This led to an incredible amount of follow-on work, with the measurement methods and analysis mechanisms proposed in this paper still being used. This paper was also the spark for the creation of the CRAWDAD data repository, which has been of immense value to the wireless research community.

Philo Juang, Hidekazu Oki, Yong Wang, Margaret Martonosi, Li-Shiuan Peh, Daniel Rubenstein. "Energy-Efficient Computing for Wildlife Tracking: Design Tradeoffs and Early Experiences with ZebraNet." Proceedings of the 10th international conference on Architectural support for programming languages and operating systems. 2002.

ZebraNet was one of the first deployments of mobile sensors in the wild -- quite literally. This paper set the standard for application-driven mobile systems research, showing how to close the interdisciplinary loop between computer science and non-CS domains. The peer-to-peer data exchange developed by ZebraNet has also had lasting impact in many other areas, including vehicular networking.

Abramson, Norman. "THE ALOHA SYSTEM: another alternative for computer communications." IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications ( Volume: 18, Issue: 3, March 2000 )

ALOHAnet was a pioneering wireless data network deployed across the Hawaiian Islands. It laid the foundations for network technologies that are still dominant decades later, in particular Wi-Fi and Ethernet. Among other contributions, its random-access radio technology remains a hugely influential development in medium access control for wireless networks.

Kleinrock, Leonard, and Fouad A. Tobagi. "Packet switching in radio channels: Part I--carrier sense multiple-access modes and their throughput-delay characteristics." Communications, IEEE Transactions on 23.12 (1975): 1400-1416.

A pioneering contribution to the early days of wireless packet networks that is on the reading list of any student interested in the foundation of media access control in packet radio networks. This paper makes a fundamental contribution to the development of carrier sense multiple access (CSMA) that underpins the wireless edge today.

Weiser, Mark. "The computer for the 21st century." Scientific American 265.3 (1991): 94-104.

This truly visionary paper by Mark Weiser created the field of ubiquitous computing and has inspired generations of researchers. It introduced the world to the ubicomp devices from Xerox PARC: ParcTab, Pad, and LiveBoard, and laid out a series of technical hurdles that had to be overcome in order to realize the vision of ubicomp.

Want, Roy, Andy Hopper, Veronica Falcao, and Jonathan Gibbons. "The active badge location system." ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS) 10, no. 1 (1992): 91-102.

The Active Badge system was the first indoor location-based system, that has spawned two decades of work in indoor localization. Not only was the paper incredibly influential from a systems perspective, it also led to significant work on applications and privacy throughout the mobile systems community.

Kistler, James J., and Mahadev Satyanarayanan. "Disconnected operation in the Coda file system." ACM Transactions on Computer Systems (TOCS) 10.1 (1992): 3-25.

The Coda file system remains influential today as did in 1990s when it first appeared. Coda first recognized that the future mobile devices and their file systems should be designed to operate in disconnected environments. Coda treated disconnection as a mode of operation rather than failure. Examples of its impact are all around us from Google Drive to Dropbox.

Bakre, Ajay, and B. R. Badrinath. "I-TCP: Indirect TCP for mobile hosts. "Distributed Computing Systems, 1995., Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on. IEEE, 1995.

I-TCP makes the fundamental observation that performance in a mobile network could be greatly improved if the congestion control loop of the end-to-end path was broken into one catering to the wireless part and another catering to its wired counterpart. This visionary and unorthodox principle is commonly found in today.s cellular data deployments.

Bahl, Paramvir, and Venkata N. Padmanabhan. "RADAR: An in-building RF-based user location and tracking system." INFOCOM 2000. Nineteenth Annual Joint Conference of the IEEE Computer and Communications Societies. Proceedings. IEEE. Vol. 2. IEEE, 2000.

RADAR was a pioneering system for locating and tracking mobile devices using wireless LAN technology. It anticipated not only the Wi-Fi-based indoor localization solutions widely used by our mobile devices today, but also the growing interest in exploiting wireless infrastructure for goals beyond communications.

Gupta, Piyush, and Panganmala R. Kumar. "The capacity of wireless networks." Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on 46.2 (2000): 388-404.

This seminal wireless modeling paper made a key contribution to the analysis of large scale wireless networks with a framework to analyze the system and per-node throughput as the system scales. The analysis framework has become a standard tool for analysis of large system performance, and spawned numerous analytical results in wireless networks.

Polastre, Joseph, Jason Hill, and David Culler. "Versatile low power media access for wireless sensor networks." Proceedings of the 2nd international conference on Embedded networked sensor systems. ACM, 2004.

The Berkeley MAC (B-MAC) was a pioneering contribution to media access control in TinyOS-based wireless sensor networks.� B-MAC and its underlying low-power listening principle became a facto standard in sensor networks. It plays a lasting role in the development of new low power wireless technologies such as IoTs.

LaMarca, Anthony, Yatin Chawathe, Sunny Consolvo, Jeffrey Hightower, Ian Smith, James Scott, Timothy Sohn, James Howard, Jeff Hughes, Fred Potter, Jason Tabert, Pauline Powledge, Gaetano Borriello, Bill Schilit. "Place lab: Device positioning using radio beacons in the wild." In Pervasive computing, pp. 116-133. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2005.

Place Lab was a seminal effort to achieve accurate localization of mobile devices using existing infrastructure. It showed through painstaking experiments that leveraging a combination of Wi-Fi and GSM beacons enabled positioning with 20-30 meter median accuracy and close to 100% coverage throughout a major metropolitan area. The work directly informed localization techniques that have come to be used in billions of mobile devices.

Bicket, John, Daniel Aguayo, Sanjit Biswas, and Robert Morris. "Architecture and evaluation of an unplanned 802.11 b mesh network." In Proceedings of the 11th annual international conference on Mobile computing and networking, pp. 31-42. ACM, 2005.

This paper made a number of key contributions to multi-hop mesh networks. It presents the architecture and extensive evaluation of Roofnet, a mesh network built out of unplanned deployment of wireless nodes. The work inspired a closer look at mesh networks, an architecture which is well suited for many practical deployments. The scale and operational lifetime of the network deployment provides important insights for the field.