Title: Breaking for Commercials:Characterizing Mobile Advertising


Mobile advertising has allowed organisations and developers to monetize their mobile applications on the Android and iPhone market. The mobile advertisement (ad) ecosystem has been the target of prior research, but these works typically focused on a small set of apps or are from a user privacy perspective. This talk, provides a different perspective by analysing the impact of ad delivery mechanisms on cellular networks and the energy consumption on mobile devices. The analysis makes use of a unique, anonymized data set corresponding to one day of traffic for a major European mobile carrier with more than 3 million subscribers. We further take a principled approach to characterize mobile ad traffic along a number of dimensions, such as overall traffic, frequency, as well as possible implications in terms of energy on a mobile device. Our analysis demonstrates a number of inefficiencies in today’s ad delivery mechanisms. Finally, I will discuss the benefits of well-known techniques, such as pre-fetching and caching, to limit the energy and network signalling overhead caused by current systems. A prototype implementation on Android devices demonstrates an improvement of 50% in terms of energy consumption for offline ad-sponsored apps while limiting the amount of ad related traffic.
This is an IMC’12 practice talk. Full paper available at:


Narseo Vallina is a final year PhD student in the Computer Laboratory, at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Professor Jon Crowcroft In 2012, he was awarded with a Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship. His research is mainly focused on ErdOS; an energy-aware mobile operating system and cellular networks he is also interested on inter-personal communications and the opportunities that cloud computing can offer to mobile computing. Narseo Vallina has completed two internships in Telefonica Research working with Dina Papagiannaki and Yan Grunenberger and in T-labs with Pan Hui.

2012 Oct 10 – Narseo Vallina