Section: Software

Yarta: Middleware for supporting Mobile Social Applications

Participant : Animesh Pathak [correspondent] .

With the increased prevalence of advanced mobile devices (the so-called “smart” phones), interest has grown in Mobile Social Ecosystems (MSEs), where users not only access traditional Web-based social networks using their mobile devices, but are also able to use the context information provided by these devices to further enrich their interactions. We are developing a middleware framework for managing mobile social ecosystems, having a multi-layer middleware architecture consisting of modules, which will provide the needed functionalities, including:

  • Extraction of social ties from context (both physical and virtual),

  • Enforcement of access control to protect social data from arbitrary access,

  • A rich set of MSE management functionalities, using which mobile social applications can be developed.

Our middleware adopts a graph-based model for representing social data, where nodes and arcs describe socially relevant entities and their connections. In particular, we exploit the Resource Description Framework (RDF), a basic Semantic Web standard language that allows representing and reasoning about social vocabulary, and creating an interconnected graph of socially relevant information from different sources.

The current implementation of the Yarta middleware targets both desktop/laptop nodes running Java 2 SE, as well as Android smart phones. The software is released under open source license at https://gforge.inria.fr/projects/yarta/ .