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Content Aware Mobile Email Services
KTH, Superseded Departments, Teleinformatics. (CCSlab)
KTH, Superseded Departments, Teleinformatics. (CCSlab)
1999 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The use and importance of email has increased tremendously over the past few years. Internet users are also becoming increasingly mobile and there has been a recent explosion in the market for small, hand-held Internet connected devices. Email has been identified as a “killer application” for these devices and the race between hardware manufacturers, software houses and service providers to meet the email needs of mobile consumers is on.

Meanwhile the use of attachments in email messages has increased and these attachments are becoming more complex, thus requiring more bandwidth. They also often contain graphics such as images and video.

The new small email enabled devices typically have small black and white screens, slow processors and little local storage, i.e. they are not very well suited for downloading and reading email attachments. We therefore propose adding content awareness to email services. By this we mean that email content is adapted to better suit the client before it is downloaded.We have identified two types of adaptions which are applicable: stripping (removing attachments from an email) and thinning (reduction of attachment size).

We have looked at different ways of adding content awareness to an email service. We have implemented an agent based solution which uses multiple inboxes. We chose to call the solution MMAA (Mobile Mail Adaption Agent). The MMAA system is built around a standard IMAP server, a standard IMAP client and a personal Java agent. We have designed, implemented and evaluated the MMAA from a usability and security point of view. It works well, the main objection is that users tend to get confused by the idea of having more than one inbox.

We have also examined the underlying email protocols IMAP and SMTP and suggested an addition to the IMAP protocol which would make it easier to implement future content aware email services. The extension adds a command to IMAP4rev1 called ADAPT. The ADAPT command lets clients communicate their characteristics to the server while fetching mail. The server can then content adapt the mail message according to these characteristics before delivering it to the client. The ADAPT extension has resulted in an Internet draft which can be found in Appendix C of this paper.

When we analysed the ADAPT extension and compared it to the agent based approach we found that the difference in download time is rather small and we have identified some improvements that could be made. Our conclusion is that the ADAPT extension is definetly the best way to add content awareness to a mobile email service.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1999. , 70 p.
National Category
Communication Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-93734OAI: diva2:521359
1999-11-24, Seminar room "Telegrafen", Isafjordsgatan 22, Kista, 15:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2012-06-20 Created: 2012-04-24 Last updated: 2013-09-09Bibliographically approved

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