What if people could establish relevant direct connections between each other’s devices without the explicit need for Internet connectivity? How to enable security, privacy, and trust in such emerging device-to-device systems? These important questions are the essence of an Academy of Finland funded project that studies the emerging paradigm of device-to-device (D2D) communication.

Our research aims to develop platform solutions for meaningful security, privacy, and trust constructs in these new types of social D2D-based applications. The project is built around collaboration between several groups at Tampere University of Technology (WINTER research group at Department of Electronics and Communications Engineering and the groups of Social Technologies and Tommi’s group at the Department of Pervasive Computing), as well as Brno University of Technology in Czech Republic and Intel Finland.

Summary on the progress of the project

The aim of this project is to develop platform solutions for meaningful security, privacy, and trust constructs for the new types of social D2D-based applications. The research has proceeded on three parallel tracks that intertwine as concrete end user applications. First, security solutions have been defined on the protocol level, especially for the most challenging network topologies, where cellular connectivity may become unreliable. Second, practical software solutions for forming trusted connections between mobile devices have been defined.

Within this project, the opportunities and threats that D2D brings to proximity-based end user applications have been studied with user-centric methods. An extensive scenario work resulted in over 20 examples of how D2D could be used for new purposes. Three of them have been developed into full-fledged mobile applications. As these were finalized, we run two parallel large-scale user trials in collaboration with Brno University of Technology (BUT) in Czech Republic. Additionally, an extensive online survey of one of the few commercially available D2D-based services (Nintendo DS3 StreetPass) has been conducted to learn from the relevant user experiences. Absorbing the gaming context has brought inspiring elements of gamification to the designs of the applications under development. The above activities have resulted in a significant number of research publications.

Considering the realized risks, there have been a few minor setbacks with regards to the personnel. One security-oriented researcher had to leave the project because he was offered a permanent position in Nokia. New recruitments have been made quickly at that time.

In general, the collaboration has been intensive, which was steered by the weekly project meetings with also people from Brno University of Technology (BUT) and Intel Finland taking part. A semi-public seminar was held in May 2015 for the collaborators and stakeholder companies to report on the results of the first year and plan for the second year of the project.

The first researcher mobility (3 persons from TUT) took place in August 2014 to BUT to establish a novel academic contact with this strong group, with which the technical prototyping work has begun. The second researcher mobility (Ms. Olga Galinina) to University of Manitoba, Canada took place in May-July 2015 followed by another visit (Mr. Aleksandr Ometov) Sep-Dec 2015 to BUT. Further, Ms. Susanna Paasovaara has also been on a mobility visit to University of Southern Denmark (March-June 2016). This target proved to be a promising new connection considering particularly her work. The research visits have been very productive and led to expanding the scope and the impact of this project, as well as producing a number of joint publications. On the industrial side, the collaboration with Intel (Mr. Jussi Niutanen and Dr. Kerstin Johnsson) has resulted in 4 joint publications.

Overall, the multi-disciplinary and international collaboration within this project has produced remarkable results and led to multiple high-impact scientific publications as well as 3 comprehensive proof-of-concept demonstrators that are now fully ready for the market stage. These results far exceeded the original expectations of the consortium partners regarding both the volume and the impact of the research outcomes, as the published papers are rapidly gaining popularity and citations.

Publications for the whole project

12 peer-reviewed international conference publications published or accepted

Jarusriboonchai, P., Malapaschas, A., Olsson, T. (2016) Design and Evaluation of a Multi-Player Mobile Game for Icebreaking Activity. Full paper accepted to CHI'16, ACM Press.

Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila, K., Olsson, T., Häkkilä, J. (2015) Towards Deeper Understanding of User Experience with Ubiquitous Computing Systems: Systematic Literature Review and Design Framework. Interact'15, Bamberg, Germany. Springer.

Olsson, T., Jarusriboonchai, P., Paasovaara, S., Ojala, J., Olshannikova, E., Malapaschas, A., Väänänen, K. (2016) How to Evaluate the Social Effects and User Experience of Systems Enhancing Collocated Interactions? In workshop of Proxemic Mobile Collocated Interaction, in conjunction with CHI’16.

Paasovaara, S., Olshannikova, E., Olsson, T. (2015) Collaborative Video Challenges: A Playful Concept of Proximity-Based Social Interaction. CHI'15 Extended Abstracts, ACM Press, 2015.

Ometov, A., Zhidanov, K., Bezzateev, S., Florea, R., Andreev, S., Koucheryavy, Y., (2015) Securing Network-Assisted Direct Communication: The Case of Unreliable Cellular Connectivity. IEEE 14th International Conference on Trust, Security and Privacy in Computing and Communications (TrustCom), IEEE, 2015.

Ometov, A., Masek, P., Urama, J., Hosek, J., Andreev, S., Koucheryavy, Y. (2016) Implementing Secure Network-Assisted D2D Framework in Live 3GPP LTE Deployment. IEEE ICC2016-Workshop on Cooperative and Cognitive Networks, 2016.

Ometov, A., Masek, P., Malina, L., Florea, R., Hosek, J., Andreev, S., Hajny, J., Niutanen, J., Koucheryavy, Y. (2016) Feasibility Characterization of Cryptographic Primitives for Constrained (Wearable) IoT Devices. IEEE International Workshop on Security, Privacy and Trust for IoT, 2016

Urama, J., Olshannikova, E., Ometov, A., Masek, P., Andreev, S., Olsson, T., Hosek, J., Niutanen, J., Koucheryavy, Y., Mikkonen, T. (2016) Dynamic Social Trust Associations over D2D Communications: An Implementation Perspective. IEEE International Conference on Mobile Services (MS) 2016.

Mäkitalo, N. and Mikkonen, T. (2014) At the Edge of the Cloud: Improving the Coordination of Proactive Social Devices. In Proceedings of the 23th International Conference on Information Systems Development, ISD 2014.

Berrocal, J., Canal, C., Garcia-Alonso, J., Mäkitalo, N., Mikkonen, T., Miranda, J. and Murillo, J. M. (2015) Smartphones as Personal Profile Providers: Enhancing Mobile App Architectures. In Proceedings of the 2nd ACM International Conference on Mobile Software Engineering and Systems, MOBILESoft 2015.

Gallidabino, A., Pautasso, C., Ilvonen, V., Mikkonen, T., Systä, K., Voutilainen J.-P., and Taivalsaari, A. On the Architecture of Liquid Software: Technology Alternatives and Design Space. Accepted to WICSA'16, to appear.

Mäkitalo, N., Aaltonen, T. and Mikkonen, T. Coordinating Proactive Social Devices in a Mobile Cloud: Lessons Learned and a Way Forward. Accepted to MobileSoft'16, to appear.

6 journal and magazine publications

Schneegass, S., Olsson, T., Mayer, S., van Laerhoven, K. (2016) Mobile Interactions Augmented by Wearable Computing: a Design Space and Vision. To appear in International Journal of Mobile Human-Computer Interaction.

Ometov, A., Orsino, A., Militano, L., Moltchanov, D., Araniti, G., Olshannikova, E., Fodor, G., Andreev, S. Olsson, T., Iera, A., Torsner, J., Koucheryavy, Y., Mikkonen, T. (2016) Towards Trusted, Social-Aware D2D Connectivity: Bridging Across Technology and Sociality Realms. IEEE Wireless Communications Magazine, August 2016.

Andreev, S., Hosek, J., Olsson, T., Johnsson, K., Pyattaev, A., Ometov, A., Olshannikova, E., Geramisenko, M., Masek, P., Koucheryavy, Y., Mikkonen, T. (2016) A Unifying Perspective on Proximity-Based Cellular-Assisted Mobile Social Networking. IEEE Communications Magazine, April 2016.

Pyattaev, A., Galinina, O., Andreev, S., Katz, M., Koucheryavy, Y. (2015) Understanding Practical Limitations of Network Coding for Assisted Proximate Communication. IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications 33(2): 156-170

Ometov, A., Orsino, A., Militano, L., Araniti, G., Moltchanov, D., Andreev, S. (2016) A novel security-centric framework for D2D connectivity based on spatial and social proximity. Computer Networks, published online, 2016.

Pyattaev, A., Hosek, J., Johnsson, K., Krkos, R., Gerasimenko, M., Masek, P., Ometov, A., Andreev, S., Sedy, J., Novotny, V., Koucheryavy, Y. (2015) 3GPP LTE-Assisted Wi-Fi Direct: Trial Implementation of Live D2D Technology. ETRI Journal, vol. 37, p. 877-887, 2015.

The above publication results significantly exceed the original expectations of at least 3 visible journal articles and 5 conference publications planned at the project proposal stage.

Thesis works

Mäkitalo, N., Ph.D. thesis “On Programmable Interactions - Principles, Concepts and Challenges of Co-Located and Social Interplay”, planned for 15.6.

Florea, R., MSc thesis “Networking Solutions For Integrated Heterogeneous Wireless Ecosystem”, June, 2016.

Other deliverables

Open sourced D2D communication framework for iOS

The framework provides BLE communications for direct D2D and WebSocket-based Socket.IO for Internet-based communication. The following github-page also has a technical image about the framework.

Collaborative video challenges

Next To You (N2U) application detects other users in proximity and exchanges your "whisper" automatically with them. You can define yourself what you would like to whisper to others. N2U is a research prototype created jointly by Tampere University of Technology, Finland and Brno University of Technology within the project focused on Device-to-Device (D2D) communication. With help of our colleagues from BUT, we have executed additional test within students from outside of Finland.

Secure D2D framework concept

We have developed an information security protocol allowing secure direct connectivity under intermittent cellular connectivity. The application was primarily developed at TUT and trialed at Brno University of Technology.