Matlab Plots on Android Smartphones – Cloud
Cristian RECOŞANU, Valentin NĂVRĂPESCU, Anca DEACONU, Aurel CHIRILĂ, Dragoş
DEACONU, Gianfranco CHICCO∗
The paper discusses concepts regarding cloud computing and how a simple form of the system can be
implemented to create a piece of software that can handle Matlab plots on an Android powered smartphone.The
main advantages and disadvantages of such an approach are briefly outlined.
Keywords: Matlab, plots, cloud, Android, computing
This paper presents the basic steps in
developing a client application for the
Android platform using the cloud computing
The cloud computing is a “fresh” concept
in the IT services market (figure 1).
Figure 1. Cloud computing logical diagram 
The major software developers in the
industry are all starting to bring new offers to
light in this area, but what are the true
advantages that lie behind marketing
and how can they be
Cloud computing is the delivery service of
computation, software, data access, and
storage resources without requiring cloud
users to know the location and other details
of the computing infrastructure.
Cristian RECOŞANU, Stud., email@example.com; Valentin
NĂVRĂPESCU, Prof.dr., firstname.lastname@example.org;
Anca DEACONU, PhD Stud., email@example.com;
Aurel CHIRILĂ, PhD Lecturer, firstname.lastname@example.org; Dragoş
DEACONU, PhD Lecturer =Universitatea POLITEHNICA
din Bucureşti, Facultatea de Inginerie Electrică,
email@example.com; Gianfranco CHICCO, Prof.dr.,
Politecnico di Torino, Department of Electrical Engineering,
The foundation of any cloud computing
system is the client-server relation, where a
user sends a computation request and after
a short period of time receives a response
from the server.
2. Developing the system
The goal was to create an Android client
application that can receive input from the
user (X and Y coordinates), verify the
integrity of the data (real numbers, same
number of coordinates on both axes), send a
request to a server and receive a response
in the form of a Matlab 2D plot.
After receiving the request from the
Android client, the server creates a client
handler, an entity that will handle the
computing request for the client (sends the
data from the client to the processing block
and returns the response to the client).
For every client that sends a request, the
server creates an individual client handler
(see Figure 2).
Figure 2. System logical diagram
The programming environment used was
Eclipse Classic .
The server was coded in Java  and the
client was created using the Android SDK
The processing block was developed
using a special Matlab toolbox called
“MatlabBuilderJA”  that allows deployment
of Matlab code in the form of Java classes. The first one is the input interface.
Figure 4. the user is
informed by a popup message at the bottom
of the screen that disappears after a certain
amount of time. This is a simulation
platform provided by the Android SDK where
developers can test their applications before
installing them on a physical smartphone. Input interface.
(see Figure 4). Testing the system
First of all. as it is recommended by
both Android and Java developers. Nr. the application tests if there is input
in both text boxes.106
ELECTROTEHNICA. the server needs to be up and
running at all times during any testing
method presented. the AVD is also
launched from the Eclipse environment by
running the client application as an Android
application. XX. ELECTRONICA. which is done
using the router’s configuration system. This is done using the
Eclipse environment by choosing Run As >
Java Application. the
application is installed and ran on the
The next step is to configure an Android
Virtual Device (AVD). Keep in mind that the AVD may
take a while to start because it has to go
through all the steps of booting a
smartphone (see Figure 3).
The Android client application has two
. The Send button remains
inactive until both text boxes have input (see
Figure 3. AVD window
Once the AVD is fully loaded.
First. Eclipse also provides
the developer with an extensive debugger
that is very useful for both the server and the
client application. AUTOMATICA.
where the user inputs their chosen X and Y
which determine if the input data is ready to
be sent to the server for processing.
If the server is behind a router a working
port has to be forwarded.
The input interface is further used for
providing feedback regarding issues of
correctness of data. The integrity check that
takes place consists of a number of tests. Input interface (Test 1 error).
For every specific error.
Figure 7. see Figure 7).
presses the Send button and consists of
checking if the client can connect to the
server (see Figure 8).
After the input data passes the integrity
This prevents the user from wasting
processing power and time with an
incomplete set of inputs.
Figure 9. Input interface (Test 4 error).
In the next test.
The final test is done when the user
The client only connects to the server
after the integrity check because only then is
it certain that bandwidth and processing
power are not wasted for an input set filled
. There are several
reasons why the client may not connect. Input interface (Test 3 error). Input interface (Test 2 error). The second test
consists of checking if both text boxes have
real numbers as input (see Figure 6).
The reason behind this is that the Matlab
class in charge with the computation is
designed to receive real number parameters. During this time.
Figure 6. AUTOMATICA.
such as no internet connection or the server
being offline. a form of pre-loader
is displayed to the user letting them know the
process is undergoing (see Figure 9). Input interface (pre-loader).ELECTROTEHNICA. since Matlab
cannot create a 2D plot from different length
vectors. the client attempts to connect to the
Figure 8. the application verifies if the
same number of points are assigned to both
axes (same number of coordinates in both
text boxes. ELECTRONICA.
ELECTROTEHNICA. which is in
the form of a byte array representing the 2D
Figure 10. Nr.
This is where the user can manipulate the
Matlab plot (scroll.
Figure 12. Input interface (Save procedure outcome). see
Figure 11). XX. Input interface (Plot save dialogue).
For saving the image plot to the SD card
several aspects must be taken into account
such as verifying that a mounted SD card
exists and catching all errors that may
appear. AUTOMATICA. Switching interfaces. View interface.
Implementation of zooming in and out
was done using onscreen buttons.
The application provides the option to
switch between interfaces by pressing the
menu button (see Figure 13). zoom in/zoom out and
also save a copy of the image on the SD
card when long pressing on the image.
been implemented after Android 2. with the aim of announcing the user
of the procedure’s success or failure (see
Figure 12). At this moment.
The pre-loader animation ends when the
client application receives the response from
the server for the given request. ELECTRONICA. XXX
with errors. This
method is more reliable than pinch-to zoom
because not all smartphones have multitouch screens and multi-touch features have
Figure 11. the
application switches to the view interface
(see Figure 10).
The current implementation of the
application disconnects the client from the
server after the response has been received.
processing software. The physical testing platform
needs to run the same operating system and
have the same screen resolution as the
simulator.. most programs
are required in multiple copies for different
departments. which could serve
many clients. the client will send a
new request to the server thus creating a
new client handler.
The presented application also provides the
possibility to analyse advantages and
disadvantages of the cloud computing
One of the main advantages is reducing
the costs required to buy professional
After thoroughly testing the application on
the simulator. which allows selecting the
opposite interface. Implementing a
cloud computing system can be an effective
solution to reduce these costs by decreasing
the number of licenses required. statistical modelling
software etc. Licensing
would be required only for the server
systems.). Application installation. Every institution or company that
runs activities in the engineering or industrial
environment will find the need for
professional software (engineering design
software. It was also
supported by SP1-JTI-CS-2009-02-GRC-03001 and EDL – UPB. In addition. the smartphone must
be configured to allow installation from
unknown sources. This provides the ability to
enter another set of inputs or to review the
previously rendered plot. This strategy presents a
working concept without the need for
creating a queue for clients and managing
sessions. a single Matlab license was
needed for the server.
where the whole batch of tests needs to be
run again. in this
case modifying SD card contents and full
Internet access (see Figure 14).ELECTROTEHNICA. Acknowledgment
The work has been co-funded by the
Sectoral Operational Programme Human
Resources Development 2007-2013 of the
Romanian Ministry of Labour. Nr. All this eventually leads to high
costs and special budgets. a company may
implement cloud computing systems that
solve different problems using several
professional software systems. XX. Most of these programs
require the purchase of licenses that can be
terminating the client handler’s activity. This option is only
available after a valid plot was loaded in the
5. The installation menu
provides information on the privileges
required by the application to work. In addition. future
versions of this application could allow the
user to plot custom polynomial functions by
writing Matlab code in the input section that
would be decoded by the processing block. For this
software. ELECTRONICA. For example. AUTOMATICA. Family and
Social Protection through the Financial
Agreement POSDRU/107/1. the APK file created at the
time of the first simulation has to be located
and installed on a physical smartphone.
Another advantage would be the
reduction of necessary processing
As with many man made systems simpler is
often better and more robust. XXX
Pressing the button will display a single
option menu. all the processing in the cloud
POSDRU/89/1. elements that would have a great
impact on the server’s hardware capabilities.5/S/62557.
application can be further used as a starting
point for more complex applications in
various domains. Similar to this. For
another computation. As presented in the previous
The application provides proof of concept
for solving a problem using the cloud
The NIST Definition of Cloud
 Eclipse developing environment resources
[online].  [quote 07.
applications can range from smartphones or
tablets to netbooks.
the cloud system will also grow and provide
a new age for remote computing in various
ELECTROTEHNICA.02. Cloud computing logical diagram
[online]. The presented application uses
custom classes to encode the data being
sent over the internet.
A company interested in implementing a
cloud system needs to be aware of the fact
that there already are cloud computing
packages released by major software
developers in the industry.com/resources/i
As with any system or concept.
computing also has shortcomings. Many
developers choose to implement this option
in their application because low-end
smartphones have a very small internal
Reducing the number of systems with high
processing power also means lower power
consumption. companies can implement
local networks that provide connection to the
server internally. This means that
the only concerns remaining are „How well
does the system adapt to my needs?” and
„Is the price optimal for my company?”
2010 was a key year for the growth of the
URL:http://www.  [quote 07.
One thing is certain – with the expansion
of mobile operating systems and mobile
platforms (smartphones. XXX
computing system is done by the server.com.02.02. They can
request computation from their smartphone
or tablet with internet access from anywhere
thus providing on-the-spot problem solving
(for example problems that appear when
providing maintenance care to equipment).02. To diminish the effect of an
internet blackout.02. This refers to the
employees of an institution or company that
has implemented a cloud computing system.html
 MatlabBuilderJA toolbox [online].
Data safety is another concern when
discussing cloud systems.2012].android. 
 Android SDK resources [online].eclipse. however this would affect
the mobility of clients. from business and engineering to
the gaming industry. AUTOMATICA.
This brings us to the third advantage of
cloud computing implementation and that is
the increase in mobility. Computation over
the internet poses security questions. XX. Available
/800-145/SP800-145. tablets. Giving the option to install the
application on the SD card may be a
potential security risk because it makes the
application easier to access and modify its
parameters. One of
them is the dependency on internet
access.oracle. Another safety issue is the ability to
install the application on the SD card.
Available from: URL:http://www.02.
smartphones outsell computers for the first
time [online]  [quote 07.2012]. These custom classes
would only be implemented in the server and
client. Any client that needs to send a
computation request to the server needs to
have a connection to it (usually an internet
connection).mathworks. IDC reported that
smartphones outsold computers for the first
The need for computation does not bind
them to their desks anymore.com/products/jav
 GSMARENA. ELECTRONICA.org/wiki/File:
 Wikipedia. laptops or low power
 Java SE 6 documentation [online].php
This means that client systems do not need
impressive processing power but only a
connection to the server and the means to
send computation requests and to receive
and display the response to the user.2012]. Nr.
URL:http://developer.2012]. It must
be ensured at all times that outgoing and
incoming data are not intercepted or altered
in any way.