Matlab Plots on Android Smartphones – Cloud

Cristian RECOŞANU, Valentin NĂVRĂPESCU, Anca DEACONU, Aurel CHIRILĂ, Dragoş
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

1. Introduction
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 [2]

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[1].

Cristian RECOŞANU, Stud.,; Valentin
NĂVRĂPESCU, Prof.dr.,;
Anca DEACONU, PhD Stud.,;
Aurel CHIRILĂ, PhD Lecturer,; Dragoş
DEACONU, PhD Lecturer =Universitatea POLITEHNICA
din Bucureşti, Facultatea de Inginerie Electrică,; 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 user is informed by a popup message at the bottom of the screen that disappears after a certain amount of time. . The first one is the input interface. coordinates in (see Figure 4). which is done using the router’s configuration system. Input interface (Test 1 error). If the server is behind a router a working port has to be forwarded.106 ELECTROTEHNICA. The integrity check that takes place consists of a number of tests. The server was coded in Java [4] and the client was created using the Android SDK [5]. The Send button remains inactive until both text boxes have input (see Figure 5). 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). Figure 4. ELECTRONICA. the AVD is also launched from the Eclipse environment by running the client application as an Android application. First. This is a simulation platform provided by the Android SDK where developers can test their applications before installing them on a physical smartphone. Figure 3. where the user inputs their chosen X and Y Figure 5. Input interface. Testing the system First of all. the application is installed and ran on the simulation platform. AUTOMATICA. the server needs to be up and running at all times during any testing method presented. The input interface is further used for providing feedback regarding issues of correctness of data. XXX The programming environment used was Eclipse Classic [3]. Eclipse also provides the developer with an extensive debugger that is very useful for both the server and the client application. After configuration. XX. The processing block was developed using a special Matlab toolbox called “MatlabBuilderJA” [6] that allows deployment of Matlab code in the form of Java classes. The Android client application has two interfaces. For every specific error. which determine if the input data is ready to be sent to the server for processing. the two text boxes 3. the application tests if there is input in both text boxes. Nr. as it is recommended by both Android and Java developers. This is done using the Eclipse environment by choosing Run As > Java Application. AVD window Once the AVD is fully loaded.

AUTOMATICA. such as no internet connection or the server being offline. Input interface (Test 3 error). Figure 8. XXX This prevents the user from wasting processing power and time with an incomplete set of inputs. After the input data passes the integrity check. Figure 6. The second test consists of checking if both text boxes have real numbers as input (see Figure 6). since Matlab cannot create a 2D plot from different length vectors.ELECTROTEHNICA. Figure 7. see Figure 7). XX. 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 . ELECTRONICA. Input interface (Test 2 error). a form of pre-loader is displayed to the user letting them know the process is undergoing (see Figure 9). Figure 9. 107 presses the Send button and consists of checking if the client can connect to the server (see Figure 8). The reason behind this is that the Matlab class in charge with the computation is designed to receive real number parameters. the application verifies if the same number of points are assigned to both axes (same number of coordinates in both text boxes. the client attempts to connect to the server. During this time. Input interface (pre-loader). Nr. There are several reasons why the client may not connect. Input interface (Test 4 error). In the next test.

Figure 12. This is where the user can manipulate the Matlab plot (scroll. The pre-loader animation ends when the client application receives the response from the server for the given request. which is in the form of a byte array representing the 2D Matlab image. At this moment.108 ELECTROTEHNICA. Figure 10. Input interface (Plot save dialogue). Figure 11. Nr. View interface. This method is more reliable than pinch-to zoom because not all smartphones have multitouch screens and multi-touch features have Figure 13. XXX with errors. 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. XX. Input interface (Save procedure outcome). Switching interfaces. . The application provides the option to switch between interfaces by pressing the menu button (see Figure 13). Implementation of zooming in and out was done using onscreen buttons. with the aim of announcing the user of the procedure’s success or failure (see Figure 12). been implemented after Android 2.2 distribution. zoom in/zoom out and also save a copy of the image on the SD card when long pressing on the image. see Figure 11). ELECTRONICA. AUTOMATICA. the application switches to the view interface (see Figure 10).

the APK file created at the time of the first simulation has to be located and installed on a physical smartphone. The presented application also provides the possibility to analyse advantages and disadvantages of the cloud computing system. For example. which could serve many clients. all the processing in the cloud . This provides the ability to enter another set of inputs or to review the previously rendered plot. All this eventually leads to high costs and special budgets. The current implementation of the application disconnects the client from the server after the response has been received. data processing software. Family and Social Protection through the Financial Agreement POSDRU/107/1. 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. The installation menu provides information on the privileges required by the application to work. Most of these programs require the purchase of licenses that can be very expensive. Acknowledgment The work has been co-funded by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development 2007-2013 of the Romanian Ministry of Labour. where the whole batch of tests needs to be run again. XXX Pressing the button will display a single option menu. Similar to this. Licensing would be required only for the server systems. One of the main advantages is reducing the costs required to buy professional software. Conclusions The application provides proof of concept for solving a problem using the cloud computing system. Another advantage would be the reduction of necessary processing power. Application installation.).ELECTROTEHNICA. 109 4. Figure 14. This prototype application can be further used as a starting point for more complex applications in various domains.5/S/62557. terminating the client handler’s activity. This option is only available after a valid plot was loaded in the view interface. In addition. For this application. which allows selecting the opposite interface. a company may implement cloud computing systems that solve different problems using several professional software systems. simulation software. AUTOMATICA. It was also supported by SP1-JTI-CS-2009-02-GRC-03001 and EDL – UPB. After thoroughly testing the application on the simulator. For another computation. 5..5/S/76903 and POSDRU/89/1. ELECTRONICA. statistical modelling software etc. the client will send a new request to the server thus creating a new client handler. XX. the smartphone must be configured to allow installation from unknown sources. Nr. 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. Every institution or company that runs activities in the engineering or industrial environment will find the need for professional software (engineering design software. in this case modifying SD card contents and full Internet access (see Figure 14). As presented in the previous sections. elements that would have a great impact on the server’s hardware capabilities. As with many man made systems simpler is often better and more robust. Implementing a cloud computing system can be an effective solution to reduce these costs by decreasing the number of licenses required. In addition. 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.

Many developers choose to implement this option in their application because low-end smartphones have a very small internal memory. gov/publications/nistpubs /800-145/SP800-145. This brings us to the third advantage of cloud computing implementation and that is the increase in mobility.pdf [2] Wikipedia. Nr.html [6] MatlabBuilderJA toolbox [online]. It must be ensured at all times that outgoing and incoming data are not intercepted or altered in any way.02. To diminish the effect of an internet blackout.svg [3] Eclipse developing environment resources [online].oracle. AUTOMATICA. laptops).eclipse. The presented application uses custom classes to encode the data being sent over the internet. As with any system or concept.2012]. Available from: URL: These custom classes would only be implemented in the server and client. XXX computing system is done by the server. The need for computation does not bind them to their desks abuilder/ [7] Available from: URL:http://www.02. 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. Available from: URL:http://csrc. Computation over the internet poses security ex.2012]. 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 smartphones market. One of them is the dependency on internet access. Available from: URL:http://en.02. however this would affect the mobility of clients.02.wikipedia. Another safety issue is the ability to install the application on the SD card.2012]. [2012] [quote 07. Reducing the number of systems with high processing power also means lower power consumption. Available from: URL:http://www.02. tablets. from business and engineering to the gaming industry. Cloud computing logical diagram [online]. 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.php . laptops or low power PC’s. the cloud system will also grow and provide a new age for remote computing in various domains. Systems running client applications can range from smartphones or tablets to netbooks.02. Available from: URL:http://www. companies can implement local networks that provide connection to the server internally. [2012] [quote 07. Data safety is another concern when discussing cloud systems. 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). References [1] NIST.mathworks.2012]. 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.110 ELECTROTEHNICA.nist. Any client that needs to send a computation request to the server needs to have a connection to it (usually an internet connection).2012]. cloud computing also has shortcomings. [2012] [quote 07. [2012] [quote 07. com/idc_report_says_smartphones_outsell_c omputers_for_the_first_time-news-2303. Available from: URL:http://developer. One thing is certain – with the expansion of mobile operating systems and mobile platforms (smartphones. The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing [online]. XX.2012]. [2012] [quote 07. ELECTRONICA.2012]. IDC reported that smartphones outsold computers for the first time [7].org/wiki/File: Cloud_computing.html [5] Android SDK resources [online].org/resources/ [4] Java SE 6 documentation [online].com/resources/i ndex. [2012] [quote 07. IDC report says smartphones outsell computers for the first time [online] [2012] [quote 07.02. This refers to the employees of an institution or company that has implemented a cloud computing system.

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