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

Input interface (Test 1 error). The input interface is further used for providing feedback regarding issues of correctness of data. which is done using the router’s configuration system. The server was coded in Java [4] and the client was created using the Android SDK [5]. Input interface. 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. the two text boxes 3. the application tests if there is input in both text boxes. ELECTRONICA. First. For every specific error. AUTOMATICA. This is a simulation platform provided by the Android SDK where developers can test their applications before installing them on a physical smartphone. This is done using the Eclipse environment by choosing Run As > Java Application. . the application is installed and ran on the simulation platform.106 ELECTROTEHNICA. which determine if the input data is ready to be sent to the server for processing. AVD window Once the AVD is fully loaded. the AVD is also launched from the Eclipse environment by running the client application as an Android application. After configuration. If the server is behind a router a working port has to be forwarded. Testing the system First of all. where the user inputs their chosen X and Y Figure 5. The integrity check that takes place consists of a number of tests. XX. Eclipse also provides the developer with an extensive debugger that is very useful for both the server and the client application. XXX The programming environment used was Eclipse Classic [3]. The Send button remains inactive until both text boxes have input (see Figure 5). as it is recommended by both Android and Java developers. 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. Figure 3. coordinates in (see Figure 4). The Android client application has two interfaces. the user is informed by a popup message at the bottom of the screen that disappears after a certain amount of time. Nr. The next step is to configure an Android Virtual Device (AVD). The first one is the input interface. the server needs to be up and running at all times during any testing method presented.

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

with the aim of announcing the user of the procedure’s success or failure (see Figure 12). Implementation of zooming in and out was done using onscreen buttons. AUTOMATICA. . The pre-loader animation ends when the client application receives the response from the server for the given request. The application provides the option to switch between interfaces by pressing the menu button (see Figure 13). 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. Figure 10. which is in the form of a byte array representing the 2D Matlab image. This is where the user can manipulate the Matlab plot (scroll. ELECTRONICA. see Figure 11). Switching interfaces.108 ELECTROTEHNICA. Figure 11. Figure 12. XXX with errors. been implemented after Android 2. XX. Input interface (Save procedure outcome).2 distribution. the application switches to the view interface (see Figure 10). Nr. At this moment. zoom in/zoom out and also save a copy of the image on the SD card when long pressing on the image. Input interface (Plot save dialogue). 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.

Figure 14. The current implementation of the application disconnects the client from the server after the response has been received. 5. This prototype application can be further used as a starting point for more complex applications in various domains. 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. statistical modelling software etc. AUTOMATICA. which allows selecting the opposite interface. data processing software. the client will send a new request to the server thus creating a new client handler. Conclusions The application provides proof of concept for solving a problem using the cloud computing system. the APK file created at the time of the first simulation has to be located and installed on a physical smartphone. For this application. in this case modifying SD card contents and full Internet access (see Figure 14). Application installation. most programs are required in multiple copies for different departments. terminating the client handler’s activity. Every institution or company that runs activities in the engineering or industrial environment will find the need for professional software (engineering design software.ELECTROTEHNICA. One of the main advantages is reducing the costs required to buy professional software. After thoroughly testing the application on the simulator. For another computation. In addition. elements that would have a great impact on the server’s hardware capabilities. Family and Social Protection through the Financial Agreement POSDRU/107/1. a single Matlab license was needed for the server. It was also supported by SP1-JTI-CS-2009-02-GRC-03001 and EDL – UPB. In addition. Acknowledgment The work has been co-funded by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development 2007-2013 of the Romanian Ministry of Labour. 109 4. The physical testing platform needs to run the same operating system and have the same screen resolution as the simulator. The installation menu provides information on the privileges required by the application to work. XX. where the whole batch of tests needs to be run again. all the processing in the cloud . Licensing would be required only for the server systems. This strategy presents a working concept without the need for creating a queue for clients and managing sessions. 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. This option is only available after a valid plot was loaded in the view interface. Nr.). Similar to this. simulation software. ELECTRONICA. As with many man made systems simpler is often better and more robust. As presented in the previous sections.. This provides the ability to enter another set of inputs or to review the previously rendered plot. the smartphone must be configured to allow installation from unknown sources.5/S/76903 and POSDRU/89/1. XXX Pressing the button will display a single option menu. Implementing a cloud computing system can be an effective solution to reduce these costs by decreasing the number of licenses required. Another advantage would be the reduction of necessary processing power. which could serve many clients. Most of these programs require the purchase of licenses that can be very expensive. The presented application also provides the possibility to analyse advantages and disadvantages of the cloud computing system.5/S/62557. For example.

The need for computation does not bind them to their desks anymore. It must be ensured at all times that outgoing and incoming data are not intercepted or altered in any way. The presented application uses custom classes to encode the data being sent over the internet. 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).html [6] MatlabBuilderJA toolbox [online]. Available from: URL:http://en. abuilder/ [7] GSMARENA. however this would affect the mobility of clients. Data safety is another concern when discussing cloud systems. Available from: URL:http://developer. This refers to the employees of an institution or company that has implemented a cloud computing ex. 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. laptops).com/resources/i ndex.nist. 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.2012].02. Cloud computing logical diagram [online]. Any client that needs to send a computation request to the server needs to have a connection to it (usually an internet connection). [2012] [quote 07. One thing is certain – with the expansion of mobile operating systems and mobile platforms (smartphones. The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing [online].2012].html [5] Android SDK resources [online].oracle. from business and engineering to the gaming industry. gov/publications/nistpubs /800-145/SP800-145. Systems running client applications can range from smartphones or tablets to netbooks. Available from: URL:http://csrc. tablets. ELECTRONICA. laptops or low power PC’s. 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. cloud computing also has shortcomings. companies can implement local networks that provide connection to the server internally. the cloud system will also grow and provide a new age for remote computing in various domains.2012].02. [2012] [quote 07. 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.2012].110 ELECTROTEHNICA.02. Available from: URL:http://www. XXX computing system is done by the server.php . AUTOMATICA. These custom classes would only be implemented in the server and client.2012].wikipedia. [2012] [quote 07. Available from: URL: Available from: URL:http://www.2012]. Available from: URL:http://www. References [1] NIST. [2012] [quote [4] Java SE 6 documentation [online].com. To diminish the effect of an internet blackout.02.gsmarena. IDC reported that smartphones outsold computers for the first time [7].02. com/idc_report_says_smartphones_outsell_c omputers_for_the_first_time-news-2303. Many developers choose to implement this option in their application because low-end smartphones have a very small internal memory.pdf [2] Wikipedia.02. Another safety issue is the ability to install the application on the SD card.mathworks. IDC report says smartphones outsell computers for the first time [online] [2012] [quote 07. One of them is the dependency on internet Cloud_computing. Reducing the number of systems with high processing power also means lower power consumption.svg [3] Eclipse developing environment resources [online]. [2012] [quote 07.2012].02. [2012] [quote 07. 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. XX. As with any system or concept.