Mitigating the Latency-Accuracy Trade-off in Mobile Data Analytics Systems

Anand Padmanabha Iyer

An increasing amount of mobile analytics is performed on data that is procured in a real-time fashion to make real-time decisions. Such tasks include simple reporting on streams to sophisticated model building. However, the practicality of these analyses are impeded in several domains because they are faced with a fundamental trade-off between data collection latency and analysis accuracy. In this paper, we first study this trade-off in the context of a specific domain, Cellular Radio Access Networks (RAN). We find that the trade-off can be resolved using two broad, general techniques: intelligent data grouping and task formulations that leverage domain characteristics. Based on this, we present CellScope, a system that applies a domain specific formulation and application of Multi-task Learning (MTL) to RAN performance analysis. It uses three techniques: feature engineering to transform raw data into effective features, a PCA inspired similarity metric to group data from geographically nearby base stations sharing performance commonalities, and a hybrid online-offline model for efficient model updates. Our evaluation shows that CellScope's accuracy improvements over direct application of ML range from 2.5× to 4.4× while reducing the model update overhead by up to 4.8×. We have also used CellScope to analyze an LTE network of over 2 million subscribers, where it reduced troubleshooting efforts by several magnitudes. We then apply the underlying techniques in CellScope to another domain specific problem, mobile phone energy bug diagnosis, and show that the techniques are general.

Published On: October 29, 2018

Presented At/In: 24th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom)

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Authors: Anand Padmanabha Iyer, Li Erran Li, Mosharaf Chowdhury, Ion Stoica