Device-to-Device based mobile social networking in proximity (MSNP) on smartphones: Framework, challenges and prototype

Yufeng Wang*, Li Wei, Athanasios V. Vasilakos, Qun Jin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, Device to Device (D2D) based mobile social networking in proximity (MSNP) has witnessed great development on smartphones. Unlike traditional OTT (Over-The-Top) based proximal social services (like Foursquare, etc.), in which the centralized server (usually located in the cloud) receives periodic location updates from users’ mobile devices (e.g., using GPS, etc.), and then determines proximity based on gathered locations and interests, D2D based proximity services (MSNPs) support infrastructure-free and self-organized social networking, allowing users to share experiences in real time and in a specific place, which are more fun, and can significantly increase users’ engagement. However, the glaring absence of the practical MSNP solutions on the market is alarming, due to the lack of comprehensive understanding of architecture, technologies and development frameworks available (advantages/disadvantage, applicability, etc.), as well as special requirements of MSNPs. This paper thoroughly investigates D2D based MSNP architecture, key challenges and their potential solutions on smartphones, organized as layers from bottom to up, presents how to utilize commercial off-the-shelf existing technologies and development frameworks to quickly and easily build MSNP applications, and summarizes the unsolved issues in popular development frameworks (e.g., AllJoyn, etc.). Our primary goal is, for commercially available smartphones, to identify key challenges in various layers of MSNP architecture, potential development frameworks and solutions, provide quick how-to-do for developers of MSNP applications, and greatly facilitate to develop and deploy interesting and commercially potential MSNP applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-253
Number of pages13
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept


  • Development framework
  • Device to Device (D2D)
  • Mobile social networking in proximity (MSNP)
  • Prototype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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