Breaking for commercials: Characterizing mobile advertising

Narseo Vallina-Rodriguez, Jay Shah, Alessandro Finamore, Yan Grunenberger, Hamed Haddadi, Konstantina Papagiannaki, Jon Crowcroft

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

82 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mobile phones and tablets can be considered as the first incarnation of the post-PC era. Their explosive adoption rate has been driven by a number of factors, with the most signifcant influence being applications (apps) and app markets. Individuals and organizations are able to develop and publish apps, and the most popular form of monetization is mobile advertising. The mobile advertisement (ad) ecosystem has been the target of prior research, but these works typically focused on a small set of apps or are from a user privacy perspective. In this work we make use of a unique, anonymized data set corresponding to one day of traffic for a major European mobile carrier with more than 3 million subscribers. We further take a principled approach to characterize mobile ad traffic along a number of dimensions, such as overall traffic, frequency, as well as possible implications in terms of energy on a mobile device. Our analysis demonstrates a number of inefficiencies in today's ad delivery. We discuss the benefits of well-known techniques, such as pre-fetching and caching, to limit the energy and network signalling overhead caused by current systems. A prototype implementation on Android devices demonstrates an improvement of 50 % in terms of energy consumption for offline ad-sponsored apps while limiting the amount of ad related traffic.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIMC 2012 - Proceedings of the ACM Internet Measurement Conference
Pages343-356
Number of pages14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2012
Event2012 ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2012 - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: 14 Nov 201216 Nov 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC

Other

Other2012 ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2012
CountryUnited States
CityBoston, MA
Period14/11/1216/11/12

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Keywords

  • advertisement
  • caching
  • cellular
  • energy
  • smartphones
  • traffic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this

Vallina-Rodriguez, N., Shah, J., Finamore, A., Grunenberger, Y., Haddadi, H., Papagiannaki, K., & Crowcroft, J. (2012). Breaking for commercials: Characterizing mobile advertising. In IMC 2012 - Proceedings of the ACM Internet Measurement Conference (pp. 343-356). (Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC). https://doi.org/10.1145/2398776.2398812