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The Impact of User Choice and Software Change on Energy Consumption Open Access


Other title
Software Change
Energy Efficiency
User Choice
Software Energy Consumption
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Zhang, Chenlei
Supervisor and department
Hindle, Abram (Computing Science)
Examining committee member and department
Amaral, Nelson (Computing Science)
Dick, Scott (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Hindle, Abram (Computing Science)
Department of Computing Science

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Hardware and software engineers are instrumental in developing energy efficient mobile systems. Unfortunately the last mile of energy efficiency comes from the choices and requirements of the end-user. Imagine an end-user who has no power-outlet access and must remain productive on her laptop battery life. How does this user maximize the laptop’s battery life, yet remain productive? What does the user have to give up to keep on working? In the first half of this thesis, we highlight the peril that users face and the ultimate responsibility users have for the battery life and energy consumption of their mobile devices; using multiple scenarios we show that executing a task can consume more or less energy depending on the requirements and software choices of users. We investigate multiple scenarios demonstrating that applications can consume energy differently for the same task thus illustrating the tradeoffs that end-users can make for the sake of energy consumption. Furthermore, as the builders and more frequently the maintainers of applications, software developers are responsible for updating and shipping energy efficient applications for end-users. Yet, the impact of software changes on energy consumption is still a mystery. Thus in the second half of this thesis we relate software changes to energy consumption by tracing the system calls that act as the interface between user applications and the OS kernel. We show the energy consumption evolution of multiple gedit versions under two test scenarios. We also present the potential of modeling software energy consumption via system call invocations.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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