The Impact of User Choice and Software Change on Energy Consumption

  • Author / Creator
    Zhang, Chenlei
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dick, Scott (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
    • Amaral, Nelson (Computing Science)
    • Hindle, Abram (Computing Science)