The mBenchLab project uses your phone to measure the performance of your Web browser when accessing the Internet. When the mBenchLab application starts, it will connect to our server where we will give it a series of URLs to visit. At the end of the experiment, the performance metrics recorded by the phone will be uploaded to our server. Some experiments will take screen snapshots of your Web browser for each page it visits. If your GPS is active, your location will also be recorded so that we can associate the performance with a particular location.
Things you should know before you get started
- Check that your phone is compatible with the mBenchLab mobile app: Go in Settings / About device and check that your Android version is 4.0.3 or higher
- mBenchLab uses your data connection. If you are on Wifi it will use it. If you disable your Wifi, it will use your mobile data plan. Some experiments can require a lot of data transfer especially if you enable screen snapshots and HTML recording. If you have a limited data plan or pay-per use mobile data, we cannot be liable for the cost of your mobile data usage and you have to understand that you are responsible for the data usage made on your phone. If you are not sure what your data plan is, just use Wifi or just don't take any risk and do not participate in this project.
- mBenchLab cannot activate your network or GPS, you need to go to your phone settings to enable them
Running the mBenchLab Android app
- Do not press or touch the screen during the experiment. The
application should exit automatically when it is done.
You might want to set your screen timeout (in Settings/Display) to a longer value like 5 minutes if you want to see what mBenchLab is doing.
- Every field should be pre-configured, you just have to edit
the Location/Network field to let us know what
city/country you are in and what network you are using. Examples:
Wifi / Amherst MA, USA
3G Orange / Nancy, France
4G Verizon / Seattle WA, USA
- Just press the Start button to launch the experiment
- Your Android device will go through a series of test the first time and then go to a registration page where it will wait until an experiment is available. It will then download the list of web sites to visit and visit them. It might be normal for the application to look like it is stuck for a page for a minute or so (it is actually working but the screen is not always refreshed).
- At the end of the experiment, the device will upload the result which can take time (up to 10 minutes).
- If the device remains stuck on the same page for more than 10 minutes, terminate the application (pressing the back arrow button will kill the app) and restart it. If the problem persist, send us an email explaining the problem at email@example.com
How many times should I run the application?
- The short answer is as many times as you want!
- If you can run the application 5 times in the same conditions (same network, same location, same time of the day/week, same weather...), this is great for us.
- You can use the application while traveling if your GPS is on (preferred). Just be careful of your data usage if you are on a mobile network (you can check how much was used before and after the experiment, each experiment should use the same amount of data).
- Note that if you have both Wifi and Mobile data enabled, the phone will usually always use the Wifi first. We would like to collect 3G/4G data if possible too (disable your Wifi in that case). We do not recommend Edge or anything lower than 3G as it is likely to be too slow.
Explanation of options on the start screen
- HAR proxy recorder: Program that records fine grain performance of your phone. Without this we only get very coarse grain response times.
- HTML recording: Records the HTML source of each web page visited so that we can inspect it for correctness or error messages.
- Screen snapshots: Take a screen snapshot of each web page to see how the browser rendered the page. Each snapshot file is uploaded at the end of the experiment (can use several 100kB of data per page visited).
- GPS location: Authorize to record the GPS location of your phone each time a page is accessed (that is very helpful for us to determine problematic locations)
- Shutdown after experiment: By default, the application stops after doing an experiment to empty all caches and free up used storage. If you uncheck this box, the application will continuously try to run experiments and will never stop.
- Skip tests: If the app can never go through the first set of tests for some reason, you can try to uncheck this box to bypass the test and try to start an experiment right away. Note that the tests are only run onces and if successful they are not re-run.
Following are the components to be downloaded for mBenchLab
Benchlab Web Application (BWA)
For latest versions, click below
For the latest bersion of mBenchLab APK click below
The database containing traces can be used to run experiments in mBenchLab. It can be found at the link below
For complete information about components and installation please refer to https://sourceforge.net/projects/benchlab/files/Benchlab_Latest/Documentation/