[Taken] Mobile Application Activity Tracking (Mobile Application Provenance)

This project is already taken.

Starting Date: June 2017
Duration: 3 Months
Time commitment: 20h/week
Prerequisites: Second year

A large set of services are being offered to end users via smartphone Apps. These applications provide a conduit to information and relevant services that end user may desire. In addition to provide valuable services to the consumers, these Apps also have an access to a wealth of data about an individual. In most cases, the data related to a user is collected and there might be some associated log files. However, a record of this data collection, storage and what operations were performed on it is also collected.

Data provenance is the field of recording the history of data, from its inceptions to various stages of the data lifecycle. It also provides a detail picture of how a data item was collected, where it was stored and how it was used. Such an information can be useful to understand the data privacy policy a particular App is abiding with.

In this project, user activities and data/services accessed via our App will be tracked as part of the user data provenance. To achieve this, a mobile application would be developed – offering travel information to end users. While the user access the application, the data provenance is collected on the device. The major challenge to overcome in this project is collection, formatting, and storage of (user) data provenance while at the same time providing a degree of privacy assurance.


The student should have an interest in and willingness to learn basic data provenance, would have prior knowledge of basic crypto (integrity assurance). Ideally, would be familiar with Android development environment, and like experimenting with Operating Systems, low level system calls, etc. Good time-keeping, self-motivated, responsible and strong writing skills. We would use git/bitbucket and latex (overleaf) to write up the results; experience in these technologies would helpful but not required.

It is intended that once the prototype is build, a controlled lab trail will be conducted, and we anticipate a conference paper being submitted for publication based on the implementation and subsequent trials; the author of the code would be a co-author of this paper.