Content- & Context- Aware Mobile Media Retrieval

This was a project I was involved in when I was with School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University. The project has developed a mobile prototype that involves using context aware capability of modern smartphones such as location aware through GPS, etc. With the developed content aware algorithms to retrieve information about the subject.

In this instance, a landmark recognition and tag suggestion prototype. The system allows the user to capture an image of a landmark (eg. Merlion) or an activity (eg. soccer) and correctly identify the landmark and provide information on it or correctly identify the activity and produces textual tags for the user to annotate the image.

I am involved in the systems development and deployment of the prototype. This project has concluded.

For more information on this project, you can contact my former supervisor in NTU, Associate Professor Yap Kim Hui.


Profiling or fingerprinting human behavior has been widely used in context-aware and security applications.we present HuMan: History-based User Centric Memorable ApplicatioN, a new way of generating behavioral fingerprints from the usage data of cellphone users. In particular, we explore whether the generated fingerprints can be remembered by the end users or not memorable.

This project is headed by my friend, Payas Gupta. Hop over to IEEE to get the full paper:

Gupta, P.; Tan Kiat Wee; Ramasubbu, N.; Lo, D.; Debin Gao; Balan, R.K., "HuMan: Creating memorable fingerprints of mobile users," Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops (PERCOM Workshops), 2012 IEEE International Conference on , vol., no., pp.479,482, 19-23 March 2012 doi: 10.1109/PerComW.2012.6197540 URL:

Adaptive Display Power Management for OLED Displays

New smartphones coming onto the market has now included new display technology such as the Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) displays. These OLED displays has since forgo the need for a backlight component found in Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) panels. Such displays has since reduce the size of smartphones with a slimmer form factor and improved power saving design. This project looks at how adaptive power management techniques can be implemented on such displays in a gaming scenario by utilizing the human aspects in reducing power consumption.

To read more on this, hop over to ACM and get the full paper:

Tan Kiat Wee and Rajesh Krishna Balan. 2012. Adaptive display power management for OLED displays. In Proceedings of the first ACM international workshop on Mobile gaming (MobileGames '12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 25-30. DOI=10.1145/2342480.2342487

[Best Paper Award]

Mobile Privacy/Forensic Project

In this project, we look at how to inform the user about a particular privacy leak that is occurring. The goal is not to build a better privacy leak detector, instead, we seek to bridge the gap between leak with the user. In this case, how to better inform the user of the privacy leak that is happening on the users phone.

This project is headed by my friend, Joseph Chan, hop over to this website or ping him to find out more. Or read the paper on this over at ACM:

Joseph Chan Joo Keng, Tan Kiat Wee, Lingxiao Jiang, and Rajesh Krishna Balan. 2013. The case for mobile forensics of private data leaks: towards large-scale user-oriented privacy protection. In Proceedings of the 4th Asia-Pacific Workshop on Systems (APSys '13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, , Article 6 , 7 pages. DOI=10.1145/2500727.2500733

FOCUS: A usable & effective approach to OLED display power management

In this work, we present Focus, a system for effectively and efficiently reducing the power consumption of OLED displays on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). The key idea of Focus is that we can save display power by dimming the portions of the applications and games that are less important to the user using the notion of saliency (where people tends to focus on a certain part of the screen).

The system is envision to help users when faced with a low battery scenario where Focus will allow an immediate reduction of energy use thus extending the usage time of the device till the next charge point. Focus is designed to be application agnostic and is implemented on the Google’s Android platform.

We tested Focus  using 15 applications running on a Samsung Galaxy S III and show that it saves, on average, between 23 to 34% of the OLED display power and reviewed it with user study, involving 30 participants that shows that Focus , even with its dimming behaviour, is still quite usable.

This work is collaborated with Tadashi Okoshi from Keio University and my supervisors Associate Professor Archan Misra and Rajesh Krishna Balan. Please hop over to the ACM library for more information:

Kiat Wee Tan, Tadashi Okoshi, Archan Misra, and Rajesh Krishna Balan. 2013. FOCUS: a usable & effective approach to OLED display power management. In Proceedings of the 2013 ACM international joint conference on Pervasive and ubiquitous computing (UbiComp '13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 573-582.

[Honorable Mention, part of the best paper nominees]

LiveLabs Urban Lifestyle Innovation Platform

LiveLabs provides a test bed for companies to run trials and experiments to test business concept or a behavioral trait, to learn more, hop over to the site. I am contributing to LiveLabs in 2 folds, one is research oriented and the production of usable software that uses the lab’s research.

In the research focus, I am specifically working on the collection of user data (permitted by the user) on the mobile platform and balancing the power needs with data fidelity. There is more research areas that LiveLabs focus on, so hop over to the LiveLabs web portal to read more.

Below are some of the Lab's deployed apps that I have contributed to:

Mobisys2016 Conference App

EVA Live

Below are the published works that I have contributed to:

S. Gottipati et al., "Mobile platform and application research at SMU LiveLabs," 2014 Sixth International Conference on Communication Systems and Networks (COMSNETS), Bangalore, 2014, pp. 1-4.

doi: 10.1109/COMSNETS.2014.6734911,


R. K. Balan, Y. Lee, Tan Kiat Wee and A. Misra, "The challenge of continuous mobile context sensing," 2014 Sixth International Conference on Communication Systems and Networks (COMSNETS), Bangalore, 2014,


These are collection of projects I have worked on professionally (SMU, NTU).

Academic and Work Projects