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Switchboard: A Matchmaking System for Multiplayer Mobile Games

Justin Manweiler, Sharad Agarwal, Ming Zhang, Romit Roy Choudhury, and Paramvir Bahl


Supporting interactive, multiplayer games on mobile phones over cellular networks is a difficult problem. It is particularly relevant now with the explosion of mostly single-player or turn-based games on mobile phones. The challenges stem from the highly variable performance of cellular networks and the need for scalability (not burdening the cellular infrastructure, nor any server resources that a game developer deploys). We have built a service for matchmaking in mobile games – assigning players to games such that game settings are satisfied as well as latency requirements for an enjoyable game. This requires solving two problems. First, the service needs to know the cellular network latency between game players. Second, the service needs to quickly group players into viable game sessions. In this paper, we present the design of our service, results from our experiments on predicting cellular latency, and results from efficiently grouping players into games.


Publication typeInproceedings
Published inMobiSys
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