Project description

The project explores the possible evolution of the P2P communication paradigm in supporting applications different from file sharing, starting from a foundational analysis of the P2P paradigm and applications that can be supported by it, and proceeding to one or more prototype implementations through a model driven design process. Resources in this project are focused on Content Distribution Applications (CDAs).

CDAs aim at the realization of services where a piece of information is delivered to a community of users, using either a pull or a push model, and respecting its service-specific characteristics. For instance, a live video (a soccer game, news, etc.) is broadcasted on the P2P overlay network: all interested users must be able to connect to the broadcasting structure and receive the stream within a pre-defined delay giving rise to a time-sensitive “pull” application. Another example is the distribution of anti-virus footprints or critical patches: the information is “pushed” to the community of users. The patch-file must be delivered to all the users in the shortest possible time, but there is not a pre-defined deadline: the application is delay-tolerant.

The research program is organized into four work-packages (WPs):

  • WP1: P2P distribution systems analysis and modeling
  • WP2: P2P middleware design and evaluation
  • WP3: Service prototyping

Each WP is subdivided in Tasks as described in the following. Each task represents a well identified research topic, normally investigated by one or two RU (Research Unit) only. Tasks are symbiotic in order to achieve the overall goal of the project. Inter-task research is explicitly foreseen to maintain proper project guidance.

Today P2P systems focus on a very limited set of applications, mostly file-sharing applications, and evolved without a proper design framework. In spite of this, P2P is a communication paradigm capable of revolutionizing the consolidated rules of TLC networking. The goal of this project is providing a proof-of-concept for a structured approach to the use of the P2P paradigm for the development of future telecommunication services. The project follows a design-oriented approach: we analyze, design and prototype a P2P system supporting the selected applications.

The structure of the project reflects the design oriented approach: results of a WP are used as input to the other WPs, albeit the WPs are not sequential and will coexist during most of the project.