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Overview

The DataRing project addresses the problem of P2P data sharing for online communities, by offering a high-level network ring across distributed data  source owners. Users may be in high numbers and interested in different kinds of collaboration and sharing their knowledge, ideas, experiences, etc. Data sources can be in high numbers, fairly autonomous, i.e. locally owned and controlled, and highly heterogeneous with different semantics and structures. What we need then is new decentralized data management techniques that scale up while addressing the autonomy, dynamic behavior and heterogeneity of both users and data sources.

  Online communities such as social networks (e.g. sites like MySpace and Facebook) and professional communities (e.g. research communities, online technical support groups) are becoming a major killer application of the web. Community members typically have common interests or purposes and are willing to share their data. Through data sharing, online communities foster mass collaboration whereby large numbers of members can contribute in parallel to a large project, e.g. developing a world-wide encyclopedia such as Wikipedia. To scale up to very large amounts of data while providing performance and availability for ever growing numbers of users, they can rely on parallel database techniques (e.g. using a cluster computer). However, this solution is expensive (both in hardware/software and electricity), requires skilled staff to administer, tune and repair the system and is hard as it requires centralized integration of heterogeneous data. Furthermore, community members may not trust the administrators of the centralized servers and prefer to maintain their data in their computer under their own control. Thus, radically new data sharing techniques where the user plays a central role are needed. A promising solution is to organize community members in a peer-to-peer (P2P) architecture where each member can share data with the others through a P2P overlay network. The major advantage of P2P is a completely decentralized approach to data sharing which does not require centralized administration.

   The DataRing project (2009-2011) is sponsored by the french national research agency ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche), within the programme Future Networks and Services (VERSO).


Coordinator: Patrick Valduriez, INRIA, Nantes

Web master: Reza Akbarinia, INRIA, Nantes