Funded by the National Science Foundation

Award number CNS-1211375

SoCS: Leveraging Shared Social Interest in a Content Centric Internet

The project focuses on Internet-scale, social-computational systems for content distribution and retrieval. Over the last half century, the Internet has moved from a medium for resource sharing (e.g. card readers,printers or supercomputers) to one centered on the access and distribution of content. In 2009 alone, the total amount of digital content in existence grew by 62% and is expected to surpass 1.8 Zettabytes in 2011. This growth in available content has fuelled the success and popularity of new services, such as content distribution networks (e.g. Akamai, Limelight) and peer-to-peer (P2P) systems (e.g. P2PNext, BitTorrent, BBC iPlayer). According to a recent report, content distribution accounts for as much as 80% of the aggregate Internet traffic in North America.

The goal of the research agenda we develop is to leverage insights from social science research to characterize shared interest in Internet-scale content distributing services and explore the implications of these findings on the design of existing and future services. This agenda is predicated on the observation that a thorough understanding of shared interest in content – what content people want to share, when, and where – is key to the design, implementation and management of content distribution services, dictating these services’ architecture and dynamic organizations, determining performance experienced by users and the impact they have on the underlying network.

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