NC State University

Department of Computer Science Colloquia 2002-2003

A telecast from Duke U. as part of
Triangle Computer Science Distinguished Lecturer Series

Date:   Monday, September 9, 2002
Time:   4:00 PM (talk telecast)
Place:  EGRC, Room 313, NCSU Centennial Campus (click for courtesy parking request)

Speaker:  M. Frans Kaashoek , MIT

Peer-to-Peer Computing Research - A Fad?

Abstract:   Traditionally distributed systems are architected as central servers serving many clients. Recently a number of Internet applications (such as Naptster, Gnutella, and Freenet) have demonstrated the benefits of a peer-to-peer architecture, in which clients cooperatively provide a service, without relying on central servers. The benefits of a peer-to-peer architecture are fault tolerance, load balance, and the ability to harness idle storage and network resources. Accompanying these benefits are a number of design challenges. A peer-to-peer architecture should be symmetric and decentralized, and should operate well with unmanaged volunteer participants. Finding desired data in a large system must be fast; servers must be able to join and leave the system frequently without affecting its robustness or efficiency; and load must be balanced across the available servers. While the peer-to-peer systems in common use solve some of these problems, none solves all of them. This talk reviews the design problems in peer-to-peer computing, and suggests an approach to solving to these problems.

Short Bio:   Frans Kaashoek is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering in MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a member of the MIT Lab for Computer Science. Before joining MIT, he was a student at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He received a Ph.D degree ('92) from the Vrije Universiteit for his thesis Group communication in distributed computer systems, under the guidance of Andy Tanenbaum . Frans's research interest is computer systems: operating systems, networking, programming languages, compilers, and computer architecture for distributed, mobile, and parallel systems.

In 1998 Frans cofounded Sightpath Inc, which was acquired by Cisco Systems in 2000. He also serves on the board of Mazu Networks Inc.

NCSU Host: Khaled Harfoush, 919-513-7017

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