[p2p-hackers] Thesis defense - 2/28/2003, 9am

Brian Frank Cooper cooperb at Stanford.edu
Fri Feb 14 11:36:03 UTC 2003


              Special University Oral Examination

   Information Preservation in Networks of Autonomous Archives

                       Brian Frank Cooper
                         PhD Candidate
                  Computer Science Department
                      Stanford University

                Friday, Feb 28, 9:00 - 10:00 am
                Room 104, Gates Computer Science

           (Refreshments will be served at 8:45 am)


An ever increasing amount of information is being stored digitally, and
people are becoming more and more dependent on it.  However, very little
is understood about how to preserve digital information for long time
periods. Media failures, natural disasters and bankruptcy all conspire to
cause information loss over decades or centuries. Such failures rob future
generations of vital scientific and cultural artifacts.

To deal with these problems, we have developed a distributed digital
archive that is based on the concept of multiple autonomous archives
cooperating to provide preservation. For such a system to effectively
preserve data for the long term, it must be as self-supervising as
possible. Moreover, the system should be structured so that autonomous
archives have an incentive to collaborate and share resources.

Replication in our system is based on archives trading data under the
principle of "I'll preserve your data if you preserve mine." These trades
result in an archive network that self-organizes into a reliable system,
self-tunes to improve efficiency, and self-heals after a failure. I'll
discuss the architecture of the system, and techniques for making trades
to achieve the highest reliability. Once data is replicated, there must be
an efficient and robust mechanism to allow users to find important
documents. Using a simple model of peer-to-peer search networks, we have
discovered new and interesting network topologies, and also developed
techniques for ad hoc networks, where a network can self-organize and
self-tune to produce an efficient topology without external supervision.

Brian Cooper
PhD Candidate, Department of Computer Science, Stanford University
cooperb at stanford.edu          http://www-db.stanford.edu/~cooperb/

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