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 Projects and Studies


DIRECT - The potential of peer-to-peer Interaction 
For further information please contact:

Adam Kapovits
Project Supervisor
Wieblinger Weg 19/4
69123 Heidelberg, Germany

Project Information
What is this Study about?

Peer-to-peer computing can be described as a class of applications that takes advantage of resources available at the edges of the Internet. Peer-to-peer computing allows the development of services without using a (logical) central server, but using communications between a "federation" of equals. Recently, a computing infrastructure (i. e. protocols and applications) has been introduced that enables this computing and communication paradigm.

The following questions emerge as a result:

Will the availability of such resources at the edge of the Internet and the availability of suitable applications and infrastructures (e.g. Freenet, Napster, Gnutella, Jxta, etc.) make the traditional client-server interaction paradigm of the Internet with centralised control superfluous? What impacts will peer-to-peer computing have on TelCos services?

The Objective of the Study

  • Clarify the significant aspects of the concept "peer-to-peer interaction" and paint a broad picture of its future development from an operator’s perspective

To accomplish this the Study will:

  • Outline the enabling technologies of peer-to-peer
  • Identify the driving forces and motivations behind peer-to-peer
  • Outline potential application scenarios
  • Identify key players
  • Carry out a SWOT analysis of the peer-to-peer interaction paradigm from an operator’s perspective and
    • identify potential roles for operators
    • assess the suitability of existing infrastructure
    • identify generic service offering (such as providing a transport infrastructure, a security/PKI infrastructure, providing support for searching, accounting and billing, etc.)
    • enrich existing services such as VPN with peer-to-peer features
  • Identify those issues that have to be investigated further.
Project Results