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[FYI] "FreeNet"


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   Ian Clarke - May 23rd 1999, 20:44 EST 

   A pre-release of a report describing "FreeNet" has been made
   available to obtain comments from the Internet public. The report
   is entitled "A Distributed Decentralised Information Storage and
   Retrieval System". The system is designed to avoid having any form
   of centralised control or administration, allowing participating
   computers to act together in a form of organised anarchy. It will
   allow anybody to store information, and is designed to make
   censorship of any form difficult or impossible. The report is
   available here in downloadable postscript, and browsable HTML. 

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Next: Contents 

   A distributed, decentralised information storage and
                                   retrieval system

                                            Ian Clarke

Supervisor: Dr Chris Mellish

School of Artificial Intelligence, School of Computer Science,
Division of Informatics,
University of Edinburgh.


This paper describes an algorithm which if executed by a group of
interconnected nodes will provide a robust key-indexed information
storage and retrieval system with no element of central control or
administration. It allows information to be made available to a large
group of people in a similar manner to the ``World Wide Web''. The
system's reliability is not guaranteed, nor is its efficiency, however
the intention is that the efficiency and reliability will be
sufficient to make the system useful, and demonstrate that such a
system is feasible. The system is considered as a potential
replacement for the ``World Wide Web''. Improvements over this
existing system include: 

- No central control or administration required 

- Anonymous information publication and retrieval 

- Dynamic duplication of popular information 

- Transfer of information location depending upon demand 

There is also potential for this system to be used in a modified form
as an information publication system within a large organisation which
may wish to utilise unused storage space which is distributed across
the organisation. 

This paper also describes several experiments designed to measure the
efficiency and reliability of such a network. These are performed upon
a simulation of a working network written in the Java programming
language. Improvements over the existing ``World Wide Web'' are also
highlighted in this paper. The algorithm is considered a prototype,
and areas for further study and potential improvement are highlighted
throughout this paper. 

     1 Introduction 
     2 Aims 
     3 Project structure 
     4 Related Work 
     5 Initial Ideas - A redundant hierarchy 
     6 Final Design - An adaptive network 
     7 A simple simulation 
     8 A full simulation 
     9 Experiments 
     10 Areas for further investigation 
     11 Conclusion 
     12 Acknowledgements 
     About this document ... 

Ian Clarke 
Sun May 23 23:39:59 BST 1999 

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