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Re: [olpc-software] Servers

I think Ivan has a point. How do you know a large mesh cloud won't provide sufficient bandwidth for most uses?

There seems to be a certain amount of "cart before the horse" reasoning from a "Westernized" centralized IT standard network here rather than a more peer to peer like solution that scales as you add laptops with distributed bandwidth increasing in a fashion similar to Bittorrent or distributed storage scaling like Freenet.

I suspect for large sites there will be a need for a "server-like" or "access-point-like" devices but I think it will resemble an everyday rack-mounted server or commercial access point in the same way the $100 laptop resembles (say) a Dell Laptop. Once can see this sort of device evolving from the $100 laptop design or perhaps using existing low-power and no-moving-parts hardware (except perhaps for an optical drive).

BTW, I think the papers Ivan sites (for those of us not familiar with the literature :-) are:

Feng Zhao, Jie Liu, Juan Liu, Leonidas Guibas, and James Reich, “Collaborative Signal and Information Processing: An Information Directed Approach”, Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 91. No. 8, August, 2003, pp. 1199-1209.


Maurice Chu, Horst Haussecker, and Feng Zhao, "Scalable information- driven sensor querying and routing for ad hoc heterogeneous sensor networks." Int'l J. High Performance Computing Applications, 16(3): 90-110, Fall 2002. Also, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center Technical Report P2001-10113, May 2001.


On Mar 30, 2006, at 7:40 PM, Ivan Krstic wrote:

The laptops, even used as an access point, will function much better
than the typical cheap access points you buy in a store.

And there are various approaches to take here. One laptop won't be able
to serve as an AP to a thousand others if we enact the standard,
fully-centralized AP model. But there's a lot of research[0] that deals
with data querying and routing in mesh networks; we could likely turn
some of it inside out to provide a laptop AP mode that scales to large
numbers of clients. We can't match the level of service provided by
high-powered dedicated AP hardware, but we can make things work.

[0] e.g. Zhao, Liu, Lui, Guibas and Reich (2003) or Chu, Haussecker,
Zhao (2002)

Kevin Purcell
kevinpurcell pobox com

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