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Content-Based Networking: A New Communication Service

Alexander L. Wolf

Abstract

Imperial College London

What do sensor grids, personalized news distribution, decentralized auctioning, service discovery, multi-player games, and information fusion and dissemination have in common? They are large-scale, loosely coupled, multi-party, distributed applications that do not fit the traditional addressed-based unicast and multicast models of communication. Rather, they embody a style of communication in which the flow of messages from senders to receivers is determined implicitly by the dynamic characteristics of the receivers, rather than explicitly through knowledge of destinations by senders.

To support this style of communication, we have introduced a new communication service called a “content-based network”. In a content-based network, receivers declare their interests to the network by means of predicates, while senders simply inject messages into the network at the periphery. The network is responsible for delivering to each receiver any and all messages matching the predicate declared by that receiver.

In this talk I will describe the unique characteristics of content-based routing and forwarding, and discuss a particular implementation of the approach in the context of sensor grids.

Alexander L. Wolf

Alexander L. Wolf

Bio

Alexander L. Wolf is a professor in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London (UK). He also holds affiliated appointments in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder (US), and the Faculty of Informatics at the University of Lugano (CH). Prof. Wolf was a Member of the Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories (now AT&T Labs Research and Bell Laboratories) in Murray Hill, New Jersey, before joining the faculty of the University of Colorado.

Prof. Wolf received the B.A. degree from Queens College of the City University of New York, majoring in both Geology and Computer Science. He received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Prof. Wolf’s research interests are directed toward the discovery of principles and development of technologies to support the engineering of large, complex software systems. He has published in the areas of software engineering, distributed systems, networking, security, and database management.

Prof. Wolf is currently a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Council, the governing authority of the 65,000-member professional association. He serves on the editorial board of the IEEE Computer Society journal Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE). Prof. Wolf previously served as Vice Chair and then Chair of the ACM Special Interest Group in Software Engineering (SIGSOFT), and on the editorial boards of the ACM journal Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM) and the Wiley journal Software Process - Improvement and Practice (SPIP). He has chaired a number of international program committees.

Prof. Wolf is a Fellow of the ACM and holder of a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award.

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