P2P resources

Peer-to-peer technology (P2P) is often dubbed as the next generation of Internet applications, the future of computing and the end of copyright. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and so far we have seen only a handful of successful P2P projects. Shall P2P live up to its promise, or shall it join the crowd of overhyped buzzwords such as push-technology or B2B? If you know the answer, let me know.

I set up this part of my homepage as a resource center for my own studies and research. I could as well keep it to myself, but in a peer-to-peer, quid pro quo fashion I share it with those interested. This page is updated as long as I follow the subject, it is flagrantly faddish and blatantly biased (not mentioning that it is also patently pathetic ;-).

Most recent additions are highlighted .

General resources and directories

  O'Reilly openp2p.com - http://www.openp2p.com
O'Reilly (the publishing house) runs this hub for P2P stuff. Tim O'Reilly has committed himself to the cause of P2P and this is probably the best starting point if you want to learn more about P2P.
  O'Reilly P2P directory - http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/q/p2p_category
A comprehensive directory of companies and projects that exist in the space. Detail listing (sorted alphabetically) is another view of the same directory.
  The P2P Idea Page - http://www.exocortex.org/p2p
An excellent resource page with links to proposals, analytical and research papers. It shoots in-depth rather than in-breadth.
  PeerProfits - http://www.peertal.com
A P2P portal. It's got everything a portal must have except for a free e-mail.
  Grid Computing Environments Working Group - http://www.computingportals.org/
Window to the world of "grid" technologies, aka distributed computations.

Academic research

I would like to have more links under this title, and I'll be actively seeking for other groups and research project. You may call it academic arrogance, but I strongly feel that true innovations are most likely to come from researchers rather then from the industry. The reason is that from a complexity standpoint of view P2P is to the client-server architecture is what the client-server architecture is to standalone applications. It really takes a lot of research to design an efficient P2P system.

  FreeHaven - http://freehaven.net
FreeHaven project is run mostly by MIT students. It aims at creating a robust system for distributed data storage.
  Ross Anderson's homepage - http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/#Peer-to-Peer
Ross Anderson is one of the authors of Serpent, an AES candidate cipher. He pioneered the work on distributed storage systems in his proposal of The Eternity Service (1996).
  Mark Lillibridge's homepage - http://research.compaq.com/SRC/personal/Mark_Lillibridge/home.html
Mark has some interesting ideas in building a P2P back-up system and a spam-free file-swapping application. The amazing part is that it's happening in the Compaq system research center.
  Agile Management of Dynamic Collaborations - http://crypto.stanford.edu/dc/
The page links to different people involved in this project (mainly from Stanford and SRI).
  Stanford people
Here I list Stanford students and faculty members that are doing P2P-related research.
  Mary Baker - http://mosquitonet.stanford.edu/~mgbaker/
Professor Mary Baker is interested in ad-hoc networks, which is another way of calling a P2P environment.
  Philippe Golle - http://crypto.stanford.edu/~pgolle//
Philippe is my fellow crypto student and co-author.
  Ilya Mironov - http://www.mironov.org
This list would be incomplete without my page;-)
  John Mitchell - http://crypto.stanford.edu/~pgolle
Professor John Mitchell and his students without homepages (Ajay Chander and Vanessa Teague) are all involved in the Dynamic Collaborations project.
  Yoav Shoham - http://robotics.stanford.edu/~shoham/
Professor Yoav Shoham's specialties include auctions, economics and multi-agent systems. It is P2P, isn't it?
  Beverly Yang - http://www.stanford.edu/~byang/
Beverly Yang set up and ran for a couple of months an OpenNap server for research purposes.

Papers, presentations, talks and articles

I put here texts (and links to other media) that I [co-]authored and/or find thought-provoking and interesting.

  Research papers
  “Distributed Computing with Payout” by P. Golle and S. Stubblebine  - http://crypto.stanford.edu/~pgolle/papers/payout.html
A game-theoretic approach to securing a general distributed computation (abstract + slides).
  “Uncheatable Distributed Computations” by P. Golle and I. Mironov  - http://crypto.stanford.edu/~mironov/papers/dist.ps
Too broad a title. In fact, we consider a special, distributed.net-type computation and propose a number of efficient schemes.
  Trip report - http://crypto.stanford.edu/~mironov/present/p2ptriprep.ppt
My trip report to the O'Reilly P2P conference presented at our group meeting. An abridged version of the same talk, which I gave at a panel discussion on digital copyright protection at the Stanford Computer Forum.
  Free Code, Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig - http://www.technetcast.com/tnc_play_stream.html?stream_id=517
A keynote address to the O'Reilly P2P conference given by a prominent professor of the Stanford Law School. The address is available as a video (45 min), an MP3 file or as a transcript.
  Lessons from Napster by Clay Shirky - http://www.technetcast.com/tnc_play_stream.html?stream_id=511
This short (20 min) talk I added to my playlist. Just kidding. But it is well worth listening to or just reading.
  Cheaters Bow to Peer Pressure - http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,41838,00.html
Exposé of attacks on SETI@Home.


There are a few hundred companies that label themselves as P2P. Here I list a small number of them that I want to keep an eye on. This part of the page is biased squared.

  Distributed computations
Each and every one of these companies is trying to match the success of SETI@Home project. Not all of them will succeed.
  APPLIED META - http://www.appliedmeta.com
Their flagship product is LEGION, which is geared towards an enterprise level environment. In other words, a large company may set up its own in-house supercomputer or a super-storage array.
  Entropia - http://www.entropia.com
Runs FightAIDS@Home project to find a cure for HIV and AIDS.
  Popular Power - http://www.popularpower.com
Distributed computations enter a new chapter. Chapter XI. Popular Power is no longer in business. The company still keeps running a non-profit project that fights influenza. More about it.
  United Devices - http://www.ud.com
Do you want to help cure leukemia? The company was co-founded by David Anderson, the father of SETI@Home.
  Distributed Science - http://www.distributedscience.com
The first company to actually offer a paying project (January 15). Too bad only lucky few can join it. Distributed Science is affiliated with ProcessTree.
  Miscellaneous companies on my radar
Here I keep companies worth looking at.
  OpenCola - http://www.opencola.com
The first open-source beverage on the market! Look up the secret formula. Seriously, the Open Cola client will find for you the stuff (files, links, etc.) you are interested in based on the stuff you share.
  Clip2 - http://www.clip2.com
Peer-to-peer monitoring service. Live statistics on Gnutella and OpenNap. Not any more.
  XDegrees - http://www.xdegrees.com
Developer of a directory service, more flexible and powerful than the DNS. Don't misspell the site's name (WARNING: it's not porn)!
  Just start-ups
These start-ups are mysterious enough to keep me intrigued. Or I just could not figure out what they were doing.
  InfraSearch - http://www.gonesilent.com
First, they got Investors. Then they went silent. Then they were acquired by Sun. Will we know what they are doing?
  Zodiac Networks - http://www.zodiacnetworks.com
Netscape team reunited. They secured staggering $435 million in the first round of funding. Is it a typo there or not?
  Non-profit projects
You may make jokes about the companies listed above being charities and never meant to make a cent from their products, but there is a category of projects that have never tried to make money. And they made it all possible.
  SETI@Home - http://setiathome.berkeley.edu
The largest and most successful distributed computation project. It searches for aliens. Apparently the companies that buy your CPU cycles are part of alien's conspiracy to draw resources from this project. We'll know when we are close to detecting extraterrestrials when these companies will start offer REAL money.
  distributed.net - http://www.distributed.net/
The only distributed computations company that has made some of its code open-source. Are others scared or what?

Back home


CS Department

Theory Division

Crypto Group