Semantic-Free Referencing in Linked Distributed Systems

Hari Balakrishnan, Scott Shenker, and Michael Walfish
2nd International Workshop on Peer-to-Peer Systems (IPTPS '03), Berkeley, CA, February 2003.

Every distributed system that employs linking requires a Reference Resolution Service (RRS) to convert link references to locations. We argue that the Web's use of DNS for this function is a bad idea. This paper discusses the nature, design, and use of a scalable and dynamic RRS. We make two principal arguments about the nature of reference resolution: first, that there should be a general-purpose application-independent substrate for reference resolution, and second that the references themselves should be unstructured and semantic-free. We observe that distributed hash tables (DHTs) provide an elegant and convenient platform for realizing these goals, and we present a general-purpose DHT-based Semantic-Free Referencing (SFR) architecture.

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