The web is continuously evolving faster and faster. Starting with Web2.0 era, the web became easily writable and changeable, and nowadays, it is getting more social and more real-time. We are faced with an explosion of real-time and social software such as wikis, blogs, micro-blogs, and social networks services (Facebook, MySpace, etc.). Real-time information delivery is emerging as one of the most important elements of our online experience. Rather than requiring that users or their software check a source periodically for updates, real-time web is a paradigm based on the principle of pushing information to users as soon as it is available. The shift toward real-time social web is certainly due to the fact that nowadays network connectivity is provided almost everywhere at every time. High speed connection has become affordable and you get it not only at the office but also at home or at the hotel, not only when you are steady but also when you are moving by train or airplane, not only by means of your desktop computer but also via your mobile devices. Real-time information delivery is likely to become ubiquitous, a requirement for almost any website or service.
The most emblematic examples of this evolution from social web and groupware towards real-time collaboration are the micro-blogging services such as Twitter and Google products such as Google Wave. This trendy new communication service combines real-time editing of a document with conversation within that document, all these functionalities being connected to your social network.
Unfortunately, all existing real-time social web services rely on a central authority. In order to benefit from this real-time social services, users are obliged to provide and to store their data to vendors of these services and to trust that they will preserve privacy of their data. Although this centralisation complies with the business models used by real-time social service vendors, users do not have any other alternative.
STREAMS project proposes to design peer-to-peer solutions that offer underlying services required by real-time social web applications and that eliminate the disadvantages of centralised architectures. These solutions are meant to replace a central authority-based collaboration with a distributed collaboration that offers support for decentralisation of services.
STREAMS project aims to advance the state of the art on peer-to-peer networks for social and real-time applications. Scalability is generally considered as an inherent characteristic of peer-to-peer systems. It is traditionally achieved using replication technics. Unfortunately, the current state of the art in peer-to-peer networks does not address replication of continuously updated content due to real-time user changes. Moreover, there exists a tension between sharing data with friends in a social network deployed in an open peer-to-peer network and ensuring privacy. One of the most challenging issues in social applications is how to balance collaboration with access control to shared objects. Interaction is aimed at making shared objects available to all who need them, whereas access control seeks to ensure this availability only to users with proper authorisation. STREAMS project aims at providing theoretical solutions to these challenges as well as practical experimentations.
As scientific results, STREAMS project will present significant advances in the knowledge of distributed systems, computer-supported cooperative work and security focusing on peer-to-peer real-time web topic. The technical results of the project will be research prototypes that demonstrate the suitability and the viability of the proposed solutions. In particular, the project will run simulations based on real use cases. Finally to demonstrate the full potential of our solutions, the XWiki collaborative platform will be deployed on our prototyped implementations of our solutions.
For further information, please see download the STREAMS's description of work. The project reference number is ANR-10-SEGI-010.