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ever-growing global scale-free networks, their provisioning, repair and unique functions

ever-growing global scale-free networks, their provisioning, repair and unique functions

Objective

Map to make the internet more efficient

Slow connection speeds, web pages failing to load and e-mails going astray are the perennial frustrations of internet users. There could be even greater headaches in the future unless better methods of managing network traffic are developed.

The EVERGROW project laid the foundations for solving such big challenges facing the internet and other networks, helping to ensure people can communicate and share knowledge not just today, but also in ten to 20 years from now.

Bigger networks, more problems

As the internet and other communications networks expand they also grow in complexity. Researchers agree that, at some point in the future, processes that are currently carried out manually – such as network management, provisioning and repair – will have to be automated if traffic is to continue to flow reliably.

Better methods for directing network traffic to its destination will also be needed to handle the increased load as more and more people get online. The more widespread use of bandwidth-intensive services, such as streaming video and file-sharing, further compounds the problem.

The EVERGROW team developed a tool to create the essential resource for getting traffic between two connections on the internet as fast and smoothly as possible – a map.

Volunteers provide the data

Known as DIMES, the tool consists of a software program that thousands of volunteers in 108 countries are currently running on more than 17,000 computers. DIMES is similar in spirit to well-known SETI@Home project, created by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in which citizens worldwide volunteer their computer downtime to help process radio scans from space in the hope these yield signs of extraterrestrial life.

However, instead of analysing the heavens, DIMES analyses the internet. The software agent runs unobtrusively in the background when the internet user is online. It takes measurements of their connection speed and monitors the path of traffic in their area, including connections between different nodes of the network, such as the servers of Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Combined, the information creates a topographical map of the internet that researchers can use to identify better ways of routing and managing traffic. In return for their help, volunteers receive maps of how the internet looks from their home or office, while in the future they will receive personalised ‘internet weather reports’.

The internet is like a jellyfish

The EVERGROW researchers’ findings have led them to conclude that the internet is shaped like a jellyfish in which the mantle represents the well-connected parts of the internet, the brain is the nucleus of key nodes and the tendrils are the least connected areas.

When internet users request information via their browsers from a distant website, the data typically starts from a node in a tendril, travels along to a node in the nucleus, and then travels out to the node where the relevant information is held.

A more efficient path for internet routing, and one that is less prone to bottlenecks, could be created by sending the information via nodes in the outer mantle, thus avoiding the more congested nucleus.

Such insights could prove invaluable in the future to keeping traffic flowing on the internet.

Coordinator Contact

Seif Haridi (Prof.)

Coordinator

RISE SICS AB

Address

Po Box 1263
164 29 Kista

Sweden

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 103 000

Administrative Contact

Seif Haridi (Prof)

Participants (28)

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UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 331 000

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES BELGIUM

Belgium

CENTRE D'EXCELLENCE EN TECHNOLOGIES DE L'INFORMATION ET DE LA COMMUNICATION

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 37 000

ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE

Switzerland

OTTO-VON-GUERICKE-UNIVERSITAET MAGDEBURG

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 95 000

KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET

Denmark

EU Contribution

€ 75 000

CENTRAL LABORATORY FOR AGRICULTURAL EXPERT SYSTEMS

Egypt

EU Contribution

€ 69 000

UNIVERSIDAD PUBLICA DE NAVARRA

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 120 000

UNIVERSIDAD REY JUAN CARLOS

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 48 000

UNIVERSITE PARIS-SUD

France

EU Contribution

€ 269 000

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

France

EU Contribution

€ 187 000

ORANGE SA

France

EU Contribution

€ 75 000

ECOLE NORMALE SUPERIEURE

France

POLYTECHNEIO KRITIS

Greece

EU Contribution

€ 112 000

COLLEGIUM BUDAPEST EGYESULET

Hungary

EU Contribution

€ 441 000

SHEER NETWORKS LTD.

Israel

WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE

Israel

THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM

Israel

EU Contribution

€ 762 000

TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY

Israel

EU Contribution

€ 310 000

ABDUS SALAM INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR THEORETICAL PHYSICS

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 344 000

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 281 866

ISTITUTO PER L'INTERSCAMBIO SCIENTIFICO

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 110 000

ISTITUTO NAZIONALE PER LA FISICA DELLA MATERIA

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 146 134

ERICSSON AB

Sweden

EU Contribution

€ 87 000

TELIASONERA AKTIEBOLAG

Sweden

KUNGLIGA TEKNISKA HOEGSKOLAN

Sweden

EU Contribution

€ 151 000

ASTON UNIVERSITY

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 330 000

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 111 000

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 001935

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 January 2004

  • End date

    31 December 2007

Funded under:

FP6-IST

  • Overall budget:

    € 7 444 500

  • EU contribution

    € 5 595 000

Coordinated by:

RISE SICS AB

Sweden