Saturday, October 9, 2010

Computer networks organized like social networks

I’m supposed to reflect twice a week on things related to networking. We just finished the transport layer, but I’ve got to say, I really don’t have a lot to say about it. Sure we’ve read about some cool protocols like DCCP, but other than that, I’m looking forward to moving on to the next topic. Networks are an interesting things. They connect computers and, ultimately, people together. As I’ve been thinking about things to reflect on, one weird question that came to me was, what if the internet was organized like a social network, what would it look like? How would you route information? Could you prioritize information? What kind of addressing would there be?

I imagine that a social computer network would be able to prioritize traffic very easily because you would give your “friends” higher priority. I can imagine security being an interesting thing in a social computer network. You could probably block certain kinds of content easily without firewalls. You could probably measure the goodness of your “friends” to make sure they are allowing you to cross their network as much as they cross yours. You would be able to easily multicast content because other networks that like your content would “share” it on their network. There are some interesting thoughts that come when applying social structures to networks.

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