Distributed Hash Tables: The Latest Fad in Distributed Computing

Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 17:30
TH 331
Scott Shenker, UC Berkeley
The explosive growth but primitive design of early peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing systems led the research community to develop a more sophisticated technology called distributed hash tables (DHTs). Despite their origin, DHTs have had only a limited impact on P2P file sharing. Instead, DHTs have become, within the distributed systems research community, a rather popular systems hammer in search of distributed application nails. In this talk I will first review the basics of DHTs and then discuss their use in various settings. If time permits, I will finish with some speculations about the possible role of DHTs in a future Internet architecture. The work described here is part of the IRIS project (www.project-iris.net) funded by an NSF ITR grant.

Scott Shenker spent his academic youth studying theoretical physics but soon gave up chaos theory for computer science.Continuing to display a remarkably short attention span, his research over the years has wandered from computer performance modeling and computer networks to game theory and economics. Unable to hold a steady job, he currently splits his time between the U. C. Berkeley Computer Science Department and the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI).