FW: The Workshop on Internet-scale Software Technologies

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From: Jim Whitehead (ejw@ics.uci.edu)
Date: Tue Jun 06 2000 - 11:51:29 PDT

Long-time FoRKs will remember the predecessor workshops in this series:
WISEN, the workshop on Internet-scale event notification, and TWIST'99, on
the topic of Internet-scale namespaces. This year's topic is the tension
between centralization and decentralization on the Internet, which has
become increasingly relevant due to Napster and Gnutella.

Attendance at the workshop is by invitation, however, if you're interested,
send Rohit or I <ejw@ics.uci.edu> an email. If you've been reading FoRK
over the past few months, you undoubtedly have a fair amount of insight into
these issues.

- Jim

                             Call for Participation

       The Workshop on Internet-scale Software Technologies (TWIST 2000)

         "Organizational and Technical Issues in the Tension Between
          Centralized and Decentralized Applications on the Internet"

                                July 13-14, 2000

                         Institute for Software Research
                        University of California, Irvine
                            Irvine, California, USA


The goal of TWIST 2000 is to substantively explore design tensions
between centralizing and decentralizing forces on the Internet, the
pros and cons of centralized and decentralized architectures, and the
long term implications which lead architects to design one way or the

Many of the most successful applications on the Internet today are
architecturally centralized. Among these are eBay, AOL, and Amazon.com.
The success of these centralized architectures is surprising to some,
given the fundamentally decentralized way the Internet itself and the
World Wide Web work.

Alternatively, many companies and research projects have advocated
decentralized applications. Such applications are touted as having the
advantages of robustness, scalability based upon replication (rather
than just raw speed), resource sharing, and ability to span trust
domains. Applications of the decentralized approach include SETI@Home
(parallel scientific computing) and the Air Traffic Control system
(distributed command and control).

Many applications employ a mixed strategy, including financial trading
and email. Consider how Travelocity, for example, is implemented as a
decentralized Web application wrapping the centralized Sabre
reservations service. Other applications exhibit both strategies
depending on the layer of abstraction considered: the Domain Name
Service is a centralized monopoly of names in a decentralized database,
or how Akamai appears as a single global Web cache to a browser but
internally relies on globally distributed servers, or eBay, a
centralized service enabling wildly decentralized marketplaces.

We seek answers to such questions as:

 - Can centralized applications continue to scale with the growth of
   Internet users, traffic, types of services, and customer base?
 - Can existing centralized approaches continue to grow unabated, or
   will they reach hard limits?
 - If they can grow unabated, then how can this be accomplished and how
   does it impact decentralized application architecture and development?

Issues to consider include:

 - At what levels of an application's design should distribution be
 - What are the key distinguishing characteristics of services
   (applications) for which centralized architectures (exploiting
   Moore's Law) will continue to suffice?
 - Under what circumstances are decentralized architectures superior?
 - What sort of application spaces do applications such as Internet
   phones/smartphones have?

Axes of influence include:

 - Economic and business models.
 - Trust.
 - Robustness/fault-tolerance.
 - Scale.
 - Problem characteristics.
 - Democratization. Participants often vote their resources by deciding
   to share information or compute cycles.

Preliminary list of Presenters:

  Nasser Barghouti, Baer Stearing
  Adam L. Beberg, Mithral Communications & Design, Inc., The Cosm Project
  Gregory Alan Bolcer, Founder and CEO, Endeavors Technology, Inc.
  Mark Day, Cisco Systems
  John King, Dean, School of Information, University of Michigan
  Edith H. Stern, Manager, Business Integration Technologies, IBM Research
  Dawit Yimam, GMD - German National Research Center for IT
  Eric Yu, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Computer Science,
    University of Toronto

Attendance at the workshop is by invitation only, based on submission
of an informal statement of your interests. As well, we encourage
submission of 1-5 page position papers which will be distributed in
advance to the workshop attendees. Submitters of position papers will
be given priority for attendance invitation.

Submission details and deadlines are available at the workshop web site:


Workshop Report
The workshop organizers will produce a report subsequent to the workshop
which will be submitted for widespread publication. A proceedings will
not be produced.

TWIST Workshop Series
TWIST 2000 is the third workshop in the annual TWIST series. TWIST 99
focused on Internet-scale Namespaces. WISEN 98 focused on Internet-scale
Event Notification. For information on TWIST 99 or WISEN 98, visit:


Sponsored by
UC Institute for Software Research

For More Information
Debra A. Brodbeck
ISR Technical Relations Director
(949) 824-2260

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