Enabling decentralised microblogging through P2PVPNs

Juste, Pierre St and Eom, Heungsik and Woodruff, Benjamin and Baker, Corey and Figueiredo, Renato
International Journal of Security and Networks, 8(3): 169—178, 2013

In the past few years, many peer-to-peer microblog- ging solutions have been proposed and/or implemented utilizing various technologies such as DHTs, multicast trees, and/or gossip protocols. These previous works address the issue of privacy and performance in a variety of ways including the use of session keys for message encryption or direct connections for low latency com- munication. We propose a decentralized microblogging service which takes advantage of available peer-to-peer virtual private networking (P2PVPN) technologies which provide privacy and low-latency communication in the common case of P2P messaging among social peers. Leveraging the private IP connectivity of P2PVPNs, our design utilizes both IP multicasting and random walks to ensure that peers are able to publish messages with varying degree of scope (i.e. friends, friends of friends, and/or the public). We study the implications of our data dissemination mechanism for a decentralized microblogging service through simulation-based analysis based on synthetic social graphs. Over- all, our experimental results show that peers can effectively follow each other’s updates with acceptable overhead. Through the use of our pseudo-random-walk algorithm, we estimate that, in a 900K social graph, with a TTL of 100, a user can retreive updates from anyone in the social graph 55% of the time, but by increasing the TTL to 400 that hit rate increases to 95%.

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