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Epidemic Information Dissemination in Distributed Systems
May 2004 (vol. 37 no. 5)
pp. 60-67
Patrick T. Eugster, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Rachid Guerraoui, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Anne-Marie Kermarrec, Microsoft Research
Laurent Massoulieacute;, Microsoft Research
Epidemic algorithms have recently gained popularity as a potentially effective solution for disseminating information in large-scale systems, particularly peer-to-peer systems deployed on Internet or ad hoc networks. These algorithms mimic the spread of a contagious disease: Each process in a distributed system relays new information it has received to randomly chosen peers rather than to a server or cluster of servers in charge of forwarding it. In turn, each of these processes forwards the information to other randomly selected processes, and so on.

Although researchers have used epidemic algorithms in applications such as failure detection, data aggregation, and database replication, their general applicability to practical, Internet-wide systems remains unproven. The authors suggest possible solutions to four key problems?membership maintenance, network awareness, buffer management, and message filtering.

Patrick T. Eugster, Rachid Guerraoui, Anne-Marie Kermarrec, Laurent Massoulieacute;, "Epidemic Information Dissemination in Distributed Systems," Computer, vol. 37, no. 5, pp. 60-67, May 2004, doi:10.1109/MC.2004.1297243
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