Sharing Networking Resources to Create a Pervasive Infrastructure
This paper is a theoretical exploration of characteristics, challenges and possible applications of a new networking technology, AllNet, that would allow users to share a small fraction of their available resources in order to provide near-ubiquitous connectivity to each other.
Such technology can be used whenever the infrastructure is unavailable to provide low bandwidth and secure connectivity between individuals, and to the Internet at large, particularly in cases of emergency.
We address both technological and human aspects, with a focus on how to design the system in such a way to maximize the motivation to share resources.
Users’ motivations may range from “selfish” to “altruistic,” including mixed motivations. Drawing from both Game Theory and Social Psychology, we would like to offer diverse motivational strategies for diverse users.
For instance, gaining credit within an online community, and providing resources when abundant for the individual in order to receive them from others when the individual’s resources are scarce, are often considered selfish motivations, although they actually support the community as well. More directly altruistic motivations include participating in and supporting emergency communications, providing a service to others, and contributing in building a new online community.
AllNet would allow users to geocast and connect in pseudonymous ad hoc networks. This could be extremely useful in numerous contexts. Beside people in emergency or disaster situations, users may include travelers, whistle blowers, professionals such as journalists, lawyers or human rights workers who need to protect their sources, or dissidents in politically closed contexts. Emergent uses may also appear and spark new areas of research and design implementations.
Generally, we hope to cater to a range of motivations with the benefits that the new technology can provide to the individual, as well as the benefits the technology can provide to society and large numbers of individuals.
Keywords: Ad Hoc Networks, Peer-To-Peer Networks, Network Sharing, Human Motivation, Social Motivation
Doctoral Candidate, Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Communication and Information Sciences, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Dr. Edoardo Biagioni
Associate Professor, Information and Computer Sciences, University of Hawai'i at Manoa