Streamnets

IDEA

The Internet is the infrastructure needed to interconnect machines to one another and guarantee that they’re online most of the time. According to Wikipedia, the Internet “is a network of networks that consists of millions of private and public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope that are linked by copper wires, fiber-optic cables, wireless connections, and other technologies.”

Then, Streamnets are ad-hoc networks created by Spimes or other sensor based machines in order to advertise their activity streams onto the Internet. These networks don’t need to be online all the time, don’t require high bandwidth, and will use any existing communications technology, most probably wireless through GSM or even other types of RF for shorter or longer distances.

Streamnets are not supposed to be two-way channels, but rather pipes where the machines will dispatch fire-and-forget information about their activities. At the other end of these pipes there will be activity stream aggregators, indexing, munching and filtering all information sent by the machines.

Occasionally, the machines will want to read information from the Streamnet. To do it, they’ll publish a request at an aggregator that will obtain the requested information. The machine keeps polling the aggregator at given intervals of time, until the information is finally available.

Finally, Streamnets are, by design, asynchronous communication channels.

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4 thoughts on “Streamnets”

  1. Hi Johannes,

    I didn’t know Gelernter. Thanks for pointing that out. The Mirror Worlds concept is quite interesting.

    Answering your question: conceptually, the aggregator could be a modified PubSubHubbub hub. The machines would then push notifications into it, along with the actual information.

    I’m digging more into these concepts and I appreciate any kind of feedback.

  2. Gelernter is amazing, and generally under-appreciated. The Unabomber certainly thought so.

    I like your vision, and it will eventually come to pass; hard to see how it could not. But there are many pieces that need to come together, only some of them technical in nature. How they can come together is anybody’s guess at this point I’d say.

    I’m working on something related: http://infogrid.org/

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