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Connecting P2P to the web: Lessons from a prototype Gnutella‐WWW gateway

Brian D. Davison (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA)
Wei Zhang (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA)
Baoning Wu (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 6 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a means to improve the accessibility of files across different delivery platforms, making it possible to use a single search modality. The paper shows that both peer‐to‐peer file sharing networks and the worldwide web provide extensive information resources, and either network may contain data that satisfy a searcher's information need.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper proposes a gateway between the worldwide web and peer‐to‐peer networks that permits searchers on one side to be able to seamlessly search and retrieve files on the other side of the gateway. The design and prototype implementation of such a gateway to Gnutella is detailed, along with access statistics from test deployments and lessons learned.

Findings

The prototype implementation was found to demonstrate the feasibility of a seamless gateway between the Gnutella network and the worldwide web. Gnutella users saw millions of web search results and initiated retrievals via the gateway without knowing the source of the information or having to leave their Gnutella applications. Analysis of file retrieval logs showed that Gnutella search results lose value (to the original searcher) if delayed by more than a few seconds.

Research limitations/implications

The implementation is a prototype, fielded for only a few months within the Gnutella network. Future implementations need cooperation with a web search service, and ideally would connect to multiple services for different types of queries.

Practical implications

Deployment of the gateway architecture described would be of use to searchers and of value to content providers.

Originality/value

This paper's approach makes information in other networks seamlessly searchable and accessible.

Keywords

Citation

Davison, B.D., Zhang, W. and Wu, B. (2008), "Connecting P2P to the web: Lessons from a prototype Gnutella‐WWW gateway", Internet Research, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 336-356. https://doi.org/10.1108/10662240810883344

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited