Engineering Emergence through Gossip

By: Márk Jelasity
Date: 15th November 2004
CPM Report No.: CPM-04-14?

Presented at the "Engineering with Social Metaphors" day of the AISB Symposium on Socially Inspired Computing,  University of Hertfordship, April 2005.


Gossip is one of the most usual social activities. The result of gossip is that new and interesting information spreads over a social network not unlike diseases during an epidemic, or computer worms over the Internet. We will argue here that the core .idea. of gossip, that is, periodic information exchange among members of a group over a network that connects them, and a subsequent update of the knowledge of the group members based on the information they exchange, is a powerful abstraction that can be applied for solving a wide range of problems in distributed computing. The applications include.apart from the most natural one: information dissemination.gathering global knowledge about distributed systems and organizing the group members into several structures, such as ordering, clustering or other arbitrary topologies.

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