FIND: Davis Social Links

Project: Research project

Project Details


This research project examines fundamental issues in the current Internet architecture, namely 'routable identity', explicit trust/reputation control, and security/privacy considerations for online social networks such as Facebook and SecondLife. It posits a dramatic change in Future Internet/networking design to facilitate future social communication systems. The research builds and evaluates this new design, and examines the potential social impacts and insights from it. The following research objectives are being studied: (1) Can a social peer generate, manipulate and protect all layers of routability toward his/her own identity? (2) How should the notions of trust and reputation be explicitly and formally represented and embedded in a large-scale communication architecture? (Trust/reputation become central in a network architecture based on social identities). (3) What are the trade-offs between the utilization of the social information by the network and the privacy protections needed for it?

For evaluation and validation, a social-network based communication system, named Davis Social Links (DSL), is being built, over Facebook, both to mimic the human communication model and to integrate social trust relationships into the network service infrastructure. Among its benefits, due to the routability design, the DSL architecture will offer a new take on prevention of unwanted traffic (denial of service and so on), a costly and urgent problem in the architecture as it is now.

The DSL project additionally investigates the communication model and its security and safety issues under virtual reality social systems such as SecondLife. The ultimate goal of the DSL project is to study a dynamic, scalable, trust-based, decentralized communication system/architecture for large-scale networks (10 million ~ 10 billion nodes).

This multi-disciplinary project is a joint effort among academic researchers and industrial collaborators from computer science, sociology, statistics, and techno-cultural studies. The broader impacts of the research advance potentially both the understanding and the innovation of communication networks. As communications networks exist to support social purposes, the DSL research team carefully examines a number of implications regarding societal relationships and how the Internet user community can directly benefit that relationship.

Effective start/end date10/1/089/30/12


  • National Science Foundation: $700,000.00


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