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The authors study the problem of assigning subscribers to brokers in a wide-area content-based publish/subscribe system. A good assignment should consider both subscriber interests in the event space and subscriber locations in the network space, and balance multiple performance criteria including bandwidth, delay, and load balance. The resulting optimization problem is NP-complete, so systems have turned to heuristics and/or simpler algorithms that ignore some performance criteria. Evaluating these approaches has been challenging because optimal solutions remain elusive for realistic problem sizes.
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