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Approaches to building an intelligent consumer-friendly network have evolved over time from centralized switch-based to router- and server-based Internet architectures. The authors propose to drive this evolution further with a new highly scalable architecture that provides features to users derived from the computational and networking capabilities of very large populations of sophisticated terminals. This architecture relies on emerging peer-to-peer overlay technology. They describe a peer-to-peer overlay design that addresses requirements crucial for consumer applications, including overlay federation, peer heterogeneity, peer mobility, and service discovery.
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