"WhatsUp: a P2P News Items Recommender"

Anne-Marie Kermarrec, Senior Researcher, INRIA, Rennes

August 17th (Wednesday), 2:00pm
Harold Frank Hall (HFH), Rm 1132, CS Conf. Room

The social face of the Web is now prominent. Users have turned into active entities, generating a huge volume of content. This leaves huge opportunities to build a new generation of user-centric (personalized) applications, fully leveraging the social nature of the Web. Yet, personalizing the Web, requires to manage a lot of information at the users granularity, which, beyond the potential scalability issues, makes such systems vulnerable to the “Big brother syndrome”. In this talk, I will introduce some design principles to build fully decentralized, yet personalized, systems, aimed for a large scale network with no central bottleneck, single point of failure or censorship authority.

I will focus on WhatsUp, a p2p instant news system. WhatsUp’s collaborative filtering scheme leverages the users opinions to dynamically maintain an implicit social network and ensures that users subsequently receive news that are likely to match their interests. Users with similar tastes are clustered using a similarity metric reflecting long-standing and emerging (dis)interests. News items are disseminated through a heterogeneous epidemic protocol that biases the choice of the targets towards those with similar interests and amplifies the dissemination based on the interest of every actual news item. The push and asymmetric nature of the network created by WhatsUp provides a natural support to limit privacy breaches.

The evaluation of through large-scale simulations, a ModelNet emulation on a cluster and a PlanetLab deployment on real traces collected both from Digg as well as from a real news survey, will follow.

About Anne-Marie Kermarrec:

Anne-Marie Kermarrec is a senior researcher at INRIA Rennes where she leads the distributed systems group. She is the Principal Investigator of the ERC project Gossple and the chair of the ACM System software Award. She received the Monpetit award from the French Academy of Science in 2011. Before joining INRIA in February 2004, she was with Microsoft Research in Cambridge as a Researcher since March 2000. Before that, she obtained my Ph.D. from the University of Rennes (FRANCE) in October 1996 (thesis). She also spent one year (1996-1997) in the Computer Systems group of Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) in collaboration with Maarten van Steen and Andrew. S. Tanenbaum. Her research interetsts are in peer to peer distributed systems, epidemic algorithms, social networks, Web Science.

Hosted by: P. M. Melliar-Smith