A world in which communication between like-minded persons can be achieved smoothly, independently, and dynamically, with no need for a broker (mediator), based on a variety of attributes including individual interests, profiles, and sense of values. This is the Brokerless Discovery Model that Dr. Hoshiai advocated in 1998. SIONet is a next-generation communication tool for creating these types of communication groups. In SIONet, PCs, PDAs, mobile phones, and other terminal devices are referred to collectively as hosts.By installing SIONet software in these hosts and executing the software, each host behaves as an Entity.
An Entity is the smallest unit in the context of autonomous decentralized collaboration.In other words, each Entity acts as an autonomous decentralized computer. This means that when any Entities enter into autonomous collaboration with other Entities, Entity Groups are formed automatically. In SIONet, this Entity Group is referred to as an Event Place. In SIONet, this Entity Group is can re-organize themselves so that the Entity Group can continue to exist operate. When the number of member Entities reaches zero, the Entity Group automatically disappears. As you can see, SIONet can create Entity Groups without the need for a mediator, and without affecting any other Entities.
In SIONet, this type of autonomous decentralized collaboration is achieved through a chain reaction of stimulus and ignition. Stimulus brings about ignition, which creates new stimulus, and then new ignition… the chain reaction is thus repeated. SIONet offers a variety of functions, including application plug-in, advertisement, and discovery, as well as application sharing and self-organization. Imagine a home video game console; by replacing the game software, the console takes on the function of several different game computers. SIONet Entities operate in much the same way. Depending on the plug-in application, the Entity takes on the function of various different service systems.
In SIONet, even if an Entity, which is the creator of the Entity Group, leaves the Entity Group, the remaining Entities It also allows the user to search for, discover, and designate specific Entities from among a huge number of other Entities. This Brokerless Discovery Model makes it possible to build secure, scalable, failure-resistant networks at a low cost.
The autonomous decentralized collaboration architecture provided by SIONet consists of the simple repetition of filter registration and sending of events by entities. That is, through a chain reaction of stimulus and filter firing, entities play out autonomous decentralized collaboration. Not only event senders and receivers but also the elements making up SIONet are entities. The later is called a network entity.
The benefits of this arrangement over conventional methods of entity interaction include the following.
: By expanding the scope of chain reactions, a global semantic information network can be formed from the bottom up. This guarantees high scalability, information sharing, and system extensibility and interoperability.
: Entity addition, deletion and change do not influence other entities. The addition of a new service does not affect existing services. Adding new functions does not have any impact on other functions. Fault processing objects, statistics gathering objects and the like can be plugged in and out readily.
: Necessary information can be forwarded simply into other entities by setting filters. This means events can cause loose coupling of all entities.
Entities are all actors on SIONet including applications, terminals, people and agents, as well as the software objects and other elements making up SIONet itself. SIONet does not need to distinguish between these two kinds of entities. It is a set of entities in which entity interaction is realized by autonomous decentralized collaboration by each individual entity.
Gnutella's service announcement in March 2000 stirred worldwide interest by referring to P2P model. Basically, the P2P model needs not the broker “the centralized management server that until now has figured so importantly in prevailing business models, and offers a new approach that enables entities such as end terminals to discover out and locate other suitable entities on their own without going through an intermediary server. Indeed, Gnutella has now implemented this business model based on a P2P interaction approach.
In a parallel development, Dr. Hoshiai proposed a broker-less model (similar to P2P model) back in 1997-1998, based on SIONet (Semantic Information Oiented Network) as the implementing technology. A prototype version of SIONet was developed in 1998, followed by prototype version b in 1999, and versions 1.0 of SIONet in the year 2000.
SIONet is essentially a Meta network based on an autonomous decentralized collaboration scheme. In contrast to conventional networks that require a destination address for packets to reach their proper destinations, packets are delivered in SIONet based on semantic information. This enables entities to search for and zero in on other specific entities in the vast sea of distributed non-specific entities that are connected to the Internet.
In the SIONet-based approach, networks are constructed through autonomous decentralized interaction among distributed entities, including a number of functional SIONet configuration elements. There are a number of different types of these SIONet configurations elements-semantic information switches, semantic information routers, semantic information gateways, event places, sessions and so on-that work together as needed to build scalable and highly secure networks from the bottom up. We are now exploring the prospects of implementing community networks that are in the SIONet intelligent layer.