Traffic Engineering (fwd)

osborne at osborne at
Thu Sep 18 14:16:17 UTC 1997

> See, the really neat thing about the 'net is it *removes* the geographical
> locality as a barrier.
> People have interests, very specific interests.  The number of people
> interested in following alt.barney.die.die.die are geographically
> dispersed, but the Internet brings them together in a virtual community.
> Search engines, as primitive as they are now, make it much easier to find
> whatever specific item you're looking for, and odds are overwhelming that
> it's not on your neighbors server.

So perhaps what we need is a way for search engines to determine what's 
"close" - geographically, politically, or speed-wise.  This isn't particularly
easy to do, but if it was implemented and only worked, say, 15% of the time,
it'd still make things look that much faster.

Idea: what about a search engine that understands a BGP table?  I'm thinking
that something like Hotbot, which returns search results with several places
to find the same page, goes through a process like this:

1)	perform the query.
2)	if your query returns multiple places to get the same page
		a) look at the AS_PATH for the querying IP address
		b) look at the AS_PATHs for the found pages
		c) Determine and return the "closest" one - perhaps the one
		    whose AS_PATH is most like that of the querying host.

This is a bit rough (off the top of my head, first thing in the morning), but
you could do a bunch with it.  Search engines, for example, that optimize for
search speed vs. retrieval speed, come to mind.

Anybody out there have any spare venture capital? :)


> --- David Miller

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