WhatsUp: a P2P recommender

Day - Time: 20 September 2011, h.10:00
Place: Area della Ricerca CNR di Pisa - Room: C-29
  • Anne-Marie Kermarrec (INRIA, Rennes (France))

Ranieri Baraglia


WhatsUp is an instant news system aimed for a large scale network with no central bottleneck, single point of failure or censorship authority. Users express their opinions about the news items they receive by operating a like-dislike button. WhatsUp's collaborative filtering scheme leverages these 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 (a) biases the choice of the targets towards those with similar interests and (b) 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 survey, show that WhatsUp consistently outperforms centralized and decentralized alternatives in terms of accurate and complete delivery of relevant news.

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 committee. 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 interests are in peer to peer distributed systems, epidemic algorithms, social networks, Web Science."