Peer-to-peer (P2P) computing is currently attracting enormous media attention, spurred by the popularity of file sharing systems such as Napster, Gnutella and Morpheus. In P2P systems a very large number of autonomous computing nodes (the peers) pool together their resources and rely on each other for data and services.
The wealth of business opportunities promised by P2P networks has generated much industrial interest recently, and has resulted in the creation of various industrial projects, startup companies, and special interest groups. Researchers from distributed computing, networks, agents and databases have also become excited with the P2P vision, and papers tackling open problems in this area have started appearing in high quality conferences and workshops.
Much of the recent research on P2P systems seems to be carried out by research groups with a primary interest in distributed computation and networks. The proposed workshop will concentrate on the impact that current database research can have to P2P computing and vice versa. Although researchers in distributed data structures and databases have been working on related issues for a long time, the developed techniques are simply not enough for the new paradigm. P2P computing introduces the paradigm of decentralization going hand in hand with an increasing self-organization of highly autonomous peers, thus departing from the classical client-server computing paradigm. This new paradigm bears the potential to realize computing systems that scale to very large numbers of participating nodes. Taking advantage of this potential for the area of data management is a challenge that the database community itself is asked to face. The realization of the P2P computing vision is however a Herculean task freight with immense technical difficulties. As a result, it offers database theoreticians and system developers a new set of exciting open problems.
We believe that database research has much to contribute to the P2P grand challenge through its wealth of techniques for sophisticated semantics-based data models, clever indexing algorithms and effcient data placement, query processing techniques and transaction processing. The database community could benefit from the P2P computing vision by developing loosely coupled federations of databases where databases can join and leave the network at will, a single global schema is not a possibility, and answers need not be complete but best effort.
Database technologies in the new information age will form the crucial components of the first generation of complex adaptive information systems. These are an emerging kind of information systems that are very dynamic, self-organize continously and adapt to new circumstances, they are locally but not globally optimized, and form a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts. These new information systems support highly dynamic, ever-changing, autonomous social organisations and can no longer be developed using traditional analysis, design and implementation techniques. This workshop will also concentrate on complex adaptive information systems, their impact on current database technologies and their relation to emerging industrial technologies such as IBM's autonomic computing initiative.
The workshop will be collocated with VLDB, the major international database and information systems conference, and will bring together key researchers from all over the world working on databases and P2P computing with the intention of strengthening this connection. Researchers from other related areas such as distributed systems, networks, multi-agent systems and complex systems will also be invited.
The workshop participants will be asked to concentrate on the following two questions:
Submitted papers must be original and not submitted for publication elsewhere. All submitted papers can be up to 15 (LNCS) proceedings pages. Interested authors should e-mail their papers in postscript or pdf form to Manolis Koubarakis (firstname.lastname@example.org) by June 8, 2003. Notification of acceptance or rejection will be sent to authors by July 14, 2003. Final versions of papers are due by August 1, 2003. Accepted papers will appear in a special volume in the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Authors are requested to prepare their papers using the instructions for LNCS. See Springer instructions for details.