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Recent Readings

Book review: Darwinia
Reviewed: Friday, August 11, 2006

Summer reading: Spin
Reviewed: Saturday, August 5, 2006

Reviewed: Tuesday, July 18, 2006

the Omnivoire's Delimma
Reviewed: Wednesday, July 12, 2006

the Golem's Eye
Reviewed: Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Synchronization of Periodic Routing Messages
Sally Floyd and Van Jacobson, 1994 , (Paper URL)
Tuesday, June 21, 2005

This is an old (1994!) paper with a really neat result:

Network architects usually assume that since the sources of this periodic traffic are independent, the resulting traffic will be independent and uncorrelated.


This paper argues that the architect's intuition that independent sources give rise to uncorrelated aggregate traffic is simply wrong and should be replaced by expectations more in line with observed reality.


This research suggests that a complex coupled system like a modern computer network evolves to a state of order and synchronization if left to itself. Where synchronization does harm, as in the case of highly correlated, bursty routing traffic, it is up to network and protocol designers to engineer out the order that nature tries to put in.

The results are sort of old hat to network and synchronization aficionados but they still seem wonderfully counterintuitive. I've not read the entire paper but the introduction and conclusion are clear and well written. Good stuff.

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