Brussels / 3 & 4 February 2018


The Generic Data Distribution System of the Retroshare Network

An attempt to solve the problem of perfectly decentralized data distribution

Because of their static topology and limited connectivity friend to friend networks represent a challenge in the distribution of data. We present GXS: a generic data distribution system suitable for friend-to-friend networks, that is in the heart of the Retroshare software. The presentation will start with an overview of the Retroshare software, discussing the specific requirements in terms of secure and private data distribution. We will then cover the technical aspects of GXS, its architecture and concepts, its security, privacy and stability aspects, and its robustness and performance. We will also describe the existing decentralized services based on this system. Finally, a call to developers will be made, based on a generic example, while proposing multiple ideas of distributed services to be developped on top of GXS.

The detailed plan for the presentation will be the following. Each line indicates the approximate cumulated time duration and number of slides. The presentation is tuned to approximately 20 mins.

A - overview of the Retroshare platform (5 mins, 4 slides)

        - short presentation of the RS software and history (2-3 slides)
            * history / features
            * software architecture
            * security aspects (Tor/I2P connectivity, certificate exchange)
        - privacy and security requirements of data distribution over F2F networks as opposed to P2P systems

B - the GXS system(12 mins, 12 slides)

        - overview of the system and data distribution paradigm (1 slide)
        - technical description (5 slides)
            * GXS primitives (2 s.): services, groups and messages
            * GXS services (1 s.)
            * data authentication (1 s.)
            * data distribution (1 s.)
                            * crypto primitives (1 s.)
        - pseudo-anonymous identities (1 slide)
        - circles (1 slides)
        - existing applications (3 slides: forums, channels, asynchronous messaging)
        - performance analysis (bandwidth requirements, data synchronization speed) (1 s.)

C - open problems and call for contributions (3 mins, 3 slides)

        - step by step example of creating a service (1-2 s.)
        - ideas of GXS services: distributed blogging, Calendar/tasks, Decentralized social network, distributed source versioning (1)

D - conclusion+contacts (1 min, 1 slide)


Cyril Soler