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USENIX Technical Program - Abstract - Internet Technologies & Systems 99

Person-level Routing in the Mobile People Architecture

Mema Roussopoulos, Petros Maniatis, Edward Swierk, Kevin Lai, Guido Appenzeller, and Mary Baker, Stanford University


Ubiquitous network connectivity for devices does not automatically imply continuous reachability for people. People move from place to place and switch from one network device to another. As a result, phones ring in empty offices, email cannot reach most cell phones, and spam clogs expensive, low-bandwidth links to laptops. Whereas existing mechanisms have addressed host mobility or the mobility of people within one network, few have allowed people, the ultimate and most important endpoints of communication, to roam freely, without being constrained to one location, one application, one device, or one network.

We have designed the Mobile People Architecture (MPA) to maintain person-to-person reachability. The central component of MPA is a person-level router called the Personal Proxy. It tracks a mobile person's location, accepts communications on his behalf, converts them into different application formats according to his preferences, and forwards the resulting communications to him. In contrast to similar systems, the Personal Proxy protects the user's privacy, is easily extensible to new network devices and applications, and has been deployed with no modifications to the existing network and telecommunications infrastructure. In this paper, we describe the design, implementation, and preliminary evaluation of our prototype Personal Proxy, a service that integrates Internet and telephone communication and addresses the need for person-to-person reachability.

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Last changed: 25 Feb 2002 ml
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