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Home > iSGTW 01 August 2007 > iSGTW Image of the week - The Internet from space?

Image of the week - The Internet from space?

Graph theory analysis and distributed computing have combined to provide this all-new view of the Internet, generated using the Lanet-vi program.
Image courtesy of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Ever wonder what the Internet looks like? Now, thanks to distributed computing, you can see for yourself.

The Internet’s incredible complexity makes mapping it an ongoing challenge.

Sure, with the right software you can track data packets as they zip around in cyberspace, but unless enough people are running this software, you’ll only see a fraction of the action.

What might make it possible to gather enough information?

One answer is distributed computing, along with a team of researchers at Tel Aviv University, Israel.

To meet the challenge of collecting such massive amounts of data, the team developed the Distributed Internet Measurement and Simulation (DIMES) project, recruiting volunteers to download and run a tracking program on their own personal computers.

Thus provided with all the right information, the way was clear for a larger team—from Bar-Ilan University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv University—to crunch the numbers.

The result? A new, more accurate and quite beautiful picture of how the Internet is structured.



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