Nains sans géants : architecture décentralisée et services Internet

Abstract : Even if the concept of decentralization is embedded to some extent at the very core of the Internet, today's "network of networks" integrates this principle only partially. The dominant organizational model for Internet-based services involves large clusters of servers controlled by the "giants" of the IT sector. The search for alternatives is in progress, aiming at different ways to achieve effectiveness and sustainability. In this quest, a number of developers look back to the evergreen qualities of a relatively old technology, peer-to-peer (P2P), that leverages the socio-technical resources of the network's "dwarfs" - its periphery or "edge" - in a way that is, in fact, closer to the pre-commercial Internet.This dissertation explores the distributed and decentralized approach to the technical architecture of Internet-based services. It illustrates the co-shaping of a decentralized network architecture and of several different dynamics: the articulation between actors and contents, the allocation of responsibilities and the capacity to exert control, the organization of the market, the forms of existence and role of entities such as the nodes of a network, its users, its central or coordinating units. This work analyses the conditions under which a network that structures itself according to a non-hierarchical or hybrid model, and delegates the responsibility of its functioning to its edge, can develop and thrive in today's Internet. The dissertation follows the developers of three Internet services - a search engine, a storage service and a video streaming application - built on primarily decentralized network models; it also follows the collectives of pioneer users developing with these services, and selectively, the political venues where the Internet's medium- and long-term organization and governance are discussed.
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Sociologie. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, 2012. Français. <NNT : 2012ENMP0043>


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Francesca Musiani. Nains sans géants : architecture décentralisée et services Internet. Sociologie. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, 2012. Français. <NNT : 2012ENMP0043>. <pastel-00795169>

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