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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A distributed directory service Li, Hongbing


Fast response time, large amounts of directory information, and friendly user interfaces are key criteria for a good distributed directory service. Although there are some Internet directory services developed, many of them have failed to achieve these goals. The work presented in this thesis is motivated by the importance of an Internet directory service, specifically to provide network users' email addresses, and the current development of such services, which is neither adequate nor effective. We designed and implemented a light weight directory (lwd) service system, which provides an Internet white pages service, with the following features: simple architecture, easy incorporation of new sources of information, and quick response time to users' queries. The system avoids requiring global cooperation, as most of other directory service system do by storing all of the white-pages information locally. Thus response time to users' queries are much faster. The system provides a mechanism to collect and exchange information among different sites in the system. Two information exchange protocols have been implemented, one guaranteeing all information maintained on one site can be transferred to another, and the other more intuitive and easier to implement. In comparison of the lwd system to several important Internet white pages services, we found that lwd has simple query structure, fast response time, and friendly user interface. In the lwd system, only a person's name is required to look up instead of hierarchical structure information or a set of keywords many other existing or proposed directory services demand. Also, the system provides error-tolerance capability to users' queries by conducting "approximate matches" to user submitted partial names.

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