Peer-to-Peer Networking and Applications

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 367–383 | Cite as

A taxonomy of decentralized online social networks

  • Shihabur Rahman Chowdhury
  • Arup Raton Roy
  • Maheen Shaikh
  • Khuzaima Daudjee


Despite their tremendous success, centrally controlled cloud-based Online Social Networks (OSNs) have inherent issues related to user privacy and control. These issues have motivated researchers to make a paradigm shift in the OSN architecture by proposing to replace centrally controlled OSNs with Decentralized OSNs (DOSNs) in a peer-to-peer setting. DOSNs give users more autonomy and the chance to participate in social networks without loosing control over their data. The various DOSN proposals have significant differences in their proposed services, architecture and extent of decentralization. In this survey, we study a number of proposals for peer-to-peer DOSNs, distil a set of criteria to compare them, and provide a taxonomy for their comparison.


Peer to peer system Online social network 



We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers and Natalie Borsuk for comments that helped to improve the presentation of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shihabur Rahman Chowdhury
    • 1
  • Arup Raton Roy
    • 1
  • Maheen Shaikh
    • 1
  • Khuzaima Daudjee
    • 1
  1. 1.David R. Cheriton School of Computer ScienceUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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