Design and Implementation of Davis Social Links OSN Kernel
Social network popularity continues to rise as they broaden out to more users. Hidden away within these social networks is a valuable set of data that outlines everyone’s relationships. Networks have created APIs such as the Facebook Development Platform and OpenSocial that allow developers to create applications that can leverage user information. However, at the current stage, the social network support for these new applications is fairly limited in its functionality. Most, if not all, of the existing internet applications such as email, BitTorrent, and Skype cannot benefit from the valuable social network among their own users. In this paper, we present an architecture that couples two different communication layers together: the end2end communication layer and the social context layer, under the Davis Social Links (DSL) project. Our proposed architecture attempts to preserve the original application semantics (i.e., we can use Thunderbird or Outlook, unmodified, to read our SMTP emails) and provides the communicating parties (email sender and receivers) a social context for control and management. For instance, the receiver can set trust policy rules based on the social context between the pair, to determine how a particular email in question should be prioritized for delivery to the SMTP layer. Furthermore, as our architecture includes two coupling layers, it is then possible, as an option, to shift some of the services from the original applications into the social context layer. In the context of email, for example, our architecture allows users to choose operations, such as reply, reply-all, and forward, to be realized in either the application layer or the social network layer. And, the realization of these operations under the social network layer offers powerful features unavailable in the original applications. To validate our coupling architecture, we have implemented a DSL kernel prototype as a Facebook application called CyrusDSL (currently about 40 local users) and a simple communication application combined into the DSL kernel but is unaware of Facebook’s API.
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