Building distributed educational applications using p2p
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Building Distributed Educational Applications using P2P. Tomasz Müldner* and Gregory Leighton Jodrey School of Computer Science, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS, Canada * presenting. Contents. Distributed computing Peer-to-Peer (P2P) JXTA P2P framework APEX. Distributed Applications.

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Building Distributed Educational Applications using P2P

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Building distributed educational applications using p2p

Building Distributed Educational Applications using P2P

Tomasz Müldner* and Gregory Leighton

Jodrey School of Computer Science, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS, Canada

* presenting

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Contents

Contents

  • Distributed computing

  • Peer-to-Peer (P2P)

  • JXTA P2P framework

  • APEX

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Distributed applications

Distributed Applications

A distributed system:

data and functionality are distributed

across multiple

machines

connected by a

network

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Examples of distributed educational applications

Examples of Distributed Educational Applications

  • groupware or computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW)

  • electronic classrooms

  • shared workspaces

  • others

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Distributed applications limitations

Distributed Applications: Limitations

Problems:

  • firewalls

  • dynamic IP addresses

  • network address translation (NAT)

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Goals and requirements for distributed educational systems

Goals and Requirements for Distributed Educational Systems

Platform Independence:users of heterogeneous systems must be able to access the application:

  • Corba

  • Web Services and the underlying XML technology

  • Java technology

    Security:an authentication and a permission system with access control rules:

  • authentication e.g. using digital signatures

  • encryption e.g. using private or public key systems

  • auditing

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Goals and requirements 2

Goals and Requirements (2)

Customizability:

an application can be customized

Extensibility:

new tools can be added without affecting the operation of existing tools.

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Goals and requirements 3

Goals and Requirements (3)

Connectivity:

  • work on course documents while disconnected;

  • synchronized upon the next reconnection

    Identification:

  • Availability of the identities of users who are currently available (independent of her current location)

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Goals and requirements 4

Goals and Requirements (4)

Categorization:

two kinds of user’s roles:

- a single user

- a group

Collaboration:

  • threaded discussions, messaging,

  • collaborative viewing and editing of shared documents

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Goals and requirements 5

Goals and Requirements (5)

Discovery:

users can discover and join course groups:

  • course group contains a set of services specified by the instructor

  • services are dynamically discovered when a user joins a course group

    Scalability:

    the addition of new entities or services to the network does not significantly hinder application performance

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Goals and requirements 6

Goals and Requirements (6)

Reliability:

the availability of the application must not

depend on the availability of any single

application instance;

Accessibility:

application entities must be able to

communicate with one another

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Building distributed educational applications using p2p

P2P

  • Each peer typically acts in both the client and server roles

  • A peer may initiate requests on services hosted by other peers

  • A peer can service incoming requests on locally-hosted services

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Introduction to jxta

Introduction to JXTA

  • A set of protocols to establish an overlay network on top of existing network protocols such as TCP/IP and HTTP.

  • The overlay network transparently connects systems in a reliable and persistent manner

  • The atomic entity in the JXTA network is the peer:

    a software program that uses the JXTA protocols to interact with other peers.

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Building distributed educational applications using p2p

APEX

An extendable architecture:various components can be added to provide the required functionality; e.g.:

  • an instant messaging component

  • other components may be added as required, (e.g. components that support cooperation and collaboration)

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Authentication

Authentication

  • APEX performs authentication of each peer as it joins the network via a lookup on the institution’s registration records

  • Each course section is modelled as a separate JXTA peer group

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


User roles

User Roles

  • Student peers

  • Teaching assistants

  • Instructors

  • Administrators

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Architecture and functionality

Architecture and Functionality

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Example of an instant messaging component im

Example of an Instant Messaging Component IM

Each member of the course peer group runs an instance of IM:

  • maintaining a collection of ongoing conversation sessions involving the local user,

  • associating incoming chat messages with the appropriate conversation session

  • forwarding outgoing chat messages to the appropriate conversation partner

  • displaying an ongoing history of each ongoing conversation session to the end user.

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • We have designed and partially implemented APEX, an educational application, based on JXTA.

  • All implementation requirements have been satisfied.

  • APEX forms a base

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


Future extensions

Future Extensions

Future extensions to APEX :

  • electronic submission and grading of course assignments

  • The addition of a component for audio/video conferencing

  • A dynamic course syllabus could be provided to specify assignment due dates and scheduling of midterms and final exams.

Edmedia, June 23, 2004


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