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Contact: Antoine Boutet

WhatsUp is an instant news system designed for a large-scale network with no central authority. WhatsUp builds an implicit social network based on the opinions users express about the news items they receive (like-dislike). This is achieved through an obfuscation mechanism that does not require users to ever reveal their exact profiles. WhatsUp disseminates news items through a novel heterogeneous gossip protocol that biases the choice of its targets towards those with similar interests and amplifies dissemination based on the level of interest in every news item. We report on an extensive evaluation of WhatsUp through large-scale simulations, a ModelNet emulation on a cluster and a PlanetLab deployment based on real datasets (Digg and real news survey). We show that WhatsUp consistently outperforms various alternatives in terms of accurate and complete delivery of relevant news while preserving the fundamental advantages of standard gossip: namely simplicity of deployment and robustness. We also discuss the resilience of WhatsUp to privacy and censorship attacks.

How to use WhatsUp:

Video showing the cluster formation and dissemination in WhatsUp:

A short and downloadable version is available here.