AbstractCurrently, the communication protocols for the World Wide Web are based on a form of unicasting called the Transport Control Protocol (TCP). One of the assumptions of unicasting, which is point-to-point only, is that the address of the remote endpoint is known in advance. This assumption, however, severely constrains the design of web information systems by forcing them to accept certain compromises, such as being highly centralized. This paper proposes the use of multicast as an underlying technology on which more robust web applications can be based. By using multicast, web information systems gain flexibility and shed the constraints imposed by unicasting. We also describe Jambalaya, a web information system that is based on the multicast protocol and demonstrates these ideas in two ways: by allowing users to perform sender-blind broadcasting of information requests, and by allowing information servers to perform sender-blind advertising of their most-often requested information.
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