Content Distribution Network (CDN) has been effective in accelerating the access and growth for web content such as web pages and streaming audio and video. However, the relatively static and bulky data CDNs are designed to serve makes them unsuitable to support latency-sensitive interactive streams such as network games or real-time conferencing. In this position paper, we describe the concepts for an Interaction Distribution Network (IDN), which supports small, interactive data streams in a scalable manner.
An IDN shares certain concepts similar to a CDN in that end-user clients connect to the closest serving proxies for accessing and updating interaction data packets. However, the key differences lies in the bi-directional nature of the interaction streams, and that the data streams may belong to a certain “interaction group,” within which some additional processing on the data are possible. An IDN may support existing instant messenger (IM) services and Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs), while enabling new usage scenarios. We discuss the key challenges, potential solutions, and implications of IDNs in this paper.