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Saturday, August 09, 2014

Can New Math Speed Up The Internet?

"Scientists from Denmark, in collaboration with MIT and Caltech researchers, have developed a new way to transmit information over the Internet using mathematical equations instead of sending packets." continues Network Computing.

In 1977, Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv of the Israel Institute of Technology came up with the algorithms for LZ1 and LZ2 lossless data compression. At that time, the Internet was not even a dream. Packet switching was in diapers, and TCP/IP did not become standard until five years later. However, their research is the foundation of most data compression systems used today to transmit large quantities of data.
Now, a group of scientists from Denmark's Aalborg University, in collaboration with researchers from Caltech and MIT, want to introduce a new way to transmit information over the Internet that they claim is 5-10 times faster, using mathematical equations instead of sending packets.

Seem crazy? It looked like a hoax to me at first, but after reading the paper carefully, I came to the conclusion that the science is sound, and that the scientists have demonstrated its effectiveness.
"With the old systems you would send packet 1, packet 2, packet 3 and so on. We replace that with a mathematical equation. We don't send packets. We send a mathematical equation," Frank Fitzek, professor of electronic systems at Aalborg University and a network coding pioneer, explained in an Aalborg news post. "You can compare it with cars on the road. Now we can do without red lights. We can send cars into the intersection from all directions without their having to stop for each other. This means that traffic flows much faster."
Fitzek claims that, in experiments with network coding of Internet traffic, equipment manufacturers experienced speeds 5-10 times faster than usual.
Read more... 

Related links 
Aalborg news post (Aalborg University)
Math can make the Internet 5-10 times faster (ScienceDaily)

Source: Network Computing