Indian-American scientist creates top web technology

March 2nd, 2009 - 10:27 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 2 (IANS) HashCache, the technological brainchild of a team of Princeton computer science researchers led by an Indian American scientist, has drawn recognition as a revolutionary way to expand internet access around the world.

Created by a team of researchers headed by computer science professor Vivek Pai, the new efficient data storage system was featured as one of the top 10 emerging technologies of the year in Technology Review, a scientific magazine published by Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

HashCache, features a new data-caching system that stores information more efficiently than current methods. By making internet access more affordable, HashCache has the potential to expand web use in developing regions around the world.

“The whole point of HashCache is that it can be deployed in a very low-cost box,” Pai explained.

The development team includes PhD student and IIT-Madras graduate Anirudh Badam, computer science department chair Larry Peterson, computer science researcher Marc Fiuczynski and University of Pittsburgh professor Kyoung Soo Park.

Because of its affordability, HashCache presents new opportunities for poorer regions to gain internet access. Instead of relying heavily on RAM, HashCache stores information from frequently visited web sites on a local hard drive so the data can be accessed directly.

This system significantly increases the efficiency of internet data transfer, which can reduce the cost of maintaining a one-terabyte hard drive tenfold, Pai said.

HashCache is “flexible,” Badam noted. “We can implement it in cell phones, laptops or nearly any other hardware.”

Commercialisation is a consideration for the group, Pai noted, but the main goal is to release HashCache for practical and widespread use.

Some plans even involve making the system free for nonprofit organizations and schools in developing countries that already have technology support.

“I’m happy about the reception [of HashCache],” Pai said, adding that the acclaim the team has garnered provides evidence that the rift between high-end science and low-cost engineering is not as wide as it seems.

Testing of the new caching system is currently underway at two deployment sites at the Kokrobitey Institute in Ghana and Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria.

The Princeton University team will continue to explore ways to provide greater efficiency in web usage, including a planned project for systems that monitor people’s behaviour to reduce slow connection speeds

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