Algorithmic Design of the Globe Wide-Area Location Service

Maarten van Steen*, Franz J. Hauck, Gerco Ballintijn, Andrew S. Tanenbaum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


We describe the algorithmic design of a worldwide location service for distributed objects. A distributed object can reside at multiple locations at the same time, and offers a set of addresses to allow client processes to contact it. Objects may be highly mobile like, for example, software agents or Web applets. The proposed location service supports regular updates of an object's set of contact addresses, as well as efficient look-up operations. Our design is based on a worldwide distributed search tree in which addresses are stored at different levels, depending on the migration pattern of the object. By exploiting an object's relative stability with respect to a region, combined with the use of pointer caches, look-up operations can be made highly efficient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-310
Number of pages14
JournalComputer journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


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