Locating objects in wide-area systems

Maarten van Steen*, Franz J. Hauck, Philip Homburg, Andrew S. Tanenbaum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


Locating mobile objects in a worldwide system requires a scalable location service. An object can be a telephone or a notebook computer, but also a software or data object, such as a file or an electronic document. Our service strictly separates an object's name from the addresses where it can be contacted. This is done by introducing a location-independent object handle. An object's name is bound to its unique object handle, which, in turn, is mapped to the addresses where the object can be contacted. To locate an object, we need only its object handle. We present a scalable location service based on a worldwide distributed search tree that adapts dynamically to an object's migration pattern to optimize lookups and updates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-109
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE communications magazine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


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