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Real Time Gnutella Visualization 130

brett42 writes "Some students at Berkeley wrote a python program that connects to the Gnutella network and maps out connections between nodes in real time. " I gotta say thats pretty smooth. Hopefully future gnutella clients will incorporate something like this just for the time wasting potential of watching the graph wiggle while seeing what porn others are searching for.
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Real Time Gnutella Visualization

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  • I wonder what the RIAA would say when they came into work and found a huge colour printed Map like this on their desk?
    • P2P anonymity (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bikku ( 531345 )
      RIAA wet dreams! Forget the fractal mapping pr0n. The main issue is the ability to track the flow of copyrighted material through a dynamically reconfiguring network space. I can see the RIAA jumping on this as a paractical means to make a few examples of some large-scale end-user pirates.

      Don't think the RIAA isn't stupid enough to go after some end users. It just hasn't been practical so far to get evidence. Now they can point to P2P traffic maps as probable cause.

  • Gnutella never has worked well for me. File transfers are slow, and they always get cut off. It was all about Scour Exchange. :/
    • I use Gnutella by way of LimeWire [] and it works great for me. I frequently have thousands of hosts and over 10 TB of files to search. My only complaint is that I haven't found a Gnutella servent with strong advanced searching capability (i.e. use of AND, OR, NOT operators). Or if they do it wasn't in the documentation. :)
      • I believe that Limewire does support some sort of boolean searches. I've noticed that using '+' with a search further limits the results you get e.g 'foo+fighters+everlong' returns almost only that song not anything else. Like you said though, I too cannot find any info. on this feature.
        • It's not in the Gnutella protocol:

 oc ol_0.4.pdf

          The protocol (unfortunately, imo) doesn't say anything about how a search should be run, however. Somewhat of a shame that proprietary search schemes might have already cropped up. If I were writing a client from scratch using only the protocol, I already wouldn't give you the same searching functionality as Limewire, which is a bummer.

          Looks like the only other option is to check out the Limewire source ( ) and see what's going on? That's usually pretty definitive. :^)
          • I was thinking about taking a look at the source too, maybe I'll do that tonight and see what I find, although my Java skills are minimal...but my first guess is that it maybe something they do on the client end once the app. receives the search results, like how you can filter on connection speeds and the 'star rating', because Limewire does state that their app. is "compatible with the Gnutella file-sharing protocol and can connect with anyone else running Gnutella-compatible software." Although as we all know, compatible does not always mean 100% compliant.
      • I hate to disappoint you, but I have been using kza on linux since it came out, and have not yet seen the amount of data online drop below 350Tb
    • Scour Exchange was good.. but kicked even more ass... i remember going into work early just to download 40 songs in 5 minutes without any damn "app" to download... rewled... until of course it was overflowed by all those copycat music downloaders *after* me...

      oh well.. .*sigh*

      "When i was your age frankfurters only cost a nickel"
    • I turned my server off. I was tired of all the deadbeats abusing it. I could almost never get a successful transfer, or people didn't share.
  • soon Ill have to wait 4 hours instead of 2 for the latest Dave Matthews single. Gotta love wasted cpu cycles and bandwith....

    • Actually, I'm sure the app just uses information that is already being transmitted to create the graph. It might use extra clock cycles but not extra bandwidth, and if you're that concerned about it, just turn it off, or don't use it.
      • According to section 3.3 of the gnuTellaVision Final Paper, gnuTellaVision uses pings with a TTL of 1 to find the neighbours of each node it has found. In other words, gnuTellaVision does use a little extra bandwidth.

        On the other hand, it gets query data using the normal Gnutella procedure (i.e. a neighbour forwards queries to it). Of course, forwarding queries to an extra Gnutella node (the gnuTellaVision program) uses a little bandwidth too.
    • The only family doctor approved remedy for Dave Mathews fixation syndrom is available here! []

      Order now while supplies last!
  • hmm (Score:1, Troll)

    by fault0 ( 514452 )
    why would anyone use gnutella when they could use kazaa/morpheus (or kza and giFT on linux). The only users I can think of are Mac users with no kazaa clients. But then again, you could probably use giFT in MacOSX. Anyone wanna clue me in?
    • Re:hmm (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Procrasti ( 459372 )
      Because the Kazaa networks now go through a single host before logging on, introducing a single point of failure/tracking on the network.

      I agree that the Kazaa/Morpheus/giFT technology is superior, but the giFT engine has to be bought up to speed (super-server support), and reliance on the Kazaa/Morpheus networks themselves need to be dropped.
    • Because since Kazza modified their protocol so that everything has to go through a single server, authenticated by a valid kazza client, kza and giFT on linux no longer work.

      • the official linux client - kza still works. I am using it now, but you can't use it to share files :-/

        And the reliance on a proprietary protocol and a single server for authentication make it much more vulnerable than the gnutella network will ever be. That alone is reason enough to support gnutella which will win out over time after the RIAA and MPAA take out the kazaa network.
        • the official linux client - kza still works. I am using it now, but you can't use it to share files :-/

          I suggest that you RTFM:

          d - Uploading:

          Currently, there is no way to see what uploads are underway. All of
          the files in the downloads directory are shared. And there currently
          exist no way to choose what directories you wish to share -- only the
          downloads directory is shared.

          The one thing that gnutella clients need is support for downloading from multiple hosts simultaneously. I haven't yet found a client that supports this, or is it some limitation on the network?
          • The one thing that gnutella clients need is support for downloading from multiple hosts simultaneously. I haven't yet found a client that supports this, or is it some limitation on the network?

            I don't think its a limitation of the protocol as such, but there is no information as to the MD5 (or other hash) of the files you are downloading. So you don't really know that the multiple files are the same. If you knew that these 'N' hosts all had the same file (from the hash or MD5), you could then request whatever part of the file you wanted from each host and build the resulting final file, and check that it matches its MD5. Without a hash algorithm, you could still 'assume' it was the same file by name and filesize, and try the simultaneous approach, but assume makes an ass out of u and me!
        • but you can't use it to share files

          Not quite true -- it will share whatever is in the download directory.
        • What about Freenet? []
    • Re:hmm (Score:3, Informative)

      by cavemanf16 ( 303184 )
      Because since the network is being routed through apparently one super server to authenticate its clients as they connect, this gives the RIAA, MPAA, and MS reason to attack and destroy that one server. Gnutella, while a little clunky and information on it is once in a while unreliable - at least it IS completely distributed with no central server so it makes it harder for someone to sue or attack any one entity as they all share in the 'criminal acts' of getting little known artists and videos massively distributed and seen/heard. (Whatever your affiliation is with the MPAA/RIAA/MS, feel free to flame me for being sarcasticly cynical about big corporations tearing up file sharing innovations, a-la Napster).
      • I agree they shouldn't be shutdoan, because they are merely filesharing tools, however, to claim that it give little know artists massive exposure is utter bullshit.... All it is is commercial music, movies and porn. Name one artists that has succeeded because of Napster/Gnutella/KaZaA. Can't? THEY DONT EXIST!
        • Actually, I know it has happened at least once. I can't say that I really remember the name of the band.. it wasnt my preferred music genre, etc... but I remember going to boston about a year or two ago, and hearing this band on the radio. It was punkish.. hardcore sounding.. but it had a girl singer and all in all wasnt too bad.. just not my thing, you know? Someone told me they got exposure on napster or something and thats how they got noticed. Sorry I dont have specific details... like i said it was a while back and not my thing anyways.

          ~ fuzzzzz
          • I had heard that Linkin Park got exposure by being on Napster or - but I don't know it that was just some urban myth or actual truth. Anyone know more?
    • by rela ( 531062 )
      Kazaa has never worked for me. Nor gnutella-based clients either. Can't see what I'm doing wrong, but...
  • Seems like you can d/l a lot of P2P porn, and get credit for it :P
  • Hopefully future gnutella clients will incorporate something like this just for the time wasting potential of watching the graph wiggle while seeing what porn others are searching for.

    This once more proves the power of plain text. I mean, what gives you more information in 1 second? A wiggle in a graph, or ?
  • by Uttles ( 324447 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (selttu)> on Tuesday November 06, 2001 @11:31AM (#2527446) Homepage Journal
    Well, here's our next generation of college-millionaires. They can sign a nice spiffy contract with the RIAA and mod this thing to spit out home addresses and phone numbers, complete with a detailed map for "physical evidence." Let's hope that's not as easy as it sounds and the RIAA never gets that capability.
  • Very Interesting (Score:4, Informative)

    by Angry Black Man ( 533969 ) <vverysmartman&hotmail,com> on Tuesday November 06, 2001 @11:31AM (#2527447) Homepage
    These guys disected the Gnutella protocol and used the Furi [] interface (which provides network status screens and gives users info about nodes they're connected to) for their project. I was looking over the source code briefly and it looks very tight. It's nice to see college students interested and working on projects like these. If you go to the website and read over their final paper it is very interesting. You'll find a lot of stuff about the guts of Gnutella and what is unique about this project. They toyed with interfaces for a long time and rejected a great deal of them. It seems they spent a lot of time making this a very easy to use tool. They even worked hard on getting the color scheme down (hence this rejected scheme []). Seeing a few people that are this poetic in refining their tools so that the user can use them best is rare.

    The final visualization was createed with Python and Tkinter ("Tk interface"-- the de-facto Python interface to the Tk GUI toolkit). Tkinter is not the only GUI for Python. However, they chose it because it is commonly used and is easily portable between Unix and Windows (how thoughtful of them!)
    • Re:Very Interesting (Score:3, Informative)

      by Hal-9001 ( 43188 )
      The care given to the interface is not entirely surprising since one of them (Danyel Fisher []) is specializing in human-computer interaction...
  • I was just about to create YASCWF (Yet another screensaver with fractals). Now I guess I'll just use this map continually updating in the background...

    (Yes I have a T1, no I _don't_ care about it wasting my bandwith.)

    Karma? What's that again?
  • ...get dirty pictures *off* the internet, but to the MPAA or RIAA this would be a dirty picture *of* the internet.
    • The animated version was hilarious,

      the constant flow of seachwords like f***, l****, t*** etc etc but the best was definitely 2****B*****d****o*****f****w*****c***.mpg

      A true documentary! The best thing about Gnutella was that you could see right into the heads of other users by watching their searches and use the searchwords as a crude chat totally overloading poor fileservers looking for matches.
      • I must be sadly deficient in the imagination department, because I have no idea what that last one was. I can guess a couple words, but that's it. Can I buy a few more letters?

        An interesting alternative project to this for you cable-modem users would be to sniff your local network for other people's web searches, and scroll past what their search terms are. I wonder - do people who work at search engine companies do this for fun sometimes?

        • I don't think you had any chance to see what he ment on that post. I had to download the AVI so I could see... it's (wait for it)

          2HotBlondeTeensInWhiteKneeHighs&BlackHeelsDoDike St uffOnBed.mpg

          Gosh, we really should thank Bill for implementing LONG filenames in Windows! I'd never be able to figure out what 2HotBl~1.mpg was.
        • There was an article about google a while back saying how they projected a real time (filtered) search listing behind the front desk at their HQ.
  • No, really, that sounds like a great way to allow ppl to slow the internet down a little bit more.
    Could we integrate a 2 GIG mpeg that can be sent around to random locations when ppl aren't actually up/downloading so they can feel that they are still contributing to my cable connection sucking even more.

    These file sharing programs are such hogs, do you need *that* much pr0n?

    I guess you do...
    • Re:more bandwidth? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cavemanf16 ( 303184 )
      The same argument could be made for:

      Does the internet need *that* much Britney Spears?
      Or, does the internet need *that* many FPS games?
      Or, does the internet need *that* much corporate money?

      The fact is, however, that the internet is what it is, and if you don't like it you'll just have to set up your own little multi-terabyte information resource that is devoid of all that pr0n, Britney Spears mp3's, and corporate money. It's not that easy, you say? Well, no one said we all agree on what's on the 'net, which is why it's so powerful for uniting people in niche sectors that do agree on certain things. Your cable connection doesn't suck because of how much information is available, it sucks because of the way it has been built by the cable company.

    • These file sharing programs are such hogs, do you need *that* much pr0n?

      Uh, *yeah*! Frankly, if you have to ask, you'll never understand. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 06, 2001 @11:35AM (#2527460)
    Gnucleus(Win32) [] already supports something like that which uses a component by AT&T. You have to start it before connecting though. So I'm not sure, how RealTime it is compared to this script.
    • The node mapping in Gnucleus does not seem to be real time, although it is kinda hard for me to tell since Gnucleus is not stable under Windows 2000. I like GnuTellaVision's visualization a lot better.
  • by rcs1000 ( 462363 ) <rcs1000 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday November 06, 2001 @11:39AM (#2527481)
    Is if this kind of technology was used for a new kind of music chart:

    Top 100 pirated songs!

    It would be doubly interesting to see if the same songs which were top of the 'real' charts, were also the top of the Gnutella charts. Maybe we could catch the record companies that buy their own records to boost their positions in the charts red-handed.

    • It wouldn't work. They'd probably start pirating their own songs to increase the Gnutella rating.
    • The really sad thing is this, the most commonly pirated songs are the ones you hear played over and over again on the radio. Popularity has far more to do with exposure and familiarity than quality. Ever get a song stuck in your head after hearing it on the radio and then had to go find a copy of it? That's how they drive sales, its just now the cheapscates pirate. But it would be interesting to see how effectively they brainwash the masses.

    • I think soundscan has made the 'real' charts much less amenable to manipulation. Not that I care about anything that makes it on to a chart...

      You compile a list of top gnutella queries (no visualization required), but that would be more of a buzz [] index, wouldn't tell you what people were actually downloading or listening to.

      You could track (voluntarily I'd hope) users' media player actions and compile top lists. I'd guess that playlist sharing companies like Uplister [] have or will do this, though I haven't seen it. Companies like Kick [] and MoodLogic [] may also be positioned to do something like this.

      Finally, Bitzi [] (disclaimer: I'm involved) has an ugly most reported/highest ranked [] type page, though it bears no resemblance to the real world yet due to low traffic.

      I can't wait for record labels to start promoting their wares on p2p networks and helpers like Bitzi -- hopefully that'd mean they'd have at least partially accepted the value of decentralized/uncontrolled distribution.

  • mirror (Score:2, Informative)


    mirror here [].
    • by gid ( 5195 )
      Just to let anyone know, use xanim to play it, apt-get install xanim xanim-modules.

      My first two tries of mplayer then avifile failed. *sigh*. I uninstalled xanim awhile back because I thought I would no longer need it. Oh well, took me all of 30 seconds to reinstall it. :)
  • Graph Porn? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by ldopa1 ( 465624 )
    Keep in mind that pornography literally means "A visual reproduction created solely for pleasure" Wouldn't the enjoyment of watching a graph wiggle be considered porn?

    Similarly, school photos of your kid in your wallet constitutes child pornography.

    Seriously though, I've always like this kind of thing. For example, the performance monitor graph is endlessly interesting to me. The modem lights on my roadrunner is interesting to me. I'd like something more interesting than the hourglass icon. One that fills up as the work is completed would be great. It would tell me how much longer I have to wait.
    • I've got a Merriam-Webster dictionary which explains the etymology of "pornography" as "Gk pornographos writing of harlots", the definition of which is not nearly as broad as yours:
      the depiction of erotic behavior designed primarily to cause sexual excitement.
      The online Merriam-Webster dictionary [] concurs.

      Similarly, school photos of your kid in your wallet constitutes child pornography.

      Now you really need to review the proper definition of the word before you tell someone that, or risk getting a fat lip (or worse).
    • Keep in mind that pornography literally means "A visual reproduction created solely for pleasure" Wouldn't the enjoyment of watching a graph wiggle be considered porn?

      What? What a word "literally" means is totally irrelevent. What is generally agreed a word means [] is relevent. For example, "sarcasm" literally means "to cut (or rip) flesh", but who gives a crap? When I say "sarcasm", I don't mean literally ripping someone's flesh.

  • by GISboy ( 533907 )
    ...aside from the fact I'm getting old and don't have a lot of time to waste searching for this stuff over Gnutella/bearshare/morpheus/etc and waiting forever for a file to download.

    Cripes, I must be a dinosaur because I still use news servers and the occasional bout on IRC for fills.

    I, personally, love it when someone (usually younger than I) says "I got a DivX of {insert name} last nite off of {insert client}".
    "Oh, really", is my reply "I got a DivX of {movie a, b, and the first part of c} and a vcd of {movie d and e} last nite".

    The looks of sheer bewilderment I get are too funny to describe at times (even from ppl I know to have cable modems).

    Just goes to prove the old saying; "it is not the size of the wand (or 'pipe') but the magic in it".

    Don't get me wrong, these clients do have their uses, I've used them but I just don't currently have a use/need for them. train of thought slipped the track a little.

    I can't wait to see some of these maps and superimpose them over some of the thermographic maps I have reason but investigation and curiosity.
    • To the uninitiated..
      Indeed newsgroups are great for downloading...
      +Extreme speed - you're downloading directly from your ISP's news server
      +LOTS of files available, from games to movies to music to p0rn.

      -You can only download what happens to be posted at any given time... Harder to search for a specific item
      -Missing parts sometimes. Large files are split up into 20MB parts, and sometimes some parts are incomplete and hence don't get through. Recently, though, people are starting to upload Parity Archives along with the main archives, which means that if you're missing a file, you can reconstruct it based on the other files and the parity archive! very cool... this makes the missing archives problem much less of an issue. But then, there's always IRC for fills.

  • Netmess is alaso a decentralized thing and it works through HTTP proxies and firewalls (at work for instance). It exists both for Linux and windows natively.
  • For a group project, even though it is a CS group, I think they did a great job of laying everything out.
  • In my many... uh... months of using Bearshare, I don't think I ever once saw a query list that was as clean as the one in their screenshot []. I only count four porn searches, and none of them have anything obscene in the query. Nice job, guys.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 06, 2001 @12:24PM (#2527638)
    Our efforts are paying off in fighting this disease called "l33t speak".

    In out time, we'll wipe out this idiotic, hacker wanna-be, script kiddie morons who think they're special when they type things like a moron.

    But we must remain vigilant!
  • by saintlupus ( 227599 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2001 @12:25PM (#2527644) Homepage
    potential of watching the graph wiggle while seeing what porn others are searching for

    This is already a fairly interesting utility. Turn on the "view search" option on your favorite gnutella client (Limewire on OS X for me) and check out how specific people's porn searches can be.

    "Asian nurse enema big boobs midget amputee smoking."

    I guess there really is something for everyone on this new fangled internet thing.

  • by porttikivi ( 93246 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2001 @12:27PM (#2527657)
    My ISP just called. A Hollywood detective agency had contacted them and informed, that a dynamic IP address once given to my cable modem had had Gnutella running at some point in time and it had shared some episodes of Futurama. And now they are after me.

    Note that I live in Finland, so I guess somebody has decided to mount a large scale attack against global peer-to-peer piracy.
  • The paper really spends most of its time talking about how they settled on the color scheme or arrangement of the circles on the graphs. This is perhaps more relevant in the context of the class the authors were taking. They spend only a few very short paragraphs on what they actually discovered or what could be discovered, and there were no real numbers presented.

    A much more interesting article is here []. It discusses a number of findings about Gnutella usage in the context of the famous "Tragedy of the Commons" dilemma commonly studied by economists, and the ramifications these findings have for the long term viability of Gnutella networks.
    • by Animats ( 122034 )
      That's one of Bernado Huberman's papers. Huberman sees the world through libertarian-colored glasses. His solution to everything is a market. He writes:
      • Another possible solution to this problem is the transformation of what is effectively a public good into a private one. This can be accomplished by setting up a market based architecture that allows peers to buy and sell computer processing resources, very much in the spirit in which Spawn was created
      He seems to be mellowing a bit; at least in that paper he considers other solutions.

      Actually, if you run into the "tragedy of the commons" problem, it's usually because the protocol mishandles scaling. See my ancient RFC 970 [], where I pointed this out back in 1985. Gnutilla is generally acknowledged to have scaling problems.

      As for the economic analysis, market enthusiasts tend to ignore that markets both increase transaction costs and consume attention. Some goods are too cheap to charge for, because the costs of pricing, charging, billing, accounting, advertising, and marketing exceed the cost of the goods themselves. This is why the Internet beat out the pay-per-bit services.

      Worse, there's the problem of limited attention. If something is charged for, the buyer has to pay attention to its cost and how much they're using. That attention is a limited resource, and people hate wasting it on little stuff. This is why consumer Internet services moved from per-hour to flat rate.

  • We all know the old saying:
    "A text says more than a 1000 graphs"
  • ... well, sort-of - MyNapster is a Win32 combined gnutella client plus extra services, and does this (non-real time); indeed, IIRC, it uses graphing software licenced from AT&T labs or somesuch.
  • ...kind of porn users are getting (using [] ?) and that's []
  • not sure if we all slasdotted gnutellashosts but I found that if you edit line 21 of and replace

    addr = socket.gethostbyname('')


    addr = socket.gethostbyname('')

    it also works.

One can't proceed from the informal to the formal by formal means.