Yenta is a fully-distributed, peer-to-peer coalition-formation system that autonomously determines users' interests and then automatically forms discussion groups, in which users who share one or more interests may send secure real-time messages to each other, either one-to-one or in groups. The system was originally developed as part of Leonard Foner's doctoral dissertation at the MIT Media Lab's Software Agents group. Yenta demonstrates how combining a distributed design which does not rely on any one central point with cryptography and reputation management can solve many of the problems otherwise encountered by systems trying to protect sensitive information from crackers, subpoenas, and malicious interlopers. Yenta's web site also provides source code, precompiled binaries, many papers, and Foner's doctoral dissertation.
Date Listed: 04/19/2001