There are a few different network styles suggested in these pages. The two major design thrusts are DSR and Glassnet. This is a note to contrast and delve deeper into what these foundational styles can provide.

DSR is a kind of network protocol that pays attention to monetary incentives of node operators. It represents perhaps the extreme in distributed network management. It encourages, indeed requires, a class of scouting and routing services to discover where network clients are, and tell how to reach them. Again incentives are provided and its very low overhead payment scheme allows commercial competition in such low cost services.

Glassnet concentrates on a capability based node architecture. It explores styles of building applications that are distributed within such a network. It pays no attention to incentives.

Application Shape

The application that would depend upon the DSR world would operate its own computer(s) and connect with DSR nodes and participate in the DSR protocols.

The application in the glassnet world would put none, part or all of the application code in the network. Application sub-contractors might already inhabit glassnet and then the glassnet serves only as a carrier. If there are unusual communications requirements then glassnet savvy portions of the application inhabit glassnet. Some applications can live entirely there, with some sort of edge bootstrapping assumed.


There are two important and separate trust issues: denial of service and secrecy. Secrecy should probably be provided by crypto outside the net, in the application machines. If part of the application is inside glassnet then it may still be that there are no secrets there. Neither of these systems bring new ideas to the issue of traffic analysis; indeed glassnet may exacerbate the problem if agents within are able to sense demand on links and node CPUs.

Denial of Service

Here is a peculiar argument regarding DSR and denial of service. It relies on some intuitive economic ideas. See the zombie note about DDOS & DSR.