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Method for obtaining a document when only limited connectivity is available Disclosure Number: IPCOM000246179D
Publication Date: 2016-May-13
Document File: 3 page(s) / 89K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


This peer-sharing mechanism searches between the user's peers to establish what versions of the required file are accessible when a central file-sharing application is not available. Based on metadata associated with the accessible files the user can then select a version to retrieve.

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Method for obtaining a document when only limited connectivity is available

Sometimes it can be difficult to access files that are stored and managed by social/file-sharing applications, either because the application itself is down or because there is no access to the network. This can cause significant problems if one needs urgent access to an up-to-date version of the file. However, other people in the network or work group might have a local copy of the file that is required,

which the user could access if they knew who had it.

    Access to files stored on social/file-sharing applications can be limited when the application or the network access is down. When this happens, an alternative

way to obtain access to these files is often urgently needed. Here we propose a peer sharing mechanism that uses information about the members of the community the files were shared in to access local copies on their machines if the central application is unreachable.

This peer-sharing mechanism searches between the user's peers to establish

whether any of them has an up-to-date copy of the required file. The mechanism polls all machines in the user's group to see whether any of them holds a recent copy. This mechanism can be used in the following scenarios: If the file-sharing application that holds the latest version of the file is down, but the network is up, the machines in the group are polled through the network to see who has the latest version that can be accessed.

If the network is down, the mechanism can use an alternative method to search for the file, such as Bluetooth or the power line.

    Participating users can be grouped according to their membership of the same community. The mechanism polls all subscribers to the specified community, to find out whether they have a recent copy of the file. The mechanism is able to detect whether the file is the latest official version or a copy that has been edited locally.

    All members of a community can specify which of their files are publicly shared and which are to remain private. The default setting is "public". When a user modifies a file he is given the option to mark it as private.

    This mechanism requires a daemon to run on each user's device. In order to be able to find the copy of a file later the daemon needs to register which other users belong to the community that has access to a file and store the details to contact their devices (via IP, bluetooth or other means). Should the central file-sharing application be down the daemon can then use this information to contact other users who have a copy of the file. If the daemons on each device store some metadata such as the file version and whether it has been modified, this information can then be used to find and retrieve the urgently needed version of the file. If the central file-sharing application could not be reached because of no network access, alternative communication methods such as bluetooth et cetera can be used to transfer...