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Suppose we have a HTTP-based network comprising N identical nodes. Each node needs to receive a request (S bytes) from anyone else at least every T seconds for the network to appear alive to it. In the ideal case, everyone would have a complete address book of everyone else and would choose a recipient in an intelligent but deterministic way in order to minimize collisions, but in real life not everyone knows everyone else, some redundancy is a necessary evil, latency and other weaknesses have to be accounted for, etc.

In such a distributed scheme, how can bandwidth be minimized? How close to the theoretical lower bound NS/T can we get? Can we use random selection and avoid storing full address books? Or can we broadcast the missing addresses to all nodes quickly and with negligible overhead?

Any references to existing treatments of the topic would be greatly appreciated.

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