Departmental Papers (CIS)

Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper


Published under Creative Commons Agreement. 3rd Biennial Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research (CIDR), January 2007, 9 pages.


Business incentives have brought us within a small factor of achieving the database community's Grand Challenge set out in the Asilomar Report of 1998. This paper makes the case for a new, focused Grand Challenge: Public Health for the Internet. The goal of PHI (or φ) is to enable collectives of hosts on the Internet to jointly monitor and promote network health by sharing information on network conditions in a peer-to-peer fashion. We argue that this will be a positive effort for the research community for a variety of reasons, both in terms of its technical reach and its societal impact.

This version of the φ vision is targeted at readers in the database research community, but the effort is clearly multidisciplinary. A more generalist version of this paper will be maintained at



Date Posted: 28 February 2007