Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Shivakant Mishra

Second Advisor

Richard Han

Third Advisor

John Black

Fourth Advisor

Chris GauthierDickey

Fifth Advisor

Qin Lv


This thesis considers the design of a social network that addresses the shortcomings of the existing ones, and identifies user privacy, security, and service availability as strong motivations that push the architecture of the proposed design to be distributed. We describe our design in detail and identify the property of resiliency as a key objective for the overall design philosophy.

We define the system goals, threat model, and trust model as part of the system model, and discuss the challenges in adapting such distributed frameworks to become highly available and highly resilient in potentially hostile environments. We propose a distributed solution called MyZone to address these challenges based on a trust-based friendship model for replicating user profiles and disseminating messages, and evaluate the feasibility of our solution based on availability, resource utilization and scalability.