Perspective: Semantic Data Management for the Home

Brandon Salmon, Carnegie Mellon University
Steven W. Schlosser, Intel Research Pittsburgh
Lorrie Faith Cranor, Carnegie Mellon University
Gregory R. Ganger, Carnegie Mellon University

Presented at 7th USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST '09). Feb. 24-27, 2009.

Abstract or Description

Perspective is a storage system designed for the home, with the decentralization and flexibility sought by home users and a new semantic filesystem construct, the view, to simplify management. A view is a semantic description of a set of files, specified as a query on file attributes, and the ID of the device on which they are stored. By examining and modifying the views associated with a device, a user can identify and control the files stored on it. This approach allows users to reason about what is stored where in the same way (semantic naming) as they navigate their digital content. Thus, in serving as their own administrators, users do not have to deal with a second data organization scheme (hierarchical naming) to perform replica management tasks, such as specifying redundancy to increase reliability and data partitioning to address device capacity exhaustion. Experiences with Perspective deployments and user studies confirm the efficacy of view-based data management.