Rapid Information Dissemination

:: Usage

RapID is a P2P application that provides for scalable distribution of data. A network of machines form a RapID overlay network. A sender machine can then send data/content to all the other machines in a fast, scalable fashion. Currently, the most popular use around, seems to be that of viewing large video files simultaneously on many machines :)
RapID is agnostic of the content being disseminated. It can be used to distribute any file. The file to be disseminated is input at a command line. The file is broken into chunks and 'swarmed' into the overlay. On the receiving end, the chunks are collected in the 'right-order' (using a 'sliding window') and sent to STDOUT. The output can be piped into another program or redirected into a file (to be stored) as per the users wish.

:: Preliminaries

RapID is built using ICE middleware. Currently, the implementation is in Java but a C++ version (executables on Windows and MacOS-X) is in the works. Java runtime 5.0 J2SE 5.0 IS required to run RapID (sorry if you have to download this, but templates make life much easier for me :).
The zip bundle contains the required Java class files to run RapID. They also contain the jar files of ICE. However, please visit the ICE download site to make sure that you have the latest binaries.
The source files for RapID are available and are licensed as per GNU-GPL . Please send me an e-mail (deshpanm at uci edu) for the source-files and I'll be glad to send them to you.

:: Quick Outline on Download and Installation (On Windows)

(Rapid works on Linux too, but I'm guessing you can easily figure out how to run it without needing step-by-step instructions :)

(1) Download the zip file and unzip it into any directory of your choosing (say 'C:\temp\rapid'). You should see the files "rapid.jar" and "Ice.jar" present in the directory now.
(2) Open a command prompt window:
(3) Go into RapID's directory:
C:\> cd C:\temp\rapid
(4) Now, if you know about Java's classpath you can set it so that it can see the jar files in the directory, or else :

:: Running RapID (On Windows)

RapID can be started in two different ways: (1) Lonely mode and (2) Friendly mode.
(5) In Lonely-mode, RapID is started with the following simple command:
C:\temp\rapid> java RapidPeer
The above works if your CLASSPATH variable is set correctly. If not, then you can try this:
C:\temp\rapid> java -cp "Ice.jar;rapid.jar" RapidPeer
By default, RapID binds to port 20787 (First 5 digits of transcendental number: i^i) of the machine it is running on. If you want to change this, you can pass the alternate port number on the command line, like this: (java RapidPeer [port-number]).
(6) In friendly mode, it is assumed that you already know another machine's IP (and port) on which RapID is already running. Then, you can join 'into the RapID network' by starting RapID like this:
C:\temp\rapid> java RapidPeer [local-port] [remote-ip] [remote-port]

:: Having Fun with RapID

Download Mplayer and install it such that it is accessible from the command line. Then RapID can be used to stream video/audio files in a simple way:
java RapidPeer [local-port] [remote-ip] [remote-port] | mplayer -cache 1024 -
The last "-" for mplayer is to instruct it to read bytes of the STDIN. The cache option is needed to make mplayer work correctly. You can play around with the cache option but 1024 seems to do the job. Visit the mplayer page for more command line options.


RapID is still 'toy' software and carries no guarantee of any kind. It is primarily intended for research purposes. Development to add more features and make it more robust is continually in progress. One feature that will soon be added is to make it possible to disseminate multiple files without reinitializing the system.


RapID Software


Java5.0 Runtime
ICE for Java

After Download