There’s various different definitions for decentralised networks with not a great deal of agreement. A workable middle ground, is that a federated network is a distributed network with each node of this distributed network being a centralized network. Such a federated network is a type of decentralized network, with another type of such a network being the distributed network.
“The most sensible approach might be that of Narayanan et al, who use “decentralized” as an umbrella label that includes both federated and distributed networks. Semantically this is a solid categorization, as both types of network are indeed not centralized. As both federated and distributed networks have “not being centralized” as one of their main distinguishing features, it makes sense to include them in one category based on that characteristic.
Looking at just the “federated” label, what most authors seem to agree on is that a federated network is the same “distributed network of centralized networks” that Baran called decentralized. So in that sense, “federated” has replaced “decentralized” in its original meaning, while “decentralized” has been adopted in various different ways, mostly as an umbrella term. This is a reasonable redefinition, considering the fact that a distributed network could technicallyalso be considered to be decentralized, and the close resemblance of the federated structure to the structure of a political federation, where autonomous sub-entities (such as American states) form one single larger entity (the United States).
The most workable middle ground, then, seems to be that a federated network is a distributed network with each node of this distributed network being a centralized network. Such a federated network is a type of decentralized network, with another type of such a network being the distributed network.” (Source)
I’m thinking I’ll start my first Wikity post with something I want other people to fork and remix and build upon and all that… I know this is a little tricky coz I still don’t have the hang of this but I think given I understand #FedWiki (kind of?) that this should be easier to handle.
Mia Zamora and I are curating the keyword “networks” for Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments, published by MLA. We have put out calls for others to participate in the curation process with us on Prof Hacker (link) and DML blog (link). So here is the meat of the content we wrote there, which I think should be forkable – and I guess I’m trying to find out if Wikity will help me track how others fork this, and I want to take advantage of how this forking works and then… maybe… just maybe… I can cite FedWiki and Wikity in our curation of networks because they’re networked, aren’t they?
So: copy/paste from both our blogs:
We figure that if we are going to write about networks, we may as well leverage our own networks to make the understanding of the term even better. The official phase of open peer review of our eventual curation will come once we finalize our frame for understanding “networks” but, we see no reason not to involve people in the earlier generative phase of our consideration of this term
Here is what we are currently thinking (*very early stages)
We are looking at the following (not mutually-exclusive) categories:
Social networks — as in tools like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and whatever else lies in the future. We would be looking at artifacts of their use in pedagogy, by people like Jesse Stommel and Pete Rorabaugh, and we would be looking at exploration of power and influence on social networks, such as Bonnie Stewart’s dissertation research.
Networked learning — as in focusing on the approach to learning being networked, connectivist, connected. Here we are thinking of the work of Siemens, Downes, Cormier, and the new participatory culture work from Henry Jenkins, Mimi Ito, Danah Boyd, as well as the significant contribution from Howard Rheingold. We are thinking of artifacts such as the early cMOOCs by Siemens and Downes, and more recent ones like #rhizo14/15, #ccourses, #clmooc and such. We also do not want to ignore the early history of networked learning from the early days of eLearning, pre-social media and MOOCs.
Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) — as in focusing on relationships and connections between people. Here we focus on work that has been done on this topic by the likes of Alec Couros and Jeff Merrell, and we give examples of opportunities for building personal learning networks such as Virtually Connecting.
So that was what we originally wrote. We invited people to add stuff to a Google doc or use #CurateNetworks on Twitter but I’m thinking I’ll invite people on Wikity to fork and remix this. I should probably create new pages for each of these categories and any others that come up and curate there… and I should probably also link the final curated book chapter back to the Wikity which people can keep updating beyond the deadline we have for the book chapter. But that’s just me. Mike… am I doing this wrong? This was me playing instead of reading documentation 🙂 Let me know!