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The 3PDN


The 3PDN

The Physical Package Protocol Dispatch Number

In the same way that the Internet Protocol address provides the basis for all data transfer on the internet, the Physical Package Protocol Dispatch Number (3PDN) is the basis of all packages delivered by PPP.

The 3PDN needs to be much larger than even an IPV6 address as an IP address only needs to show the location of the destination device on a network which doesn't change over time.  A 3PND needs to direct the package to a moving target (a person) and deal with priorities changing over time while also containing a fixed backup delivery location.

Even if all the constituent devices in a PPP network lose internet connectivity, the 3PDN contains all the information needed for every Package in a network to be delivered. 

The Current PPPDN Version (0.3.2) is a 512 code made up of:

  • 8 bits - PPPDN Version Number
  • 48 bits - PPP Service Provider ID (who is handling dispatch data and billing)
  • 48 bits - Dispatch User ID
  • 48 bits - Receiving User ID
  • 128 bits - Fall-back Delivery Location (Lat/Long/Height and code of destination Inbox)
  • 64 Bits - Dispatch Time (Unix Time - expires in about 300 billion years)
  • 32 Bits - Target Delivery Time (Dispatch Time plus #seconds - about 136 years delivery time)
  • 8 Bits - Dispatch Priority Level (256 priority levels)
  • 8 Bits - Sorting/Delivering Algorithm Code (256 possible ways to change delivery target and priority based on preceding data)
  • 80 Bits - Smart Case ID (includes size, case type and unique case ID)
  • 2 Bits - Mass Unit Code  -  00 = 1 gram increments (1g - 16.38kg) 10 = kg increments (0kg - 16.3met ton) 11 = 100kg = (100kg - 1638 metric tons)
  • 14 Bits - Mass
  • 8 Bits - Not Yet Allocated/Reserved
  • 16 Bits - Checksum

The 3PDN can be stored on a Bluetooth LE chip located on the Smart Case or be printed on a QR Code.  


Top Image CC 2.0: 12 Bytes Core Memory by Daniel Sancho


Service Auctioning

Service Auctioning

Service Auctioning

The 3P concept brings transparent competitive bidding to each step of the delivery process.  Any 3P Service Provider can add capacity to the system as long as their equipment meets the 3P standards.  If a Service Provider can make more efficient, safer, cheaper or faster assets they will be able to outcompete the others and grow.  This not only keeps prices low but also rewards innovation and will ensure the service becomes more efficient and effective over time.

To make this bidding system work there needs to be a unit of measure at the service level which enables Service Providers to be paid accordingly.  At present this payment units are the Step and the Switch.

The Step

This unit consists of the distance the Smart Case travels between Packet Routers and the weight of the package.

Step = Distance x Weigh


Distance Unit = 100 Meters   D is always as the crow flies.  A ground based provider may take a longer different route but only the start and end points are used. The lowest D value will be 1 for any Step even where the distance is less than 100m.

Weight Unit = 1kg  W is the total gross weight of the Smart Case and can be found on the 3PDN.


Modifiers are based on the 3PDN and are used by the Service Providers to calculate if they are able to handle the case and how low they willing to bid to fulfill the Step.

Smart Case Size (C) - The different Standard Smart Case sizes would each have a different modifier, each modifier is set by the PPSP depending on what size case their Pigeons can handle.  This modifier is added to W.

Elevation (E) -  A modifier is added to D to account for any elevation gain from start to finish point.  The lowest E could be set will be 1.0 as losing elevation does not pay back energy to aerial systems.

Priority Code (P) -  Modifier from 1.0 to 10.0 is used to set priority over other packages.

Security Code (S) -  Package security modifier would go from 1.0 up to an unlimited number depending on the surety of delivery the customer wants to pay for.

With these the modifiers the unit formula would look like this:

1 Step  = (W x C) (D x E) x P x S = (WC)(DE)PS

A Package Router puts out a call to take a 2.5kg Standard Smart Case to another Router which is 2355m away.  The Case is set at Priority 3 and Security 5.
All the 3PSPs in the area can calculate their cost to fulfill the step with their modifiers plugged into the equation.   Service Provider A (a bus based system) can deliver that step for £0.282 but it would reach the destination in an estimated 19 min.  Service Provider B (fully aerial) can deliver for £1.358 but it will only take 4 min.
The Smart Coop can look at the Target Delivery Time on the 3PDN and calculates which Service Provider to choose.  In this case the target delivery time over two hours away and as congestion is light so A would be chosen over B.


The Hold

Package Routers will also need to be paid to receive, hold and send packages on securely.

The Router's minimum Hold Price, simply based on the Smart Case Size and Security Code,  is included with the Routers location on all the stored Package Routing Tables on a network.  

When a Router is online it can constantly update it's Hold Price depending on traffic flow.  If it is nearly full the Hold Price would go higher, if it is empty it would lower the price to get more business.  This Flexible Hold Pricing would automatically cause packages to be routed around more congested areas and balance loads across a network.

While in offline mode a Sending Package Router could still  find the next best Router based on either price or location.

As Mules are moving Package Routers fixed to the top of buses, trucks, self driving cars, etc. they charge both the Step bid price and a minimum Hold Price.  Mules can also be paired with a Pigeon which travels with the Mule to provide more efficient Package Switching and Final Steps/Deliveries.


So Who Is Competing?  The Package or the Service Providers?

This depends on whether the network is congested or not.  In a network with spare capacity the Physical Assets lower their offers until even lowest priority Packages will pay them.  When congestion is high the market will cause the Packages to increase their bids.



Multi Step and Hold Bidding

Using the Virtual Forwarding Log a Service Provider can bid to fulfil not just one but a series of contiguous steps in a Package's journey to it's destination.


Photo Public Domain: Bidding at the Wool Exchange



Sorting and Switching

Sorting and Switching

When an Internet Protocol Data Packet is sent around the world it is handed from one router to the next following these simple rules:

  • Packet Buffering - Incoming packets are held in a cue, first in first out.
  • If the buffer is full incoming packets are simply dropped.
  • The data packet at the head of the cue is forwarded to the next router closest to the target computer. 
  • Router Tables (an address list of other routers) are automatically shared across the network.

Although these rules are intrinsically unreliable, this "best effort" system is what makes the whole internet and modern telephony work.  Amazingly it is actually the dropped packets not getting through which helps the network find shorter routes and to route around congestion and other problems. 

To make the network more efficient incoming packets are sometimes automatically inspected allowing the router handle the packets in different ways:

  • Prioritise packets based on Protocol eg. give VOIP/Skype calls priority over web video.  This is good for everyone using the network as some applications on the internet are more time sensitive than others.
  • Prioritise packets based on Price eg. Charging Netflix extra to ensure their content is delivered.  This is bad as it distorts the network and creates artificial barriers.
  • Check and drop any partial or corrupted packets.  This is good as there is no point congesting the network with useless packets.
  • Check and drop any packet based on protocol or destination eg. An ISP dropping all Bittorrent data packets.  Or a country dropping all packets to or from "enemy" territories.  If either is happening you no longer have an open and free (liberty) network.


Differences between IP and PPP

Obviously the main difference between IP and PPP is that we don't want to drop any Packages!  This means that we need rules defining how Packages are buffered and feedback systems which help shape traffic flows.  

1.  Cueing Packages Based on Emergency Codes.

Within the Priority section of the 3PDN there will be reserved Emergency Codes allocated for First Aid Kits, Defibrillators, Emergency Food and Water in disaster areas, etc.  These Packages are given priority over all others no matter who is requesting or sending them and no matter how high the bids are for other Packages in the buffer.  There will be reporting checks put in place and any Service Provider found to be abusing or ignoring these codes would lose it's licence.

2.  Cueing Packages Based on Priority Codes

A Package Router will look at the highest priority package it is holding and put out a bid for that Package's next best step.  Once a Pigeon has won the bid or if no Pigeons are available it puts out another bid for the package with the next highest priority code.  It repeats this process until all the Packages have been bid for.

Packages with higher Priority Codes will be more likely to be the next Package forwarded but this will not always be the case.

3.  Priority Ramping

To ensure that no low priority Package are held in a buffer indefinitely as higher priority packages come in and out Priority Ramping is enforced.  This simply means that a Package's Priority is automatically increased by a certain amount over time.  The Priority Ramping information is published in the Router Tables along with the Location and Min/max Hold Price of each Router.

4.  One In One Out

When a Package Router is one slot away from being full it will go into One In One Out mode.  This means that it will only receive Packages from a Pigeon if that Pigeon take a one of the buffered Packages on it's next Step.




Top Photo CC 3.0: Toggle switch logic by Audriusa


Package Data Log

Package Data Log

The Package Delivery Data Log

The Package Delivery Data Log and the Virtual Package Delivery Log are powerful tools which make a PPP network much more efficient.  The Delivery Data Log is used to record what has happened to the Smart Case during each Dispatch and the Virtual Forwarding Log is used to plan the future route of the Smart Case.

The Log's header is the 3PDN.  Then data from each Step is appended once each hold or step is completed until the Smart Case reaches it's target and is digitally signed for.  For each Step and Hold the data will include:

  • PPSP Number
  • Physical Asset ID Number
  • Payment Modifiers used in bid
  • Bid Start Location
  • Bid Start Time
  • Bid End Location
  • Bid End Time
  • Total Bid Cost
  • Actual Start Location
  • Actual Start Time
  • Actual End Location
  • Actual End Time
  • Actual Cost Charged
  • Fault Codes

When the Case reaches the Receiving Customer or target location and leaves the Pigeon Post system a final set of data is added to the Log which will include:

  • Delivery Time
  • Delivery Location
  • Physical Asset Code
  • Receiving Customer 
  • Receiving Customer Digital Signature
  • Fault Codes

Once the package is signed for the Log is then finalized.  It will be then used in three main ways.


The Final Package Data Log is then given to all the Service Providers which handled the Case who then use it to calculate how much money or credit needs to change hands.  This can be varied depending on whether the Bids were fulfilled as specified, with bonus payments for faster deliveries or penalty charges for late deliveries. 

Route and Asset Optimization

PPP Service Providers can aggregate the Package Data Logs from thousands of deliveries to find where the most profitable areas and routes are and allocate more assets to those places.  They can also see where faults are or dropped packages are happening and improve their hardware, software, navigation or route packages around the area to solve these problems.

Calculating Service Provider Rating

The Sending or Receiving Customer can voluntarily submit the Package Data Log to the Physical Package Protocol Project which uses the aggregate data to give Service Ratings to every Service Provider.


Service Providers would be responsible for compensating customers for any Cases lost while they are handling them.  Reducing package loss would be the best way to reduce costs but insurance underwriters would be able develope insurance plans to reduce the risk of large payouts.  These would be tied to the Security Code the Sending User sets for each Case is handled and the cost of the insurance would pay the insurance premium up front when the package is put into the system.   There are controls being developed to reduce insurance fraud.  The aggregate Package Data Logs would be used to set premiums and to allocate liability after any loss.

Top Photo Public Domain: USGOV-PD


Virtual Forwarding Log

Virtual Forwarding Log

With all the Package Routers online almost all of the time and communicating with each other, they can signal forward to the next Router with information about the incoming Smart Case.  This second Router acknowledges the connection and repeats the process until this virtual Smart Case is delivered.  They do this using the Virtual Forwarding Log.

The Virtual Log is forwarded through the network until it reaches the target Inbox router which then sends it back to the originating Router of the Virtual Forwarding Log.  The originating Router can then send it out again choosing different route a number of times then the best Virtual Route is chosen and the actual Smart Case is forwarded that direction.

If the Virtual Forwarding Log can not find a solution or predicts the case will take too long or be too expensive, etc. the sending user can be informed of possible delays or cost increases.

If a Router loses a data connection or can't find a delivery solution with the Virtual Forwarding Log it is still obliged to operate though with less efficiency.  It simply sends out a request for a Pigeon and sends the case onwards to the next Router which in the Routing Table which is both within Pigeon range and closer to the target location.  This process continues until all the Smart Cases in the Router have been sent on.  It obviously stores a record of every Smart Case it has handled which it then submits to the Dispatch Service Provider once it is back online.


Top Image Public Domain: Tube Map 1908 


Service Providers

Service Providers

A Physical Package Protocol Service Provider is any company, organisation, cooperative or charity which fulfils one of the following roles:

  1. Owns, operates or controls any PPP Asset.
  2. Handles Service Auctioning, Payments and 
  3. Provides the customer (receiving or sending) interface with the PPP network.
  4. Manufactures or maintains Smart Cases.


More info coming soon.


Top Image Public Domain: 437th Airlift Wing - USAF

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Smart Case ID

Smart Case ID

The Smart Case ID provides the information about the Package to all the PPP Service Providers who handle it.

Specifically it gives information about the kind of case it is and the size of case.

It also contains a unique code so there can be up to 2.8 trillion smart cases, enough for 37 thousand cases per person alive.  If we ever run out of unique case IDs we could:

  • Retire cases which have been unused for a set length of time.
  • "Retire" cases once they are too old or broken or lost.  
  • Use one of the reserved bits to give us another 2.8 trillion unique IDs.


Top Image CC 3.0: Assortment of iBeacons by Nonokunono