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Kademlia uses a "distance" calculation between two nodes. This distance is computed as the exclusive or (XOR) of the two node IDs, taking the result as an integer number. Keys and Node IDs have the same format and length, so distance can be calculated among them in exactly the same way. The node ID is typically a large random number that is chosen with the goal of being unique for a particular node (see UUID). It can and does happen that geographically widely separated nodes—from Germany and Australia, for instance—can be "neighbors" if they have chosen similar random node IDs.
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