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A key requirement in packet switching networks is an efficient way to access information stored within the routers. The most obvious example is the routing table and its associated forwarding information, accessed at least once for each packet traversing the router, but advanced protocols may require to store and access flow state information too, adding scalability problems as well. This paper introduces an innovative, highly efficient way to exploit the cooperation between end nodes and intermediate systems based on Distributed Linked Data Structures. When integrated in network protocols (for example as a new IP option field), they provide the router the memory addresses needed to access the required information without the need of searching. This leads to constant cost procedures, increasing performance and overcoming scalability problems. DLDS may support several different applications, some of which are presented in the paper; prototypal implementations have been developed to validate the technique and to measure performance.