Intuidex, Inc. is proud to announce that a patent has been allowed for a data sharing and indexing system (for the purpose of forming an imarketplace). This system, which leverages Intuidex's patented and patent-pending Higher Order Learning™ technology, is composed of multiple local indexing systems residing on network storage devices. Each (instantiation of the groupware) local storage device runs software for advanced content-based indexing, and each local indexing system forms a node in a peer-to-peer network. The indexing software performs topic-based categorization by means of a higher-order path analysis algorithm, which mimics human intuition by considering both high- and low-order links between data elements. The indexes generated by the software are automatically partitioned into topic indexes. The topical similarity of indexes to each other and to a pre-established set of topic indices is measured using a cross-training algorithm. The peer-to-peer network is implemented by a novel mesh-based, self-healing protocol, providing specialized means for sharing data and topic indexes. The software leverages the index sharing technology to provide content- and metadata-based searching features, as well as automatic recommendations for new content based on similarity to locally owned or licensed content. The system implements user authentication and user-level access control to data and indexes, so that users can transparently manage and share their resources from any location on the network, even when the data for a single user resides on multiple devices. End users drive the software by means of a graphical user interface on any device attached to the network. The interface allows users to control by topic which portions of their index and corresponding data are shared. A method is described for building a marketplace on the network for selling, sharing, and trading indexes.