An Analytical and Experimental Study of Super-Seeding in BitTorrent-Like P2P Networks

Zhijia CHEN  Chuang LIN  Yang CHEN  Vaibhav NIVARGI  Pei CAO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E91-B   No.12   pp.3842-3850
Publication Date: 2008/12/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1093/ietcom/e91-b.12.3842
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Peer to Peer Networking Technology)
super-seeding,  quality of experience,  performance evaluation,  

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With the popularity of BitTorrent-like P2P applications, improving its performance has been an active research area. Super-seeding, a special upload policy for the initial seeder, improves the efficiency in producing multiple seeds and reduces the uploading bytes of content initiators, thus being highly expected as a promising solution for improving downloading performance while decreasing uploading cost. However, the overall impacts of super seeding upon BitTorrent performance remain a question and have not been analyzed so far in literature. In this paper, we present an analytical and experimental study over the performance of super-seeding scheme. We attempt to answer the following questions: whether and how much super-seeding saves uploading cost, whether the overall downloading time is decreased by super-seeding, and in which circumstances super-seeding performs worse. Based on the seeding process, our analytical study gives formulas on the new piece distribution time, average downloading time and minimum distribution time for heterogeneous P2P file distribution system with super-seeding. Robust evidence supporting the use (or not) of super-seeding is given based on our worldwide Internet experiments over wide distribution of 250 PlanetLab nodes. With a well-designed experimental scenario, we study the overall download time and upload cost of super seeding scheme under varying seed bandwidth and peer behavior. Results show that super-seeding can save an upload ratio of 20% and does help speeding up swarms in certain modes. Tentative conclusions about the effectiveness of super-seeding and its optimal working circumstances are given with inside mechanism analyzed and negative factor identified. Our work not only provides reference for the potential adoption of super-seeding in BitTorrent and other P2P applications, but also much insights for the tussle of enhancing of Quality of Experience (QoE) and saving cost for a large-scale BitTorrent-like P2P commercial application.