An epidemic model of bit torrent with control

C. Griffin, G. Kesidis, P. Antoniadis, S. Fdida

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Despite its existing incentives for leecher cooperation, BitTorrent file sharing fundamentally relies on the presence of seeder peers. Seeder peers essentially operate outside the BitTorrent incentives, with two caveats: slow downlinks lead to increased numbers of "temporary" seeders (who left their console, but will terminate their seeder role when they return), and the copyright liability boon that file segmentation offers for permanent seeders. Using a simple epidemic model for a two-segment BitTorrent swarm, we focus on the BitTorrent rule to disseminate the (locally) rarest segments first. With our model, we show that the rarest-segment first rule minimizes transition time to seeder (complete file acquisition) and equalizes the segment populations in steady-state. We discuss how alternative dissemination rules may {\em beneficially increase} file acquisition times causing leechers to remain in the system longer (particularly as temporary seeders). The result is that leechers are further enticed to cooperate. This eliminates the threat of extinction of rare segments which is prevented by the needed presence of permanent seeders. Our model allows us to study the corresponding trade-offs between performance improvement, load on permanent seeders, and content availability, which we leave for future work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2011 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2011
StatePublished - 2011
Event2011 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2011 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: Jun 5 2011Jun 9 2011

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Communications
ISSN (Print)0536-1486


Other2011 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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