FairTorrent: Bringing Fairness to Peer-to-Peer Systems

Alex Sherman; Jason Nieh; Clifford S. Stein

FairTorrent: Bringing Fairness to Peer-to-Peer Systems
Sherman, Alex
Nieh, Jason
Stein, Clifford S.
Technical reports
Computer Science
Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
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Columbia University Computer Science Technical Reports
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Department of Computer Science, Columbia University
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New York
The lack of fair bandwidth allocation in Peer-to-Peer systems causes many performance problems, including users being disincentivized from contributing upload bandwidth, free riders taking as much from the system as possible while contributing as little as possible, and a lack of quality-of-service guarantees to support streaming applications. We present FairTorrent, a simple distributed scheduling algorithm for Peer-to-Peer systems that fosters fair bandwidth allocation among peers. For each peer, FairTorrent maintains a deficit counter which represents the number of bytes uploaded to a peer minus the number of bytes downloaded from it. It then uploads to the peer with the lowest deficit counter. FairTorrent automatically adjusts to variations in bandwidth among peers and is resilient to exploitation by free-riding peers. We have implemented FairTorrent inside a BitTorrent client without modifications to the BitTorrent protocol, and compared its performance on PlanetLab against other widely-used BitTorrent clients. Our results show that FairTorrent can provide up to two orders of magnitude better fairness and up to five times better download performance for high contributing peers. It thereby gives users an incentive to contribute more bandwidth, and improve overall system performance.
Computer science
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Suggested Citation:
Alex Sherman, Jason Nieh, Clifford S. Stein, , FairTorrent: Bringing Fairness to Peer-to-Peer Systems, Columbia University Academic Commons, .

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