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Peer-to-Peer Computing

Peer-to-peer computing is an interesting networking paradigm as it offers a high degree of scalability by exploiting the resources of the participants and avoids single-points of failures. Due to these desirable properties, peer-to-peer computing plays a crucial role in many networking applications beyond file-sharing, and the underlying ideas are also discussed as a design principle for the future Internet. Our research is concerned with the question of whether peer-to-peer is mature enough to step outside its "comfort zone". We conduct measurements of state-of-the-art peer-to-peer networks such as Kad and investigate the robustness, e.g., to Sybil attacks or selfish behavior. For example, we implemented the proof-of-concept BitTorrent client "BitThief" which provides evidence that despite the tit-for-tat incentive mechanism, free-riding is possible in BitTorrent. We develop algorithms to improve the performance of peer-to-peer systems: we devise peer-to-peer networks which are robust to worst-case churn (see e.g., our IPTPS paper), which allow for efficient joins and leaves (see e.g., our SHELL system at ICALP), or which are robust to denial of service attacks (see e.g., our Chameleon system at SPAA). Some of these algorithms were successfully implemented in the online storage tool Wuala and the streaming tool Streamforge, two Swiss startups.

Selected Publications

A Self-Repairing Peer-to-Peer System Resilient to Dynamic Adversarial Churn
Citation key KSW-SRPPSRDAC-05
Author Kuhn, Fabian and Schmid, Stefan and Wattenhofer, Roger
Title of Book 4th International Workshop on Peer-To-Peer Systems (IPTPS)
Pages 13–23
Year 2005
ISBN 978-3-540-29068-1
ISSN 0302-9743
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/11558989_2
Location Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA
Address Berlin / Heidelberg, Germany
Volume 3640
Month February
Publisher Springer
Series Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)
Abstract We present a dynamic distributed hash table where peers may join and leave at any time. Our system tolerates a powerful adversary which has complete visibility of the entire state of the system and can continuously add and remove peers. Our system provides worst-case fault-tolerance, maintaining desirable properties such as a low peer degree and a low network diameter.
Link to publication Download Bibtex entry

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