BitTorrent's Dilemma: Enhancing Reciprocity or Reducing Inequity

AL Jia, L d' Acunto, M Meulpolder, JA Pouwelse, DHJ Epema

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


Enhancing reciprocity has been one of the primary motivations for the design of incentive policies in BitTorrent-like P2P systems. Reciprocity implies that peers need to contribute their bandwidth to other peers if they want to receive bandwidth in return. However, the over-provisioning that characterizes today’s BitTorrent communities and the development of many next-generation P2P systems with real-time constraints (e.g., for live and on-demand streaming) suggest that more effort can be devoted to reducing the inequity (i.e., the difference of service received) among peers, rather than only enhancing reciprocity. Inspired by this observation, in this work we analyze in detail
several incentive mechanisms that are used in BitTorrent systems, and explore several strategies that influence the balance between reciprocity and equity. Our study shows that (i) reducing inequity leads to a better overall system performance, and (ii) the behavior of seeders (i.e., peers that hold a complete copy of the file and upload it for free) influences whether reciprocity is enhanced or inequity reduced.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE Consumer Communications and Networking Conference (CCNC '11)
EditorsM Kolberg
Place of PublicationLos Alamitos, CA
PublisherIEEE Society
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)978-1-4244-8790-5
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventIEEE CCNC '11 - Los Alamitos, CA, USA
Duration: 8 Jan 201112 Jan 2011

Publication series



ConferenceIEEE CCNC '11

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • Thin film transistors
  • Bandwidth
  • Analytical models
  • Peer to peer computing
  • Protocols
  • Channel allocation
  • Steady-state


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