Resource Discovery in Peer-to-Peer Systems

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CitationPhD Thesis, Stanford University, 2004
AuthorBeverly Yang


In a peer-to-peer (P2P) system, distributed computing nodes of equal roles or capabilities exchange information and services directly with each other. At the application level, P2P systems have recently become a popular and effective means to pool together and harness large amounts of resources across organizations. Examples of existing and emerging applications include grid computing, file-sharing, and digital libraries. At the system level, due to their typically large scale, loose coupling and massive replication of resources, P2P systems offer potential strengths such as self-organization, self-healing, and robustness to failure or attacks. Because of these many strengths, P2P systems have become a topic of great interest in research and industry alike.

In a resource-sharing P2P system, many components interact to provide users with the ability to leverage the resources available in the system. For example, a scalable payment mechanism is required to handle transactions, while scheduling and resource allocation algorithms are needed by users to plan their budget. In this thesis, we focus on resource discovery -- the key initial component required to allow effective location of desired resources across peers.

The design of a scalable and efficient P2P resource discovery mechanism presents several challenges in the areas of performance, participation and correctness. With regards to performance, in this thesis we present new algorithms for efficient query routing and data source selection, and study the most effective application of existing indexing techniques. With regards to participation, we propose an incentive-compatible query-forwarding protocol, and present an efficient micropayment scheme that may be used as a foundation for any economic application or resource discovery mechanism. Finally, with regards to correctness, we present possible attacks against our techniques and show the techniques to be robust. All our techniques are thoroughly evaluated over a file-sharing application model, which we derive from large-scale measurement experiments over live, operational P2P systems.

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