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Series in Distributed Computing
edited by Roger Wattenhofer
Vol. 15








Remo Meier

Toward Structured and Time-Constraint

Content Delivery Systems


1st edition/1. Aufl. 2011, VIII, 130 pages/Seiten, € 64,00.
ISBN 3-86628-406-3 and 978-3-86628-406-7





Over recent years, we have witnessed an unprecedented interest in Internet-based services such as the delivery of audio and video content. This strong growth challenges the underlying network infrastructure. Predominant server-based content delivery mechanisms fail to scale with the growing demand in terms of cost and efficiency. Peer-to-peer technology is an appealing alternate paradigm for content delivery. Users, or peers, with similar interests dynamically gather to exchange content and thereby reduce the load on the servers. By utilizing the resources of participating users, peer-to-peer systems gain in power with a growing number of users. Peers may favor content exchange with near-by users, lessening the load on the underlying network infrastructure.

This thesis studies the delivery of time-sensitive content among large numbers of users with a focus on live streaming of audio and video content. In this context, peer-to-peer protocols face challenges not encountered in other applications such as file sharing. In particular, the streaming content must be received with respect to hard real-time constraints; data has to be delivered in time to meet stringent playback deadlines. Peers may join and leave the system continuously and concurrently. Intermediate peers must authenticate incoming data blocks before forwarding them to other peers, preventing a ruinous snowball effect of proliferating fraudulent packets.

This thesis proposes a novel, structured yet flexible approach to peer to-peer content delivery. It includes lessons from distributed hash tables to design a suitable overlay structure. A unique push-to-pull-based content dissemination mechanism complements the overlay structure, while strong topology awareness limits the stress on the underlying network infrastructure. This thesis additionally introduces techniques to provide security and fairness to all participating peers. A fully developed implementation of the protocols showcases the practicability and benefits of the proposed techniques for real world use.


About the author:


Remo Meier received his M.Sc. degree in computer science from the ETH Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland in 2006. In the same
year, he joined the Distributed Computing Group of Professor Roger Wattenhofer at the ETH Zurich as a Ph.D. student. In 2011 he received his Ph.D. degree for his work on peer-to-peer content delivery systems.


Keywords: Peer-to-Peer, Streaming, Content Delivery, Overlay Networks, Security


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