Incentivizing Cooperation in P2P File Sharing

Indirect Interaction as an Incentive to Seed
  • Arman Noroozian
  • Mathijs de Weerdt
  • Cees Witteveen
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7607)


The fundamental problem with P2P networks is that quality of service depends on altruistic resource sharing by participating peers. Many peers freeride on the generosity of others. Current solutions like sharing ratio enforcement and reputation systems are complex, exploitable, inaccurate or unfair at times. The need to design scalable mechanisms that incentivize cooperation is evident. We focus on BitTorrent as the most popular P2P file sharing application and introduce an extension which we refer to as the indirect interaction mechanism (IIM). With IIM BitTorrent peers are able to barter pieces of different files (indirect interaction). We provide novel game theoretical models of BitTorrent and the IIM mechanism and demonstrate through analysis and simulations that IIM improves BitTorrent performance. We conclude that IIM is a practical solution to the fundamental problem of incentivizing cooperation in P2P networks.


Incentives for Cooperation Peer to peer coordination BitTorrent 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Buragohain, C., Agrawal, D., Suri, S.: A game theoretic framework for incentives in P2P systems. In: IEEE Conf. on Peer-to-Peer Computing (2003)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cohen, B.: Incentives build robustness in BitTorrent. Technical report (2003),
  3. 3.
    Douceur, J.R.: The Sybil Attack. In: Druschel, P., Kaashoek, M.F., Rowstron, A. (eds.) IPTPS 2002. LNCS, vol. 2429, pp. 251–260. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Feldman, M., Lai, K., Stoica, I., Chuang, J.: Robust incentive techniques for peer-to-peer networks. In: Proc. of the 5th ACM Conf. on Electronic commerce, pp. 102–111 (2004)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Feldman, M., Papadimitriou, C., Chuang, J., Stoica, I.: Free-riding and whitewashing in peer-to-peer systems. In: Proc. of the ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Practice and Theory of Incentives in Networked Systems, pp. 228–236 (2004)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Guo, L., Chen, S., Xiao, Z., Tan, E., Ding, X., Zhang, X.: Measurements, analysis, and modeling of bittorrent-like systems. In: Proc. of the 5th ACM SIGCOMM Conf. on Internet Measurement (2005)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hales, D., Rahman, R., Zhang, B., Meulpolder, M., Pouwelse, J.: Bittorrent or bitcrunch: Evidence of a credit squeeze in bittorrent? In: 18th IEEE Int. Workshop on Enabling Technologies (2009)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jun, S., Ahamad, M.: Incentives in bittorrent induce free riding. In: P2PECON 2005: Proc. of the 2005 ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Economics of Peer-to-Peer Systems, pp. 116–121 (2005)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kamvar, S.D., Schlosser, M.T., Garcia-Molina, H.: The eigentrust algorithm for reputation management in P2P networks. In: Proc. of the 12th Int. Conf. on World Wide Web, pp. 640–651 (2003)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Legout, A., Liogkas, N., Kohler, E., Zhang, L.: Clustering and sharing incentives in bittorrent systems. In: Proc. of the 2007 ACM Int. Conf. on Measurement and Modeling of Computer Systems, pp. 301–312 (2007)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Legout, A., Urvoy-Keller, G., Michiardi, P.: Rarest first and choke algorithms are enough. In: Proc. of the 6th ACM SIGCOMM Conf. on Internet measurement, pp. 203–216 (2006)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Levin, D., LaCurts, K., Spring, N., Bhattacharjee, B.: Bittorrent is an auction: analyzing and improving bittorrent’s incentives. In: Proc. of the ACM SIGCOMM 2008 Conf. on Data Communication, pp. 243–254 (2008)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Locher, T., Moor, P., Schmid, S., Wattenhofer, R.: Free riding in bittorrent is cheap. In: SIGCOMM 2006 (2006)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Marti, S., Garcia-Molina, H.: Taxonomy of trust: categorizing P2P reputation systems. Computer Networks 50(4), 472–484 (2006)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Meulpolder, M.: Managing supply and demand of bandwidth in peer-to-peer communities. PhD thesis, Delft University of Technology (March 2011)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Meulpolder, M., D’Acunto, L., Capota, M., Wojciechowski, M., Pouwelse, J., Epema, D., Sips, H.: Public and private bittorrent communities: A measurement study. In: IPTPS 2010 (2010)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Meulpolder, M., Pouwelse, J., Epema, D., Sips, H.: Bartercast: Fully distributed sharing-ratio enforcement in bittorrent. Technical report, Delft University of Technology; Parallel and Distributed Systems Report Series (2008)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Milinski, M., Semmann, D., Krambeck, H.-J.: Reputation helps solve the ‘tragedy of the commons’. Nature 415(6870), 424–426 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nisan, N., Roughgarden, T., Tardos, E., Vazirani, V.V.: Manipulation-Resistant Reputation Systems. In: Algorithmic Game Theory, ch. 27. Cambridge University Press (2007)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Noroozian, A.: Incentivizing seeding in bittorrent - indirect interaction as an incentive to seed. Master’s thesis, Delft University of Technology (2010)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Nowak, M.A., Sigmund, K.: Evolution of indirect reciprocity. Nature 437(7063), 1291–1298 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Piatek, M., Isdal, T., Anderson, T., Krishnamurthy, A., Venkataramani, A.: Do incentives build robustness in bittorrent. In: NSDI 2007 (2007)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Qiu, D., Srikant, R.: Modeling and performance analysis of bittorrent-like peer-to-peer networks. In: Proc. of the 2004 Conf. on Applications, Technologies, Architectures, and Protocols for Computer Communications, pp. 367–378. ACM, New York (2004)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Rockenbach, B., Milinski, M.: The efficient interaction of indirect reciprocity and costly punishment. Nature 444(7120), 718–723 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Roozenburg, J.: Secure decentralized swarm discovery in Tribler. Master’s thesis, Delft University of Technology (2006)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Sigmund, K., Hauert, C., Nowak, M.A.: Reward and punishment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 98(19), 10757–10762 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Sirivianos, M., Park, J.H., Chen, R., Yang, X.: Free-riding in bittorrent networks with the large view exploit. In: 6th Int. Workshop on Peer-to-Peer Systems (2007)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Yu, J., Li, M., Wu, J.: Modeling analysis and improvement for free-riding on bittorrent-like file sharing systems. In: Int. Conf. on Parallel Processing Workshops (2007)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arman Noroozian
    • 1
  • Mathijs de Weerdt
    • 1
  • Cees Witteveen
    • 1
  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations