Optimal scheduling of peer-to-peer file dissemination

Jochen Mundinger, Richard Weber, Gideon Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Peer-to-peer (P2P) overlay networks such as BitTorrent and Avalanche are increasingly used for disseminating potentially large files from a server to many end users via the Internet. The key idea is to divide the file into many equally-sized parts and then let users download each part (or, for network coding based systems such as Avalanche, linear combinations of the parts) either from the server or from another user who has already downloaded it. However, their performance evaluation has typically been limited to comparing one system relative to another and has typically been realized by means of simulation and measurements. By contrast, we provide an analytic performance analysis that is based on a new uplink-sharing version of the well-known broadcasting problem. Assuming equal upload capacities, we show that the minimal time to disseminate the file is the same as for the simultaneous send/receive version of the broadcasting problem. For general upload capacities, we provide a mixed integer linear program (MILP) solution and a complementary fluid limit solution. We thus provide a lower bound which can be used as a performance benchmark for any P2P file dissemination system. We also investigate the performance of a decentralized strategy, providing evidence that the performance of necessarily decentralized P2P file dissemination systems should be close to this bound and, therefore, that it is useful in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-120
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Scheduling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research of G. Weiss is supported in part by Israel Science Foundation Grants 249/02 and 454/05. Collaboration of the authors was supported in part by European Network of Excellence Euro-NGI.


  • BitTorrent protocol
  • Broadcasting problem
  • Content distribution
  • File sharing
  • Load balancing
  • Makespan
  • Peer-to-peer
  • Performance evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • General Engineering
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Artificial Intelligence


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimal scheduling of peer-to-peer file dissemination'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this