Exploring VoD in P2P Swarming Systems

Digital media companies have recently started embracing P2P networks as an alternative distribution mechanism. However, with current P2P swarming systems users need to download the full video, and hence have to wait a long time before they can start watching it. While a lot of effort has gone into optimizing the distribution of large files, little research has been done on enabling Video-on-Demand (VoD) functionality with P2P swarming systems. The main challenges reside in ensuring that users can start watching a movie at any point in time, with small start-up times and sustainable playback rates. In this work, we address the issues of providing VoD using P2P mesh-based networks. We investigate scheduling techniques, and network coding in particular. Using both simulations and a prototype implementation, we show that high-quality VoD is feasible, and give guidelines to build play-as-you-download P2P swarming systems with high playback rates and low start-up delays.

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Publisher  IEEE Communications Society
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