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On unstructured distributed search over BitTorrent

Mayor, W; Cox, I; (2013) On unstructured distributed search over BitTorrent. 13th IEEE International Conference on Peer-to-Peer Computing, IEEE P2P 2013 - Proceedings 10.1109/P2P.2013.6688715. Green open access

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Current BitTorrent discovery methods rely on either centralised systems or structured peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. These methods present security weaknesses that can be exploited in order to censor or remove information from the network. To alleviate this threat, we propose incorporating an unstructured peer-to-peer information discovery mechanism that can be used in the event that the centralised or structured P2P mechanisms are compromised. Unstructured P2P information discovery has fewer security weaknesses. However, in this case, the performance of the search is nondeterministic since it is not practical to perform an exhaustive search. The search performance then strongly depends on the distribution of documents in the network. To determine the practicality of unstructured P2P search over BitTorrent, we first conducted a 64 day study of BitTorrent activities, looking at the distribution of 1.6 million torrents on 5.4 million peers. We found that the distribution of torrents follows a power law which is not amenable to unstructured search. To address this, we introduce a simple modification to BitTorrent which enables each peer to index a random subset of tracking data, i.e. the torrent ID and list of participating nodes. A successful search is then one that finds a peer with tracking data, rather than a peer directly participating in the torrent. The distribution of this tracking data is shown to be capable of supporting an accurate unstructured search for torrents.We assess the overheads introduced by our extension and conclude that we would require small amounts of bandwidth, that are easily provided by current home broadband capabilities. We also simulate our extension to verify our model and to explore our extension's capabilities in different situations. We demonstrate that our extension can satisfy PAC search queries for torrents, under network churn and complex node behaviours. © 2013 IEEE.

Type: Article
Title: On unstructured distributed search over BitTorrent
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1109/P2P.2013.6688715
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/P2P.2013.6688715
Language: English
Additional information: This is the authors' accepted version of this published article. © 2013 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1420897
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