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Small Is Not Always Beautiful

Abstract : Peer-to-peer content distribution systems have been enjoying great popularity, and are now gaining momentum as a means of disseminating video streams over the Internet. In many of these protocols, including the popular BitTorrent, content is split into mostly fixed-size pieces, allowing a client to download data from many peers simultaneously. This makes piece size potentially critical for performance. However, previous research efforts have largely overlooked this parameter, opting to focus on others instead. This paper presents the results of real experiments with varying piece sizes on a controlled BitTorrent testbed. We demonstrate that this parameter is indeed critical, as it determines the degree of parallelism in the system, and we investigate optimal piece sizes for distributing small and large content. We also pinpoint a related design trade-off, and explain how BitTorrent's choice of dividing pieces into subpieces attempts to address it.
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Submitted on : Thursday, February 7, 2008 - 4:49:15 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - 9:40:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, May 10, 2010 - 5:15:12 PM


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  • HAL Id : inria-00246564, version 1
  • ARXIV : 0802.1015



Pawel Marciniak, Nikitas Liogkas, Arnaud Legout, Eddie Kohler. Small Is Not Always Beautiful. IPTPS'2008, Feb 2008, Tampa Bay, Florida, United States. ⟨inria-00246564⟩



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