Spring 2012

Preparation for Recitation 13

Read "Do incentives build robustness in BitTorrent?" by Michael Piatek, Tomas Isdal, Thomas Anderson, Arvind Krishnamurthy, and Arun Venkataramani. (This paper requires an MIT personal certificate for access.)

Read sections 1, 2, 3.2, 4, 5 and 7. The other sections are optional.

The BitTorrent protocol is based on the tit-for-tat strategy for the prisoner's dilemma game. You may wish to read The Triumph of the Golden Rule for an interesting introduction to both the prisoner's dilemma and tit-for-tat.

Think about the following questions:

  • Why does tit-for-tat seem like a good idea for BitTorrent?
  • Why is BitTorrent "better" than HTTP for content providers and users?
  • Why do network providers not like BitTorrent?
  • Is BitTyrant cheating?

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