Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft
------- Forwarded message follows ------- Date sent: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 15:24:24 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Declan McCullagh <email@example.com> Subject: FC: Xerox PARC study says Gnutella suffers from tragedy of commons Copies to: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Send reply to: email@example.com
[This is an interesting article. It reminds me of pirate BBSs in the 1980s, which tried to guard against this problem with clunky upload/download ratios. (Yes, I ran a BBS on an Apple IIe and then a IIgs about 14 years ago.) We even had a term for habitual download-only users: Leeches. The authors say: "Another possible solution to this problem is the transformation of what is effectively a public good into a private one. This can be accomplished by setting up a market based architecture that allows peers to buy and sell computer processing resources..." In other words, inject market mechanisms into the file-sharing economy, which is precisely what MojoNation tries to do: http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,37892,00.html The authors don't mention MojoNation, but I assume that's because the paper was largely complete at the time of its recent introduction. --Declan]
Free Riding on Gnutella Eytan Adar and Bernardo A. Huberman Internet Ecologies Area Xerox Palo Alto Research Center Palo Alto, CA 94304
An extensive analysis of user traffic on Gnutella shows a significant amount of free riding in the system. By sampling messages on the Gnutella network over a 24-hour period, we established that 70% of Gnutella users share no files, and 90% of the users answer no queries. Furthermore, we found out that free riding is distributed evenly between domains, so that no one group contributes significantly more than others, and that peers that volunteer to share files are not necessarily those who have desirable ones. We argue that free riding leads to degradation of the system performance and adds vulnerability to the system. If this trend continues copyright issues might become moot compared to the possible collapse of such systems.
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