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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: Xerox PARC study says Gnutella suffers from tragedy

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Mon, 21 Aug 2000 15:24:24 -0700
To:             	politech@politechbot.com
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: Xerox PARC study says Gnutella suffers from tragedy of commons
Copies to:      	adar@parc.xerox.com, huberman@parc.xerox.com, mccoy@io.com
Send reply to:  	declan@well.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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