Bittorrent locality and transit trafficreduction: When, why, and at what cost?

Ruben Cuevas, Nikolaos Laoutaris, Xiaoyuan Yang, Georgos Siganos, Pablo Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


A substantial amount of work has recently gone into localizing BitTorrent traffic within an ISP in order to avoid excessive and often times unnecessary transit costs. Several architectures and systems have been proposed and the initial results from specific ISPs and a few torrents have been encouraging. In this work we attempt to deepen and scale our understanding of locality and its potential. Looking at specific ISPs, we consider tens of thousands of concurrent torrents, and thus capture ISP-wide implications that cannot be appreciated by looking at only a handful of torrents. Second, we go beyond individual case studies and present results for few thousands ISPs represented in our data set of up to 40K torrents involving more than 3.9M concurrent peers and more than 20M in the course of a day spread in 11K ASes. Finally, we develop scalable methodologies that allow us to process this huge data set and derive accurate traffic matrices of torrents. Using the previous methods we obtain the following main findings: i) Although there are a large number of very small ISPs without enough resources for localizing traffic, by analyzing the 100 largest ISPs we show that Locality policies are expected to significantly reduce the transit traffic with respect to the default random overlay construction method in these ISPs; ii) contrary to the popular belief, increasing the access speed of the clients of an ISP does not necessarily help to localize more traffic; iii) by studying several real ISPs, we have shown that soft speed-aware locality policies guarantee win-win situations for ISPs and end users. Furthermore, the maximum transit traffic savings that an ISP can achieve without limiting the number of inter-ISP overlay links is bounded by 'unlocalizable' torrents with few local clients. The application of restrictions in the number of inter-ISP links leads to a higher transit traffic reduction but the QoS of clients downloading 'unlocalizable' torrents would be severely harmed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6497045
Pages (from-to)1177-1189
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2014



  • BitTorrent
  • P2P
  • locality
  • measurements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

Cite this