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PPSP                                                               Y. Gu
Internet-Draft                                              Unaffiliated
Intended status: Standards Track                            N. Zong, Ed.
Expires: January 13, 2014                                         Huawei
                                                                Y. Zhang
                                                           F. Lo Piccolo
                                                                 S. Duan
                                                           July 12, 2013

                  Survey of P2P Streaming Applications


   This document presents a survey of some of the most popular Peer-to-
   Peer (P2P) streaming applications on the Internet.  Main selection
   criteria have been popularity and availability of information on
   operation details at writing time.  In doing this, selected
   applications are not reviewed as a whole, but they are reviewed with
   main focus on the signaling and control protocol used to establish
   and maintain overlay connections among peers and to advertise and
   download streaming content.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
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   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on January 13, 2014.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2013 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

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   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Terminologies and concepts  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   3.  Classification of P2P Streaming Applications Based on Overlay
       Topology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     3.1.  Mesh-based P2P Streaming Applications . . . . . . . . . .   5
       3.1.1.  Octoshape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
       3.1.2.  PPLive  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
       3.1.3.  Zattoo  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
       3.1.4.  PPStream  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
       3.1.5.  Tribler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
       3.1.6.  QQLive  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     3.2.  Tree-based P2P streaming applications . . . . . . . . . .  15
       3.2.1.  End System Multicast (ESM)  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
     3.3.  Hybrid P2P streaming applications . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
       3.3.1.  New Coolstreaming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
   4.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   5.  Author List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   6.  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   7.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20

1.  Introduction

   An ever-increasing number of multimedia streaming systems have been
   adopting Peer-to-Peer (P2P) paradigm to stream multimedia audio and
   video contents from a source to a large number of end users.  This is
   the reference scenario of this document, which presents a survey of
   some of the most popular P2P streaming applications available on the
   nowadays Internet.

   The presented survey does not aim at being exhaustive.  Reviewed
   applications have indeed been selected mainly based on their
   popularity and on the information publicly available on P2P operation
   details at writing time.

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   In addition, the selected applications are not reviewed as a whole,
   but they are reviewed with main focus on signaling and control
   protocols used to construct and maintain the overlay connections
   among peers and to advertise and download multimedia content.  More
   precisely, we assume throughout the document the high level system
   model reported in Figure 1.

                  |            Tracker             |
                  |  Information on multimedia     |
                  |     content and peer set       |
                     ^  |                    ^  |
                     |  |                    |  |
                     |  |  Traker            |  |  Traker
                     |  | Protocol           |  | Protocol
                     |  |                    |  |
                     |  V                    |  V
                +-------------+         +------------+
                |   Peer 1    |<--------|   Peer 2   |
                |             |-------->|            |
                +-------------+         +------------+
                             Peer Protocol

   Figure 1, High level architecture of P2P streaming systems assumed as
                reference model througout the document

   As Figure 1 shows, it is possible to identify in every P2P streaming
   system two main types of entity: peers and trackers.  Peers represent
   end users, which join dynamically the system to send and receive
   streamed media content, whereas trackers represent well-known nodes,
   which are stably connected to the system and provide peers with
   metadata information about the streamed content and the set of active
   peers.  According to this model, it is possible to distinguish among
   two different control/signaling protocols:

      1) the "tracker protocol" that regulates the interaction between
      trackers and peer;

      2) the "peer protocol" that regulates the interaction between

   Hence, whenever possible, we always try to identity tracker and peer
   protocols and we provide the corresponding details.

   This document is organized as follows.  Section 2 introduces
   terminology and concepts used throughout the current survey.  Since

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   overlay topology built on connections among peers impacts some
   aspects of tracker and peer protocols, Section 2 classifies P2P
   streaming applications according to the overlay topology: mesh-based,
   tree-based and hybrid.  Then, Section 3 presents some of the most
   popular mesh-based P2P streaming applications: Octoshape, PPLive,
   Zattoo, PPStream, Tribler, QQLive.  Likewise, Section 4 presents End
   System Multicast as example of tree-based P2P streaming applications.
   Finally Section 5 presents New Coolstreaming as example of hybrid-
   topology P2P streaming application.

2.  Terminologies and concepts

   Channel: TV channel from which live streaming content is transmitted
   in a P2P streaming application.

   Chunk: Basic unit that a streaming media is partitioned into for the
   purposes of storage, scheduling, advertisement and exchange among

   Live streaming: Application that allows users to receive almost in
   real-time multimedia content related to on ongoing event and streamed
   from a source.  The lag between the play points at the receivers and
   the ones at the streaming source has to be small.

   Peer: P2P node that dynamically participates in a P2P streaming
   system not only to receive streaming content but also to store and
   upload streaming content to other participants.

   Peer protocol: Control and signaling protocol that regulates
   interaction among peers.

   Pull: Transmission of multimedia content only if requested by
   receiving peers.

   Push: Transmission of multimedia content without any request from
   receiving peers.

   Swarm: A group of peers sharing the same streaming content at a given

   Tracker: P2P node that stably participates in a P2P streaming system
   to provide a directory service by maintaining information both on the
   peer set and on the chunks each peer stores.

   Tracker protocol: Control and signaling protocol that regulates
   interaction among peers and trackers.

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   Video-on-demand (VoD): Application that allows users to select and
   watch video content on demand.

3.  Classification of P2P Streaming Applications Based on Overlay

   Depending on the topology that can be associated with overlay
   connections among peers, it is possible to distinguish among the
   following general types of P2P streaming applications:

      1) tree-based: peers are organized to form a tree-shape overlay
      network rooted at the streaming source, and multimedia content
      delivery is push-based.  Peers that forward data are called parent
      nodes, and peers that receive it are called children nodes.  Due
      to their structured nature, tree-based P2P streaming applications
      guarantee both topology maintenance at very low cost and good
      performance in terms of scalability and delay.  On the other side,
      they are not very resilient to peer churn, that may be very high
      in a P2P environment;

      2) mesh-based: peers are organized in a randomly connected overlay
      network, and multimedia content delivery is pull-based.  This is
      the reason why these systems are also referred to as "data-
      driven".  Due to their unstructured nature, mesh-based P2P
      streaming application are very resilient with respect to peer
      churn and guarantee higher network resource utilization than the
      one associated with tree-based applications.  On the other side,
      the cost to maintain overlay topology may limit performance in
      terms of delay, and pull-based data delivery calls for large size
      buffers where to store chunks;

      3) hybrid: this category includes all the P2P applications that
      cannot be classified as simply mesh-based or tree-based and
      present characteristics of both mesh-based and tree-based

3.1.  Mesh-based P2P Streaming Applications

   In mesh-based P2P streaming application peers self-organize in a
   randomly connected overlay graph where each peer interacts with a
   limited subset of other peers (neighbors) and explicitly requests
   chunks it needs (pull-based or data-driven delivery).  This type of
   content delivery may be associated with high overhead, not only
   because peers formulate requests in order to download chunks they
   need, but also because in some applications peers exchange
   information about chunks they own (in form of so called buffer-maps,
   a sort of bit maps with a bit "1" in correspondence of chunks stored
   in the local buffer).  On the one side, the main advantage of this

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   kind of applications lies in that a peer does not rely on a single
   peer for retrieving multimedia content.  Hence, these applications
   are very resilient to peer churn.  On the other side, overlay
   connections are highly dynamic and not persistent (being driven by
   content availability), and this makes content distribution efficiency
   unpredictable.  In fact, different chunks may be retrieved via
   different network paths, and this may turn at end users into playback
   quality degradation ranging from low bit rates to long startup
   delays, to frequent playback freezes.  Moreover, peers have to
   maintain large buffers to increase the probability of satisfying
   chunk requests received by neighbors.

3.1.1.  Octoshape

   Octoshape [Octoshape] is a P2P plug-in that has been realized by the
   homonym Danish company and has become popular for being used by CNN
   [CNN] to broadcast living streaming content.  Octoshape helps indeed
   CNN serve a peak of more than a million simultaneous viewers thanks
   not only to the P2P content distribution paradigm, but also to
   several innovative delivery technologies such as loss resilient
   transport, adaptive bit rate, adaptive path optimization and adaptive
   proximity delivery.

   Figure 2 depicts the architecture of the Octoshape system.

            +------------+   +--------+
            |   Peer 1   |---| Peer 2 |
            +------------+   +--------+
                 |    \    /      |
                 |     \  /       |
                 |      \         |
                 |     / \        |
                 |    /   \       |
                 |  /      \      |
      +--------------+    +-------------+
      |     Peer 4   |----|    Peer3    |
      +--------------+    +-------------+
                 | Content Server|

      Figure 2, Architecture of Octoshape system

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   As it can be seen from the picture, there are no trackers and
   consequently no tracker protocol is necessary.

   As regards the peer protocol, information on peers that already
   joined the channel is transmitted in form of metadata when streaming
   the live content.  In such a way each peer maintains a sort of
   Address Book with the information necessary to contact other peers
   who are watching the same channel.

   Regarding data distribution strategy, in the Octoshape solution the
   original stream is split into a number K of smaller equal-sized data
   streams, but a number N > K of unique data streams are actually
   constructed, in such a way that a peer receiving any K of the N
   available data streams is able to play the original stream.  For
   instance, if the original live stream is a 400 kbit/sec signal, for
   K=4 and N=12, 12 unique data streams are constructed, and a peer that
   downloads any 4 of the 12 data streams is able to play the live
   stream.  In this way, each peer sends requests of data streams to
   some selected peers, and it receives positive/negative answers
   depending on availability of upload capacity at requested peers.  In
   case of negative answers, a peer continues sending requests until it
   finds K peers willing to upload the minimum number of data streams
   needed to display the original live stream.  This allows a flexible
   use of bandwidth at end users.  In fact, since the original stream is
   split into smaller data streams, a peer that does not have enough
   upload capacity to transmit the original whole stream can transmit a
   number of smaller data streams that fits its actual upload capacity.

   In order to mitigate the impact of peer loss, the address book is
   also used at each peer to derive the so called Standby List, which
   Octoshape peers use to probe other peers and be sure that they are
   ready to take over if one of the current senders leaves or gets

   Finally, in order to optimize bandwidth utilization, Octoshape
   leverages peers within a network to minimize external bandwidth usage
   and to select the most reliable and "closest" source to each viewer.
   It also chooses the best matching available codecs and players, and
   it scales bit rate up and down according to the available Internet

3.1.2.  PPLive

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   PPLive [PPLive] was first developed in Huazhong University of Science
   and Technology in 2004, and it is one of the earliest and most
   popular P2P streaming software in China.  To give an idea, PPLive
   website reached 50 millions of visitors for the opening ceremony of
   Beijing 2008 Olympics, and the dedicated Olympics channel attracted
   221 millions of views in two weeks.

   Even though PPLive was renamed to PPTV in 2010, we continue using the
   old name PPLive throughout this document.

   PPLive system includes the following main components:

      1) video streaming server, that plays the role of source of video
      content and copes with content coding issues;

      2) peer, also called node or client, that is PPLive entity
      downloading video content from other peers and uploading video
      content to other peers;

      3) channel server, that provides the list of available channels
      (live TV or VoD content) to a PPLive, as soon as the peer joins
      the system;

      4) tracker server, that provides a PPLive peer with the list of
      online peers that are watching the same channel as the one the
      joining peer is interested in.

   Figure 3 illustrates the high level diagram of PPLive system.

               +------------+    +------------+
               |   Peer 2   |----|   Peer 3   |
               +------------+    +------------+
                  |      |          |       |
                  |    +--------------+     |
                  |    |    Peer 1    |     |
                  |    +--------------+     |
                  |            |            |
               |                              |
               |   +----------------------+   |
               |   |Video Streaming Server|   |
               |   +----------------------+   |
               |   |    Channel Server    |   |
               |   +----------------------+   |
               |   |    Tracker Server    |   |
               |   +----------------------+   |
               |                              |

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   Figure 3, High level overview of PPLive system architecture

   As regards the tracker protocol, as soon as a PPLive peer joins the
   systems and selects the channel to watch, it retrieves from the
   tracker server a list of peers that are watching the same channel.

   As regards the peer protocol, it controls both peer discovery and
   chunk distribution process.  More specifically, peer discovery is
   regulated by a kind of gossip-like mechanism.  After retrieving the
   list of active peers watching a specific channel from tracker server,
   a PPLive sends out probes to establish active peer connections, and
   some of those peers may return also their own list of active peers to
   help the new peer discover more peers in the initial phase.  Chunk
   distribution process is mainly based on buffer map exchange to
   advertise the availability of cached chunks.  In more detail, PPLive
   software client exploits two local buffers to cache chunks: the
   PPLive TV engine buffer and media player buffer.  The main reason
   behind the double buffer structure is to address the download rate
   variations when downloading chunks from PPLive network.  In fact,
   received chunks are first buffered and reassembled into the PPLive TV
   engine buffer; as soon as the number of consecutive chunks in PPLive
   TV engine buffer overcomes a predefined threshold, the media player
   buffer downloads chunks from the PPLive TV engine buffer; finally,
   when the media player buffer fills up to the required level, the
   actual video playback starts.

   Being the nature of PPLive protocols and algorithm proprietary, most
   of known details have been derived from measurement studies.
   Specifically, it seems that:

      1) number of peers from which a PPLive node downloads live TV
      chunks from is constant and relatively low, and the top-ten peers
      contribute to a major part of the download traffic, as shown in

      2) PPLive can provide satisfactory performance for popular live TV
      and VoD channels.  For unpopular live TV channels, performance may
      severely degrade, whereas for unpopular VoD channels this problem
      rarely happens, as it shown in [CNSR].  Authors of [CNSR] also
      demonstrate that the workload in most VoD channels is well
      balanced, whereas for live TV channels the workload distribution
      is unbalanced, and a small number of peers provide most video

3.1.3.  Zattoo

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   Zattoo [Zattoo] is P2P live streaming system that was launched in
   Switzerland in 2006 in coincidence with the EUFA European Football
   Championship and in few years was able to attract almost 10 million
   registered users in several European countries.

   Figure 4 depicts the high level architecture of Zattoo system.  The
   main reference for the information provided in this document is

      |   -------------------------------   |   +------+
      |   |    Broadcast Server         |   |---|Peer 1|---|
      |   -------------------------------   |   +------+   |
      |   |  Authentication Server      |   |      +--------------+
      |   -------------------------------   |      | Repeater node|
      |   |    Rendezvous Server        |   |      +--------------+
      |   -------------------------------   |   +------+   |
      |   | Bandwidth Estimation Server |   |---|Peer 2|---|
      |   -------------------------------   |   +------+
      |   |      Other Servers          |   |
      |   -------------------------------   |

      Figure 4, High level overview of Zattoo system architecture

   Broadcast server is in charge of capturing, encoding, encrypting and
   sending the TV channel to the Zattoo network.  A number N of logical
   sub-streams is derived from the original stream, and packets of the
   same order in the sub-streams are grouped together into the so-called
   segments.  Each segment is then coded via a Reed-Salomon error
   correcting code in such a way that any number k < N of received
   packets in the segment is enough to reconstruct the whole segment.

   Authentication server is the first point of contact for a peer the
   joins the system.  It authenticates Zattoo users and assigns them
   with a limited lifetime ticket.  Then, a user contacts the Rendezvous
   server and specifies the TV channel of interest.  It also presents
   the tickets received by the authentication server.  Provided that the
   presented ticket is valid, the rendezvous server returns a list of
   Zattoo peers that have already joined the requested channel and a
   signed channel ticket.  Hence, rendezvous server plays the role of
   tracker.  At this point the direct interaction between peers starts
   and it is regulated by the peer protocol.

   A new Zattoo user contacts the peers returned by the rendezvous
   server in order to identify a set of neighboring peers covering the
   full set of sub-streams in the TV channel.  This process is denoted

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   in Zattoo jargon as Peer Division Multiplexing (PDM).  To ease the
   identification of neighboring peers, each contacted peer provides
   also the list of its own known peers, in such a way that a new Zattoo
   user, if needed, can contact new more peers besides the ones
   indicated by the rendezvous server.  In selecting which peers to
   establish connections with, a peer adopts the criterion of
   topological closeness.  The topological location of a peer is defined
   in Zattoo as (in order of preference) its subset number, its
   autonomous system number and its country code, and its provided to
   each peer by the authentication server.

   Zattoo peer protocol provides also a mechanism to make PDM process
   adaptive with respect to bandwidth fluctuations.  First of all, a
   peer controls the admission of new connections based on the available
   uplink bandwidth.  This is estimated i) at beginning with each peer
   sending probe messages to the Bandwidth Estimation server, and ii)
   while forwarding sub-streams to other peers based on the quality-of-
   service feedback received by those peers.  A quality-of-service
   feedback is sent from the receiver to the sender only when the
   quality of the received sub-stream is below a given threshold.  So if
   a quality-of-service feedback is received, a Zattoo peer decrements
   the estimation of available uplink bandwidth, and if this drops below
   the amount needed to supports the current connections, a proper
   number of connections is closed.  On the other side, if no quality-
   of-service feedback is received for a given time interval, a Zattoo
   peer increments the estimation of available uplink bandwidth
   according to a mechanism very similar to the one of TCP congestion
   window (double increase or linear increase depending on whether the
   estimate is below or a given threshold).

   As it can be seen also in Figure 4, there exist two classes of Zattoo
   nodes: simple peers, whose behavior has already been presented, and
   Repeater nodes, that serve as bandwidth multiplier, are able to
   forward any sub-stream and implement the same peer protocol as simple

3.1.4.  PPStream

   PPStream [PPStream] is a very populare P2P streaming software in
   China and in many other countries of East Asia.

   The system architecture of PPStream is very similar to the one of
   PPLive.  When a PPStream peer joins the system, it retrieves the list
   of channels from the channel list server.  After selecting the
   channel to watch, a PPStream peer retrieves from the peer list server
   the identifiers of peers that are watching the selected channel, and
   it establishes connections that are used first of all to exchange
   buffer-maps.  In more detail, a PPStream chunk is identified by the

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   play time offset which is encoded by the streaming source and it is
   subdivided into sub-chunks.  So buffer-maps in PPStream carry the
   play time offset information and are strings of bits that indicate
   the availability of sub-chunks.  After receiving the buffer-maps from
   the connected peers, a PPStream peer selects peers to download sub-
   chunks from according to a rate-based algorithm, which maximizes the
   utility of uplink and downlink bandwidth.

3.1.5.  Tribler

   Tribler [tribler] is a BitTorrent client that was able to go very
   much beyond BitTorrent model also thanks to the support for video
   streaming.  Initially developed by a team of researchers at Delft
   University of Technology, Tribler was able to both i) attract
   attention from other universities and media companies and ii) receive
   European Union research funding (P2P-Next and QLectives projects).

   Differently from BitTorrent, where a tracker server centrally
   coordinates peers in uploads/downloads of chunks and peers directly
   interact with each other only when they actually upload/download
   chunks to/from each other, there is no tracker server in Tribler and,
   as a consequence, there is no need of tracker protocol.

   This is illustrated also in Figure 5, which depicts the high level
   architecture of Tribler.

                        | Superpeer  |
                         /         \
                        /           \
               +------------+    +------------+
               |   Peer 2   |----|   Peer 3   |
               +------------+    +------------+
                     /   |                \
                    /    |                 \
                   /   +--------------+     \
                  /    |    Peer 1    |      \
                 /     +--------------+       \
                /            /        \        \
       +------------+       /        +--------------+
       |   Peer 4   |      /         |    Peer 5    |
       +------------+     /          +--------------+
              \          /                   /
               \        /                   /
                \      /             +------------+
               +------------+        | Superpeer  |
               | Superpeer  |        +------------+

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   Figure 5, High level overview of Tribler system architecture

   Regarding peer protocol and the organization of overlay mesh, Tribler
   bootstrap process consists in preloading well known superpeer
   addresses into peer local cache, in such a way that a joining peer
   randomly selects a superpeer to retrieve a random list of already
   active peers to establish overlay connections with.  A gossip-like
   mechanism called BuddyCast allows Tribler peers to exchange their
   preference list, that is their downloaded files, and to build the so
   called Preference Cache.  This cache is used to calculate similarity
   levels among peers and to identify the so called "taste buddies" as
   the peers with highest similarity.  Thanks to this mechanism each
   peer maintains two lists of peers: i) a list of its top-N taste
   buddies along with their current preference lists, and ii) a list of
   random peers.  So a peer alternatively selects a peer from one of the
   lists and sends it its preference list, taste-buddy list and a
   selection of random peers.  The goal behind the propagation of this
   kind of information is the support for the remote search function, a
   completely decentralized search service that consists in querying
   Preference Cache of taste buddies in order to find the torrent file
   associated with an interest file.  If no torrent is found in this
   way, Tribler users may alternatively resort to web-based torrent
   collector servers available for BitTorrent clients.

   As already said, Tribler supports video streaming in two different
   forms: video on demand and live streaming.

   As regards video on demand, a peer first of all keeps informed its
   neighbors about the chunks it has.  Then, on the one side it applies
   suitable chunk-picking policy in order to establish the order
   according to which to request the chunks he wants to download.  This
   policy aims to assure that chunks come to the media player in order
   and in the same time that overall chunk availability is maximized.
   To this end, the chunk-picking policy differentiates among high, mid
   and low priority chunks depending on their closeness with the
   playback position.  High priority chunks are requested first and in
   strict order.  When there are no more high priority chunks to
   request, mid priority chunks are requested according to a rarest-
   first policy.  Finally, when there are no more mid priority chunks to
   request, low priority chunks are requested according to a rarest-
   first policy as well.  On the other side, Tribler peers follow the
   give-to-get policy in order to establish which peer neighbors are
   allowed to request chunks (according to BitTorrent jargon to be
   unchoked).  In more detail, time is subdivided in periods and after
   each period Tribler peers first sort their neighbors according to the

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   decreasing numbers of chunks they have forwarded to other peers,
   counting only the chunks they originally received from them.  In case
   of tie, Tribler sorts their neighbors according to the decreasing
   total number of chunks they have forwarded to other peers.  Since
   children could lie regarding the number of chunks forwarded to
   others, Tribler peers do directly not ask their children, but their
   grandchildren.  In this way, Tribler peer unchokes the three highest-
   ranked neighbours and, in order to saturate upload bandwidth and in
   the same time not decrease the performance of individual connections,
   it further unchokes a limited number of neighbors.  Moreover, in
   order to search for better neighbors, Tribler peers randomly select a
   new peer in the rest of the neighbours and optimistically unchoke it
   every two periods.

   As regards live streaming, differently from video on demand scenario,
   the number of chunks cannot be known in advance.  As a consequence a
   sliding window of fixed width is used to identify chunks of interest:
   every chunk that falls out the sliding window is considered outdated,
   is locally deleted and is considered as deleted by peer neighbors as
   well.  In this way, when a peer joins the network, it learns about
   chunks its neighbors possess and identify the most recent one.  This
   is assumed as beginning of the sliding window at the joining peer,
   which starts downloading and uploading chunks according to the
   description provided for video on demand scenario.  Finally,
   differently from what happens for video on demand scenario, where
   torrent files include a hash for each chunk in order to prevent
   malicious attackers from corrupting data, torrent files in live
   streaming scenario include the public key of the stream source.  Each
   chunk is then assigned with absolute sequence number and timestamp
   and signed by source public key.  Such a mechanism allows Tribler
   peers to use the public key included in torrent file and verity the
   integrity of each chunk.

3.1.6.  QQLive

   QQLive [QQLive] is large-scale video broadcast software including
   streaming media encoding, distribution and broadcasting.  Its client
   can apply for web, desktop program or other environments and provides
   abundant interactive function in order to meet the watching
   requirements of different kinds of users.

   QQLive adopts CDN and P2P architecture for video distribution and is
   different from other popular P2P streaming applications.  QQLive
   provides video source by source servers and CDN and the video content
   can be push to every region by CDN throughout China.  In each region,
   QQLive adopts P2P technology for video content distribution.

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   One of the main aims for QQLive is to use the simplest architecture
   to provide the best user experience.  So QQLive take some servers to
   implement P2P file distribution.  There are two servers in QQLive:
   Stun Server and Tracker Server.  Stun Server is responsible for NAT
   traversing.  Tracker Server is responsible for providing content
   address information.  There are a group of these two Servers for
   providing services.  There is no Super Peer in QQLive.

   Working flow of QQLive includes startup stage and play stage.

      1) Startup stage includes only interactions between peers and
      Tracker servers.  There is a built-in URL in QQLive client
      software.  When the client startups and connects to the network,
      the client gets the Tracker's address through DNS and tells the
      Tracker the information of its owned video contents.

      2) play stage includes interactions between peers and peers or
      peers and CDN.  Generally, the client will download the video
      content from CDN during the first 30 seconds and then gets
      contents from other peers.  If unfortunately there is no peer
      which owns the content, the client will get the content from CDN

   As the client watches the video, the client will store the video to
   the hard disk.  The default storage space is one Gbyte.  If the
   storage space is full, the client will delete the oldest content.
   When the client do VCR operation, if the video content is stored in
   hard disk, the client will not do interactions with other peers or

   There are two main protocols in QQLive: tracker protocol and peer
   protocol.  These two protocols are all full private and encrypt the
   whole message.  The tracker protocol uses UDP and the port for the
   tracker server is fixed.  For the video streaming, if the client gets
   the streaming from CDN, the client use the HTTP with port 80 and no
   encryption; if the client gets the streaming from other peers, the
   client use UDP to transfer the encrypted media streaming and not RTP/

   If there are messages or video content missing, the client will take
   retransmission and the retransmission interval is decided by the
   network condition.  The QQLive doesn't care the strategy of
   transmission and chunk selection which is simple and not similar with
   BT because of the CDN support.

3.2.  Tree-based P2P streaming applications

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   In tree-based P2P streaming applications peers self-organize in a
   tree-shape overlay network, where peers do not ask for a specific
   chunk, but simply receive it from their so called "parent" node.
   Such content delivery model is denoted as push-based.  Receiving
   peers are denoted as children, whereas sending nodes are denoted as
   parents.  Overhead to maintain overlay topology is usually lower for
   tree-based streaming applications than for mesh-based streaming
   applications, whereas performance in terms of delay are usually
   higher.  On the other side, the greatest drawback of this type of
   application lies in that each node depends on one single node, its
   parent in overlay tree, to receive streamed content.  Thus, tree-
   based streaming applications suffer from peer churn phenomenon more
   than mesh-based ones.

3.2.1.  End System Multicast (ESM)

   Even though End System Multicast (ESM) project is ended by now and
   ESM infrastructure is not being currently implemented anywhere, we
   decided to include it in this survey for a twofold reason.  First of
   all, it was probably the first and most significant research work
   proposing the possibility of implementing multicast functionality at
   end hosts in a P2P way.  Secondly, ESM research group at Carnegie
   Mellon University developed the first P2P live streaming system of
   the world, and some members founded later Conviva [conviva] live

   The main property of ESM is that it constructs the multicast tree in
   a two-step process.  The first step aims at the construction of a
   mesh among participating peers, whereas the second step aims at the
   construction of data delivery trees rooted at the stream source.
   Therefore a peer participates in two types of topology management
   structures: a control structure that guarantees peers are always
   connected in a mesh, and a data delivery structure that guarantees
   data gets delivered in an overlay multicast tree.

   There exist two versions of ESM.

   The first version of ESM architecture [ESM1] was conceived for small
   scale multi-source conferencing applications.  Regarding the mesh
   construction phase, when a new member wants to join the group, an
   out-of-bandwidth bootstrap mechanism provides the new member with a
   list of some group members.  The new member randomly selects a few
   group members as peer neighbors.  The number of selected neighbors
   never exceeds a given bound, which reflects the bandwidth of the
   peer's connection to the Internet.  Each peer periodically emits a
   refresh message with monotonically increasing sequence number, which
   is propagated across the mesh in such a way that each peer can
   maintain a list of all the other peers in the system.  When a peer

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   leaves, either it notifies its neighbors and the information is
   propagated across the mesh to all the participating peers, or peer
   neighbors detect the condition of abrupt departure and propagate it
   through the mesh.  To improve mesh/tree quality, on the one side
   peers constantly and randomly probe each other to add new links; on
   the other side, peers continually monitor existing links to drop the
   ones that are not perceived as good-quality links.  This is done
   thanks to the evaluation of a utility function and a cost function,
   which are conceived to guarantee that the shortest overlay delay
   between any pair of peers is comparable to the unicast delay among
   them.  Regarding multicast tree construction phase, peers run a
   distance-vector protocol on top of the tree and use latency as
   routing metric.  In this way, data delivery trees may be constructed
   from the reverse shortest path between source and recipients.

   The second and subsequent version of ESM architecture [ESM2] was
   conceived for an operational large scale single-source Internet
   broadcast system.  As regards the mesh construction phase, a node
   joins the system by contacting the source and retrieving a random
   list of already connected nodes.  Information on active participating
   peers is maintained thanks to a gossip protocol: each peer
   periodically advertises to a randomly selected neighbor a subset of
   nodes he knows and the last timestamps it has heard for each known
   node.  The main difference with the first version is that the second
   version constructs and maintains the data delivery tree in a
   completely distributed manner according to the following criteria: i)
   each node maintains a degree bound on the maximum number of children
   it can accept depending on its uplink bandwidth, ii) tree is
   optimized mainly for bandwidth and secondarily for delay.  To this
   end, a parent selection algorithm allows identifying among the
   neighbors the one that guarantees the best performance in terms of
   throughput and delay.  The same algorithm is also applied either if a
   parent leaves the system or if a node is experiencing poor
   performance (in terms of both bandwidth and packet loss).  As loop
   prevention mechanism, each node keeps also the information about the
   hosts in the path between the source and its parent node.

   This second ESM prototype is also able to cope with receiver
   heterogeneity and presence of NAT/firewalls.  In more detail, audio
   stream is kept separated from video stream and multiple bit-rate
   video streams are encoded at source and broadcast in parallel though
   the overlay tree.  Audio is always prioritized over video streams,
   and lower quality video is always prioritized over high quality
   video.  In this way, system can dynamically select the most suitable
   video stream according to receiver bandwidth and network congestion
   level.  Moreover, in order to take presence of hosts behind NAT/
   firewalls, tree is structured in such a way that public hosts use
   hosts behind NAT/firewalls as parents.

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3.3.  Hybrid P2P streaming applications

   This type of applications aims at integrating the main advantages of
   mesh-based and tree-based approaches.  To this end, overlay topology
   is mixed mesh-tree, and content delivery model is push-pull.

3.3.1.  New Coolstreaming

   Coolstreaming, first released in summer 2004 with a mesh-based
   structure, arguably represented the first successful large-scale P2P
   live streaming.  Nevertheless, it suffers poor delay performance and
   high overhead associated with each video block transmission.  In the
   attempt of overcoming such a limitation, New Coolstreaming
   [NEWCOOLStreaming] adopts a hybrid mesh-tree overlay structure and a
   hybrid pull-push content delivery mechanism.

   Like in the old Coolstreaming, a newly joined node contacts a special
   bootstrap node and retrieves a partial list of active nodes in the

   The interaction with bootstrap node is the only one related to the
   tracker protocol.  The rest of New Coolstreaming interactions are
   related to peer protocol.

   The newly joined node then establishes a partnership with few active
   nodes by periodically exchanging information on content availability.
   Streaming content is divided in New Coolstreaming in equal-size
   blocks or chunks, which are unambiguously associated with sequence
   numbers that represent the playback order.  Chunks are then grouped
   to form multiple sub-streams.

   Like in most of P2P streaming applications information on content
   availability is exchanged in form of buffer-maps.  However, New
   Coolstreaming buffer-maps differ from the usual format of strings of
   bits where each bit represents the availability of a chunk.  Two
   vectors represent indeed buffer-maps in New Coolstreaming.  The first
   vector reports the sequence numbers of the last chunk received for a
   given sub-stream.  The second vector is used to explicitly request
   chunks from partner peers.  In more details, the second vector has as
   many bits as sub-streams, and a peer receiving a bit "1" in
   correspondence of a given sub-stream is being requested from the
   sending peer to upload chunks belonging to that sub-streams.  Since
   chunks are explicitly requested, data delivery may be regarded as
   pull-based.  However, data delivery is push-based as well, since
   every time a node is requested to upload chunks, it uploads all
   chunks for that sub-stream starting from the one indicated in the
   first vector of received buffer-map.

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   In order to improve quality of mesh-tree overlay, each node
   continuously monitors the quality of active connections in terms of
   mutual delay between sub-streams.  If such quality drops below a
   predefined threshold, a New Coolstreaming node selects a new partner
   among its partners.  Parent re-selection is also applied in case of
   leaving of the previous parent.

4.  Security Considerations

   This document does not raise security issues.

5.  Author List

   Other authors of this document are listed as below.

      Hui Zhang, NEC Labs America.

      Jun Lei, University of Goettingen.

      Gonzalo Camarillo, Ericsson.

      Yong Liu, Polytechnic University.

      Delfin Montuno, Huawei.

      Lei Xie, Huawei.

6.  Acknowledgments

   We would like to acknowledge Jiang xingfeng for providing good ideas
   for this document.

7.  Informative References

   [Octoshape] Alstrup, Stephen, et al., "Introducing Octoshape-a new
   technology for large-scale streaming over the Internet".

   [CNN] CNN web site, http://www.cnn.com

   [PPLive] PPLive web site, http://www.pplive.com

   [P2PIPTVMEA] Silverston, Thomas, et al., "Measuring P2P IPTV
   Systems", June 2007.

   [CNSR] Li, Ruixuan, et al., "Measurement Study on PPLive Based on
   Channel Popularity", May 2011.

   [Zattoo] Zattoo web site, http://www.zattoo.com

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   [IMC09] Chang, Hyunseok, et al., "Live streaming performance of the
   Zattoo network", November 2009.

   [PPStream] PPStream web site, http:// www.ppstream.com

   [tribler] Tribler Protocol Specification, January 2009, on line
   available at http://svn.tribler.org/bt2-design/proto-spec-unified/

   [QQLive] QQLive web site, http://v.qq.com

   [conviva] Conviva web site, http://www.conviva.com

   [ESM1] Chu, Yang-hua, et al., "A Case for End System Multicast", June
   2000.  (http://esm.cs.cmu.edu/technology/papers/

   [ESM2] Chu, Yang-hua, et al., "Early Experience with an Internet
   Broadcast System Based on Overlay Multicast", June 2004.  (http://

   [NEWCOOLStreaming] Li, Bo, et al., "Inside the New Coolstreaming:
   Principles,Measurements and Performance Implications", April 2008.

8.  References

Authors' Addresses

   Gu Yingjie

   Email: guyingjie@gmail.com

   Zong Ning (editor)
   No.101 Software Avenue
   Nanjing  210012

   Phone: +86-25-56624760
   Fax:   +86-25-56624702
   Email: zongning@huawei.com

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   Zhang Yunfei

   Email: hishigh@gmail.com

   Francesca Lo Piccolo
   Via del Serafico 200
   Rome  00142

   Phone: +39-06-51645136
   Email: flopicco@cisco.com

   Duan Shihui
   No.52 HuaYuan BeiLu
   Beijing  100191

   Phone: +86-10-62300068
   Email: duanshihui@catr.cn

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