Accelerating peer-to-peer file sharing with social relations

Haiyang Wang, Feng Wang, Jiangchuan Liu, Chuang Lin, Ke Xu, Chonggang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Peer-to-peer file sharing systems, most notably BitTorrent (BT), have achieved tremendous success among Internet users. Recent studies suggest that long-term relationships among BT peers could be explored for peer cooperation, so as to achieve better sharing efficiency. However, whether such long-term relationships exist remain unknown. From an 80-day trace of 100,000 real world swarms, we find that less than 5% peers can meet each other again throughout the whole period, which largely invalidates the fundamental assumption of these peer cooperation protocols. Yet the recent emergence of online social network applications sheds new light on this problem. In particular, a number of BT swarms are now triggered by Twitter, reflecting a new trend for initializing sharing among communities. In this paper, we for the first time examine the challenges and potentials of accelerating peer-to-peer file sharing with Twitter social networks. We show that the peers in such swarms have stronger temporal locality, thus offering great opportunity for improving their degree of sharing. Based on the Hadamard Transform of peers' online behaviors, we develop a social index to quickly locate peers of common patterns. We further demonstrate a practical cooperation protocol that identifies and utilizes the social relations with the index. Our PlanetLab experiments indicate that the incorporation of social relations remarkably accelerates the downloading time. The improvement remains noticeable even in a hybrid system with a small set of socially active peers only.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6559977
Pages (from-to)66-74
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2013


  • Peer-to-peer
  • measurement
  • social relationship


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