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Method for improved peer-to-peer multicasting

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000006277D
Publication Date: 2001-Dec-19
Document File: 6 page(s) / 150K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for improved peer-to-peer multicasting. Benefits include transmission of data fairly to many more systems with limited latency and good reliability and trust that all systems receive the same, correct data without the use of expensive commercial multicast services.

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Method for improved peer-to-peer multicasting

Disclosed is a method for improved peer-to-peer multicasting. Benefits include transmission of data fairly to many more systems with limited latency and good reliability and trust that all systems receive the same, correct data without the use of expensive commercial multicast services.

Background

              A system (for example, a multimedia content server) on a communications network may be required to distribute a data packet to multiple systems on the network. This process may be repeated many times for different data. Conventional methods of distribution include:

·        Retransmitting the data to each receiver in turn

·        Sending the data to a multicast system that can retransmit the data to the receivers

·        Sending the data to a multicast system that can forward the data to another multicast system to complete the distribution to some subset of receivers

              Standard multicast protocols exist, often without requiring any special protocol handling by the receiver beyond what is needed for point-to-point transmissions.

              A key assumption in a peer-to-peer configuration is that the originator is able to assume that the receivers all share the same means (for example, installed software) to implement the multicast protocol.

Description

              The disclosed method approaches distribution from the perspective of peer-to-peer networked systems. The originator of the data may act as a server but may be nearly identical to the receiving systems. The originator may have limited up-stream bandwidth, as the receivers have, and may want to avoid using expensive multicast services.

              Five main components comprise this multicast method:

·        A tree established with multiple tiers of receiving systems with some receiving systems forwarding data to other systems

·        Tree design with net latency distributed through all branches is approximately equal amounts

·        Dynamically-generated tree configurations for adapting to events and changing conditions

·        Capability to rotate through some number of differing tree configurations of systems (optional)

·        Parallel transmission using multiple tree configurations covering the same set of systems (optional)

              The conventional peer-to-peer method of multicasting is that the originator sends data to each receiver (see Figure 1). The disclosed method expands on the conventional arrangement by enabling each receiver to forward the data to other receivers (see Figures 2, 3, and 4). Using this approach, the total number of receivers can be greatly increased. The chains of receiver/forwarders can be pre-arranged for maximum distribution in a given amount of time.

              The amount of time it takes a data packet to travel from the source to the destination is called latency. A goal of data distribution is to minimize latency. If latency is too high, the transmission arrangement is inefficient and may be unacceptable as is the case with the binary tree one-time forwarding method (see Figure 2). In this case, the originator of...