Identifying, analyzing, and modeling flashcrowds in BitTorrent

Boxun Zhang, Alexandru Iosup, Johan A. Pouwelse, Dick H.J. Epema

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Flashcrowds - sudden surges of user arrivals - do occur in BitTorrent, and they can lead to severe service deprivation. However, very little is known about their occurrence patterns and their characteristics in real-world deployments, and many basic questions about BitTorrent flashcrowds, such as How often do they occur? and How long do they last?, remain unanswered. In this paper, we address these questions by studying three datasets that cover millions of swarms from two of the largest BitTorrent trackers. We first propose a model for BitTorrent flashcrowds and a procedure for identifying, analyzing, and modeling BitTorrent flashcrowds. Then we evaluate quantitatively the impact of flashcrowds on BitTorrent users, and we develop an algorithm that identifies BitTorrent flashcrowds. Finally, we study statistically the properties of BitTorrent flashcrowds identified from our datasets, such as their arrival time, duration, and magnitude, and we investigate the relationship between flashcrowds and swarm growth, and the arrival rate of flashcrowds in BitTorrent trackers. In particular, we find that BitTorrent flashcrowds only occur in very small fractions (0.3-2%) of the swarms but that they can affect over ten million users. © 2011 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2011 IEEE International Conference on Peer-to-Peer Computing, P2P 2011, Kyoto, Japan, August 31 - September 2, 2011
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event11th IEEE International Conference on Peer-to-Peer Computing, P2P'11 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: 31 Aug 20112 Sept 2011


Conference11th IEEE International Conference on Peer-to-Peer Computing, P2P'11


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