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The growth of peer-to-peer applications on the Internet motivates interest in general purpose overlay networks. The construction of overlays connecting a large population of transient nodes poses several challenges. First, connections in the overlays should reflect the underlying network topology, in order to avoid overloading the network and to allow god application performance. Second, connectivity among active nodes of the overlay should be maintained, even in the presence of high failure rates or when a large proportion of nodes are not active. Finally, the cost of using the overlay should be spread evenly among peer nodes for fairness reasons as well as for the sake of application performance. To preserve scalability, we seek solutions to these issues that can be implemented in a fully decentralized manner and rely on local knowledge from each node. In this paper, we propose an algorithm called the localizer which addresses these three key challenges. The localizer refines the overlay in a way that reflects geographic locality so as to reduce network overload. Simultaneously, it helps to evenly balance the number of neighbors of each node in the overlay, thereby sharing the load evenly as well as improving the resilience to random node failures or disconnections. The proposed algorithm is presented and evaluated in the context of an unstructured peer-to-peer overlay network produced using the Scamp protocol. We provide a theoretical analysis of the various aspects of the algorithm. Simulation results based on a realistic network topology model confirm the analysis and demonstrate the localizer efficiency.
Date of Conference: 6-18 Oct. 2003