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Existing solutions to balance load in DHTs incur a high overhead either in terms of routing state or in terms of load movement generated by nodes arriving or departing the system. In this paper, we propose a set of general techniques and use them to develop a protocol based on Chord, called Y0, that achieves load balancing with minimal overhead under the typical assumption that the load is uniformly distributed in the identifier space. In particular, we prove that Y0 can achieve near-optimal load balancing, while moving little load to maintain the balance and increasing the size of the routing tables by at most a constant factor. Using extensive simulations based on real-world and synthetic capacity distributions, we show that Y0 reduces the load imbalance of Chord from O(log n) to a less than 3.6 without increasing the number of links that a node needs to maintain. In addition, we study the effect of heterogeneity on both DHTs, demonstrating significantly reduced average route length as node capacities become increasingly heterogeneous. For a real-word distribution of node capacities, the route length in Y0 is asymptotically less than half the route length in the case of a homogeneous system.
Date of Conference: 13-17 March 2005