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Despite much recent research on peer-to-peer (P2P) protocols for the Internet, there have been relatively few practical protocols designed to explicitly account for Network Address Translation gateways (NATs). Those P2P protocols that do handle NATs circumvent them using relaying and hole-punching techniques to route packets to nodes residing behind NATs. In this paper, we present Croupier, a peer sampling service (PSS) that provides uniform random samples of nodes in the presence of NATs in the network. It is the first NAT-aware PSS that works without the use of relaying or hole-punching. By removing the need for relaying and hole-punching, we decrease the complexity and overhead of our protocol as well as increase its robustness to churn and failure. We evaluated Croupier in simulation, and, in comparison with existing NAT-aware PSS', our results show similar randomness properties, but improved robustness in the presence of both high percentages of nodes behind NATs and massive node failures. Croupier also has substantially lower protocol overhead.
Date of Conference: 18-21 June 2012