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Traditional overlay protocols use unicast connections to form delivery trees. While it can achieve global multicast across the Internet, it is not as efficient as IP multicast. In this paper, we integrate IP multicast into overlay data distribution to improve delivery efficiency. We investigate island multicast where unicast connections are used to connect multicast domains and IP multicast is used within multicast domains. We first explore a centralized island multicast protocol (termed CIM), which relies on a central server to construct a delivery tree. We then study a distributed protocol (termed DIM), where hosts can distributedly join islands and form a delivery tree. We study the key issues in both protocols. We also discuss how to apply these protocols to media streaming applications. We have evaluated both protocols on Internet-like topologies. We have also implemented a prototype for CIM and tested it on PlanetLab. The results show that our approaches can significantly im prove network performance as compared to pure overlay protocols. Our study shows that it is important to consider local multicast capability when designing overlay protocols.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2009