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[freehaven-dev] Free riding on Gnutella

An article and respones to free riding on Gnutella.  This has clear
accountability issues, and brings into the question of individuals 
paying for public goods.  I can wax eloquent about the political
science studies and opinions on this issues a la Mancur Olson
(special thanks to a Harvard government class...), but I'll refrain.

It's especially nice that such traffic analysis can be easily
performed on Gnutella.




An extensive analysis of user traffic on Gnutella shows a significant
amount of free riding in the system. By sampling messages on the
Gnutella network over a 24-hour period, we established that 70% of
Gnutella users share no files, and 90% of the users answer no
queries. Furthermore, we found out that free riding is distributed
evenly between domains, so that no one group contributes significantly
more than others, and that peers that volunteer to share files are not
necessarily those who have desirable ones. We argue that free riding
leads to degradation of the system performance and adds vulnerability to
the system. If this trend continues copyright issues might become moot
compared to the possible collapse of such systems.


"Not all those who wander are lost."                  mfreed@mit.edu