Diagnosing Network-Wide P2P Live Streaming
CHUAN WU, The University of Hong Kong
BAOCHUN LI, University of Toronto
SHUQIAO ZHAO, UUSee Inc.
Large-scale live peer-to-peer (P2P) streaming applications have been successfully deployed in today’s Internet. While they can
accommodate hundreds of thousands of users simultaneously with hundreds of channels of programming, there still commonly
exist channels and times where and when the streaming quality is unsatisfactory. In this paper, based on more than two ter-
abytes and one year worth of live traces from UUSee, a large-scale commercial P2P live streaming system, we show an in-depth
network-wide diagnosis of streaming inefﬁciencies, commonly present in typical mesh-based P2P live streaming systems. As the
ﬁrst highlight of our work, we identify an evolutionary pattern of low streaming quality in the system, and the distribution of
streaming inefﬁciencies across various streaming channels and in different geographical regions. We then carry out an extensive
investigation to explore the causes to such streaming inefﬁciencies over different times and across different channels/regions at
speciﬁc times, by investigating the impact of factors such as the number of peers, peer upload bandwidth, inter-peer bandwidth
availability, server bandwidth consumption, and many more. The original discoveries we have brought forward include the two-
sided effects of peer population on the streaming quality in a streaming channel, the signiﬁcant impact of inter-peer bandwidth
bottlenecks at peak times, and the inefﬁcient utilization of server capacities across concurrent channels. Based on these insights,
we identify problems within the existing P2P live streaming design and discuss a number of suggestions to improve real-world
streaming protocols operating at a large scale.
Categories and Subject Descriptors: C.2.4 [Computer-Communication Networks]: Distributed Systems—Distributed
General Terms: Measurement
Additional Key Words and Phrases: Peer-to-peer streaming, streaming inefﬁciency
ACM Reference Format:
Wu, C., Li, B., and Zhao, S. 2012. Diagnosing network-wide P2P live streaming inefﬁciencies. ACM Trans. Multimedia Comput.
Commun. Appl. 8S, 1, Article 13 (February 2012), 19 pages.
DOI = 10.1145/2089085.2089090 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2089085.2089090
Large-scale live peer-to-peer (P2P) streaming systems have been successfully and commercially de-
ployed in the Internet, delivering channels of live multimedia content to hundreds of thousands of
users at any given time [PPLive; UUSee; PPStream; TVAnts]. Practical experience with these streaming
Authors’ addresses: C. Wu, Department of Computer Science, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong; email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
B. Li, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, Canada; email: email@example.com; S. Zhao,
UUSee, Inc., China; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided
that copies are not made or distributed for proﬁt or commercial advantage and that copies show this notice on the ﬁrst page
or initial screen of a display along with the full citation. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than ACM
must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, to redistribute to
lists, or to use any component of this work in other works requires prior speciﬁc permission and/or a fee. Permissions may be
requested from Publications Dept., ACM, Inc., 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 701, New York, NY 10121-0701 USA, fax +1 (212) 869-0481,
2012 ACM 1551-6857/2012/02-ART13 $10.00
DOI 10.1145/2089085.2089090 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2089085.2089090
ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications, Vol. 8S, No. 1, Article 13, Publication date: February 2012.