Efficient and adaptive epidemic-style protocols for reliable and scalable multicast

Indranil Gupta, Anne Marie Kermarrec, Ayalvadi J. Ganesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Epidemic-style (gossip-based) techniques have recently emerged as a class of scalable and reliable protocols for peer-to-peer multicast dissemination in large process groups. However, popular implementations of epidemic-style dissemination suffer from two major drawbacks: 1) Network overhead: When deployed on a WAN-wide or VPN-wide scale, they generate a large number of packets that transit across the boundaries of multiple network domains (e.g., LANs, subnets, ASs), causing an overload on core network elements such as bridges, routers, and associated links. 2) Lack of adaptivity: They impose the same load on process group members and the network even under reduced failure rates (viz., packet losses, process failures). In this paper, we describe two protocols to address these problems: 1) a hierarchical gossiping protocol and 2) an adaptive dissemination framework (for multicasts) that allows use of any gossiping primitive within it. These protocols work within a virtual peer-to-peer hierarchy called the Leaf Box Hierarchy. Processes can be allocated in a topologically aware manner to the leaf boxes of this structure, so that protocols 1 and 2 produce low traffic across domain boundaries in the network and induce minimal overhead when there are no failures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-605
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Adaptivity
  • Distributed systems
  • Epidemics
  • Gossip
  • Multicast
  • Network communication
  • Reliability
  • Simulation
  • Topology awareness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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