Understanding overlay characteristics of a large-scale peer-to-peer IPTV system

Long Vu, Indranil Gupta, Klara Nahrstedt, Jin Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents results from our measurement and modeling efforts on the large-scale peer-to-peer (p2p) overlay graphs spanned by the PPLive system, the most popular and largest p2p IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) system today. Unlike other previous studies on PPLive, which focused on either network-centric or user-centric measurements of the system, our study is unique in (a) focusing on PPLive overlay-specific characteristics, and (b) being the first to derive mathematical models for its distributions of node degree, session length, and peer participation in simultaneous overlays. Our studies reveal characteristics ofmultimedia streaming p2p overlays that aremarkedly different from existing file-sharing p2p overlays. Specifically, we find that: (1) PPLive overlays are similar to random graphs in structure and thus more robust and resilient to the massive failure of nodes, (2) Average degree of a peer in the overlay is independent of the channel population size and the node degree distribution can be fitted by a piecewise function, (3) The availability correlation between PPLive peer pairs is bimodal, that is, some pairs have highly correlated availability, while others have no correlation, (4) Unlike p2p file-sharing peers, PPLive peers are impatient and session lengths (discretized, per channel) are typically geometrically distributed, (5) Channel population size is time-sensitive, self-repeated, event-dependent, and varies more than in p2p file-sharing networks, (6) Peering relationships are slightly locality-aware, and (7) Peer participation in simultaneous overlays follows a Zipf distribution. We believe that our findings can be used to understand current large-scale p2p streaming systems for future planning of resource usage, and to provide useful and practical hints for future design of large-scale p2p streaming systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number31
JournalACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • IPTV
  • Multimedia
  • Overlay
  • PPLive
  • Peer-to-peer
  • Streaming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding overlay characteristics of a large-scale peer-to-peer IPTV system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this