[BitTorrent] Trackerless BitTorrent

Olaf van der Spek OvdSpek at LIACS.NL
Mon Dec 27 05:47:45 EST 2004

>>From: apoipoi <apoipoi at yahoo.com>
>> For example there are four people peers: A, B, C, D.
>> 1. A has the complete file and makes the torrent.
>> 2. B downloads and opens the torrent, which contains the address of A.
>> 3. B connects to A.
>> 4. A is now connected to B. Since B already knows A and there's no
>> other address that might be of interes to B, no address is sent.
>> 5. C tries to connect to A.
>> 6. A is now connected to B, C.
>> 7. A sends C the list of address, which currently only has B.
>> 8. C now knows B and connects to B.
>> 9. B is now connected to A, B. Since there's no connection known to B
>> that is not know to C, then no address is sent.
>> 10. D comes into the scene by trying to connect to (for something
>> diffent), let's say to B.
>> 11. B is now connected to A, C, D. B sends the list (A, C) to D.
>> 12. D now knows, in addition of B, of A and C and tries to connect to
>> both.
>> The only necessary change to the torrent format is the list of
>> addresses. Which can be affixed at the end. The creator of torrent
>> would be the first in the list of course to ensure anyone can connect
>> and start downloading. As the "network" grows, this addresses can be
>> added to the torrent. The updated torrent file can be uploaded on the
>> web. Instead of every new clients connecting to A, they can
>> (randomly?) try B, C, or D. This will reduce the workload on A.
> Two fatal weaknesses. First, you've replaced a tracker getting bombarded
> with requests with the client A/torrent source getting bombarded with
> requests. Second, you've missed an important effect of the first function

But client A is likely to track far fewer torrents than a large tracker.

> of the central tracker. That of keeping the network widely
> interconnected. With this scenario a client will tend to connect with
> nearby neighbors, forming cliches. With the tracker you'll get some
> nearby connections, but also a bunch that span the network, a client
> cannot do this.

Can't that be solved by keeping track of all IP addresses you received, 
connecting at least once to all, fetching their peer list and then connect 
at random to let's say 50 peers of your own list?
This idea would at least improve the situation in which the tracker goes 
down but you already have a list of peers and it'd increase the discovery 
rate after you first start without abusing the tracker. 

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