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Title: Structured peer-to-peer overlays for NATed churn intensive networks
Author: Chowdhury, Farida
ISNI:       0000 0004 5914 8093
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2015
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The wide-spread coverage and ubiquitous presence of mobile networks has propelled the usage and adoption of mobile phones to an unprecedented level around the globe. The computing capabilities of these mobile phones have improved considerably, supporting a vast range of third party applications. Simultaneously, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) overlay networks have experienced a tremendous growth in terms of usage as well as popularity in recent years particularly in fixed wired networks. In particular, Distributed Hash Table (DHT) based Structured P2P overlay networks offer major advantages to users of mobile devices and networks such as scalable, fault tolerant and self-managing infrastructure which does not exhibit single points of failure. Integrating P2P overlays on the mobile network seems a logical progression; considering the popularities of both technologies. However, it imposes several challenges that need to be handled, such as the limited hardware capabilities of mobile phones and churn (i.e. the frequent join and leave of nodes within a network) intensive mobile networks offering limited yet expensive bandwidth availability. This thesis investigates the feasibility of extending P2P to mobile networks so that users can take advantage of both these technologies: P2P and mobile networks. This thesis utilises OverSim, a P2P simulator, to experiment with the performance of various P2P overlays, considering high churn and bandwidth consumption which are the two most crucial constraints of mobile networks. The experiment results show that Kademlia and EpiChord are the two most appropriate P2P overlays that could be implemented in mobile networks. Furthermore, Network Address Translation (NAT) is a major barrier to the adoption of P2P overlays in mobile networks. Integrating NAT traversal approaches with P2P overlays is a crucial step for P2P overlays to operate successfully on mobile networks. This thesis presents a general approach of NAT traversal for ring based overlays without the use of a single dedicated server which is then implemented in OverSim. Several experiments have been performed under NATs to determine the suitability of the chosen P2P overlays under NATed environments. The results show that the performance of these overlays is comparable in terms of successful lookups in both NATed and non-NATed environments; with Kademlia and EpiChord exhibiting the best performance. The presence of NATs and also the level of churn in a network influence the routing techniques used in P2P overlays. Recursive routing is more resilient to IP connectivity restrictions posed by NATs but not very robust in high churn environments, whereas iterative routing is more suitable to high churn networks, but difficult to use in NATed environments. Kademlia supports both these routing schemes whereas EpiChord only supports the iterating routing. This undermines the usefulness of EpiChord in NATed environments. In order to harness the advantages of both routing schemes, this thesis presents an adaptive routing scheme, called Churn Aware Routing Protocol (ChARP), combining recursive and iterative lookups where nodes can switch between recursive and iterative routing depending on their lifetimes. The proposed approach has been implemented in OverSim and several experiments have been carried out. The experiment results indicate an improved performance which in turn validates the applicability and suitability of ChARP in NATed environments.
Supervisor: Kolberg, Mario ; Magill, Evan Sponsor: Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Overlay ; Distributed Hash Table (DHT) ; Churn ; Network Address Translation (NAT) ; Mobile Networks ; Mobile communication systems ; Peer-to-peer architecture (Computer networks)