Hierarchical peer-to-peer systems

L. Garcés-Erice, E. W. Biersack, K. W. Ross, P. A. Felber, G. Urvoy-Keller

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Structured peer-to-peer (P2P) lookup services organize peers into a flat overlay network and offer distributed hash table (DHT) functionality. Data is associated with keys and each peer is responsible for a subset of the keys. In hierarchical DHTs, peers are organized into groups, and each group has its autonomous intra-group overlay network and lookup service. Groups are organized in a top-level overlay network. To find a peer that is responsible for a key, the top-level overlay first determines the group responsible for the key; the responsible group then uses its intra-group overlay to determine the specific peer that is responsible for the key. We provide a general framework for hierarchical DHTs with scalable overlay management. We specifically study a two-tier hierarchy that uses Chord for the top level. Our analysis shows that by using the most reliable peers in the top level, the hierarchical design significantly reduces the expected number of hops. We also present a method to construct hierarchical DHTs that map well to the Internet topology and achieve short intra-group communication delay. The results demonstrate the feasibility of locality-based peer groups, which allow P2P systems to take full advantage of the hierarchical design.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)643-657
    Number of pages15
    JournalParallel Processing Letters
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Dec 2003


    • Distributed hash tables
    • Hierarchical routing
    • Peer-to-peer
    • Topology awareness

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Software
    • Theoretical Computer Science
    • Hardware and Architecture


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