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Carnegie Mellon P2P System Could Speed Movie, Music Downloads RRS feed

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  • Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed a way to speed up P2P downloads by using not only identical files, but similar files as well. Having more possible sources to download from could decrease download times significantly. Using a process known as handprinting--taken from techniques used in clustering search results or identifying spam--to identify files with similarities to that being downloaded, Similarity-Enhanced Transfer (SET) has shown its ability to accelerate the downloading of MP3s by 71 percent. And SET downloaded a movie trailer 30 percent faster by using files that were only 47 percent similar. "This is a technique that I would like people to steal," says CMU computer science professor David G. Anderson. "In some sense, the promise of P2P has been greater than the reality," as a result of both Internet service providers limiting the amount of bandwidth used for uploading and users that decrease their computers uploading capabilities to allow improved downloading. Analysis shows evidence that the files most commonly shared on P2P networks probably contain many of the same elements. Music files could be identical but have different artist-and-title headers, for example. Theoretically, a user downloading a movie translated into German could be downloading the video portion from the English version and the audio from the German. SET works the same way as BitTorrent, by breaking a source file into many smaller pieces that are simultaneously downloaded from sources with the identical file, but unlike BitTorrent SET keeps looking for similar files and downloads matching pieces.
    Thursday, April 12, 2007 6:58 AM