Content Monitoring in BitTorrent Systems

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Title: Content Monitoring in BitTorrent Systems
Author: Tilli, Tuomo
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Computer Science
Thesis level: master's thesis
Abstract: BitTorrent is one of the most used file sharing protocols on the Internet today. Its efficiency is based on the fact that when users download a part of a file, they simultaneously upload other parts of the file to other users. This allows users to efficiently distribute large files to each other, without the need of a centralized server. The most popular torrent site is the Pirate Bay with more than 5,700,000 registered users. The motivation for this research is to find information about the use of BitTorrent, especially on the Pirate Bay website. This will be helpful for system administrators and researchers. We collected data on all of the torrents uploaded to the Pirate Bay from 25th of December, 2010 to 28th of October, 2011. Using this data we found out that a small percentage of users are responsible for a large portion of the uploaded torrents. There are over 81,000 distinct users, but the top nine publishers have published more than 16% of the torrents. We examined the publishing behaviour of the top publishers. The top usernames were publishing so much content that it became obvious that there are groups of people behind the usernames. Most of the content published is video files with a 52% share. We found out that torrents are uploaded to the Pirate Bay website at a fast rate. About 92% of the consecutive uploads have happened within 100 seconds or less from each other. However, the publishing activity varies a lot. These deviations in the publishing activity may be caused by down time of the Pirate Bay website, fluctuations in the publishing activity of the top publishers, national holidays or weekdays. One would think that the publishing activity with so many independent users would be quite level, but surprisingly this is not the case. About 85% of the files of the torrents are less than 1.5 GB in size. We also discovered that torrents of popular feature films were uploaded to the Pirate Bay very fast after their release and the top publishers appear to be competing on who releases the torrents first. It seems like the impact of the top publishers is quite significant in the publishing of torrents.
URI: URN:NBN:fi-fe2017112252232
Date: 2012
Discipline: Computer science

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