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Efficient content distribution in large networks comprising datacenters, end hosts, and distributed in-network caches is a difficult problem. Existing systems rely on mechanisms and metrics that fail to effectively utilize all available sources of bandwidth in the network. This paper presents a novel metric, called the Content Propagation Metric (CPM), for quantitatively evaluating the marginal benefit of available bandwidth to competing consumers, enabling efficient utilization of the bandwidth resource. The metric is simple to implement, imposes only a modest overhead, and can be retrofitted easily into existing content distribution systems.
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