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Peer-To-Peer (P2P) streaming tries to achieve scalability (like P2P file distribution) and at the same time meet real-time playback requirements. It is a challenging problem still not well understood. In this paper, the authors describe a simple stochastic model that can be used to compare different downloading strategies to random peer selection. Based on this model, they study the tradeoffs between supported peer population, buffer size, and playback continuity. They first study two simple strategies: Rarest First (RF) and Greedy. The former is a well-known strategy for P2P file sharing that gives good scalability by trying to propagate the chunks of a file to as many peers as quickly as possible.
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