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Tit-for-tat trading lies at the heart of many incentive mechanisms for distributed systems where participants are anonymous. However, since the standard tit-for-tat approach is restricted to bilateral exchanges, data is transferred only between peers with direct and mutual interests. Generalizing tit-for-tat to multi-lateral trades where contributions can occur along cycles of interest may improve the performance of a system in terms of faster downloads without compromising the incentive-compatibility inherent to tit-for-tat trading. In this paper, the authors study the potential benefits and limitations of such a generalized trading in swarm-based peer-to-peer systems.
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