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Recent research on overlay networks has revealed that user-perceived network performance could be improved by an overlay routing mechanism. The effectiveness of overlay routing is mainly a result of the policy mismatch between the overlay routing and the underlay IP routing operated by ISPs. However, this policy mismatch causes a "Free-riding" traffic problem, which may become harmful to the cost structure of Internet Service Providers. In the present paper, the authors define the free-riding problem in the overlay routing and evaluate the degree of free-riding traffic to reveal the effect of the problem on ISPs.
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