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The authors compare two possible mechanisms to manage a peer-to-peer storage system, where participants can store data online on the disks of peers in order to increase data availability and accessibility. Due to the lack of incentives for peers to contribute to the service, they suggest that either each peer's use of the service be limited to her contribution level (symmetric schemes), or that storage space be bought from and sold to peers by a system operator that seeks to maximize profit. Using a non-cooperative game model to take into account user selfishness, they study those mechanisms with respect to the social welfare performance measure, and give necessary and sufficient conditions for one scheme to socially outperform the other.
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