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A fundamental theoretical challenge in peer-to-peer systems is proving statements about the evolution of the system while nodes are continuously joining and leaving. Because the system will operate for an infinite time, performance measures based on runtime are uninformative; instead, the authors must study the rate at which nodes consume resources to maintain the system state. This "Maintenance bandwidth" depends on the rate at which nodes tend to enter and leave the system. In this paper, they formalize this dependence. Having done so, they analyze the Chord peer-to-peer protocol.
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