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This paper presents a systematic in-depth study on the existence, importance, and application of stable nodes in peer-to-peer live video streaming. Using traces from a real large-scale system as well as analytical models, the authors show that, while the number of stable nodes is small throughout a whole session, their longer life spans make them constitute a significant portion in a per-snapshot view of a peer-to-peer overlay. As a result, they have substantially affected the performance of the overall system. Inspired by this, they propose a tiered overlay design, with stable nodes being organized into a tier-1 backbone for serving tier-2 nodes.
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