User Behaviour in Peer-To-Peer Systems
In contrast to client-server systems peer-to-peer systems do not distinguish between service providers (servers) and service users (clients). Each node rather appears as client and as server. In practice several nodes, so called free riders, use offered services but forbear offering any. With in this project, which we conduct in cooperation with the chair for empirical economic research of the University of Magdeburg, we analyse human behaviour in this context. Last year we therefore developed software, allowing human users to control a single peer within a peer-to-peer system. With our ongoing work, we want to investigate different degrees of uncooperative behaviour to draw conclusions concerning the technical realisation of peer-to-peer systems. During first experiments we monitored strategies of users, who could only indirectly observe the behaviour of other participants, by watching user statistics. Currently we focus on extending this system by the possibility of forwarding information concerning the cooperativeness of other nodes. This information may than be used to evaluate other players, whose behaviour is not directly observable.