Nearcast: A locality-aware P2P live streaming approach for distance education

Xuping Tu, Hai Jin, Xiaofei Liao, Jiannong Cao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Peer-to-peer (P2P) live video streaming has been widely used in distance education applications to deliver the captured video courses to a large number of online students. By allowing peers serving each other in the network, P2P technology overcomes many limitations in the traditional client-server paradigm to achieve user and bandwidth scalabilities. However, existing systems do not perform well when the number of online students increases, and the system performance degrades seriously. One of the reasons is that the construction of the peer overlay in existing P2P systems has not considered the underlying physical network topology and can cause serious topology mismatch between the P2P overlay network and the physical network. The topology mismatch problem brings great link stress (unnecessary traffic) in the Internet infrastructure and greatly degrades the system performance. In this article, we address this problem and propose a locality-aware P2P overlay construction method, called Nearcast, which builds an efficient overlay multicast tree by letting each peer node choose physically closer nodes as its logical children. We have conducted extensive simulations to evaluate the performance of Nearcast in comparison with the existing RTT and NICE protocols. Also, Nearcast has been deployed on a wide-area network testbed to delivery video coursed to about 7200 users distributed across 100 collages in 32 cities in China. The experimental results show that Nearcast leads to lower link stress and shorter end-to-end latencies compared with the RTT and NICE protocols.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalACM Transactions on Internet Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2008


  • Distance education
  • Live streaming
  • Peer-to-peer
  • Video

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

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