Typical P2P systems reside on the edge of the Internet or in ad-hoc networks.

P2P enables: • Valuable externalities, by aggregating resources through low-cost interoperability, the whole is made greater than the sum of its parts • lower cost of ownership and cost sharing, by using existing infrastructure and by eliminating and distributing the maintenance costs • Anonymity/privacy, by incorporating these requirements in the design and algorithms of P2P systems and applications, and by allowing nodes a greater degree of autonomous control over their data and resources Because accessing these decentralized resources means operating in an environment of unstable connectivity and unpredictable IP addresses, P2P nodes must operate outside the DNS system and have significant or total autonomy from central servers” [Shirky 2001]. In our view, P2P is about sharing: giving to and obtaining from the peer community. A P2P system then is one in which autonomous peers depend on other autonomous peers. Peers are autonomous when they are not wholly controlled by each other or by the same authority, e.g., the same user. Goals Cost sharing and reduction- a P2P system helps to spread the cost over all the peers. Much of the cost sharing is realized by the utilization and aggregation of otherwise unused resources. (e.g. SETI@home) Napster system enabled the cost sharing of file storage. Improved scalability/reliability - lack of a central authority due to presence of autonomous peers. Resource aggregation and interoperability Increased autonomy Anonymity/Privacy Dynamism – Subject to changes Enabling ad-hoc communication and collaboration Target environment Internet, intranet and ad-hoc environment The fundamental challenge of communication in a P2P community is overcoming the problems associated with the dynamic nature of peers

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