Resource Acquisition from Set-Top-Boxes for Service Provision

Resource Acquisition from Set-Top-Boxes for Service Provision

Joseph So Chi-ho (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,Hung Hom, Kowloon,Hong Kong, China) and Po-choi Wong (Hang Seng School of Commerce,Hang Shin Link, Siu Lek Yuen, Shatin,Hong Kong, China)
DOI: 10.4018/jisss.2013070102


Resource Acquisition service is a network-based service that acquires sufficient resources to satisfy the application requirement. Set-top-boxes (STB) are good sources of resource providers delivering this type of service collaboratively. Unfortunately, the accessibility of STBs is controlled by end-node users. It leads to uncertainty of the amount of resource available to the service operators. As an incentive, STB holders acting as resource provider can be remunerated for sharing the resources. Resource acquisition schemes can explore the available resources and provide the upper layer applications with sufficient resources to satisfy the requirements in service level agreement. A remuneration model is developed to reflect the rational decision of resource providers. The authors investigate the resource acquisition scheme under various load distribution and topologies of peer neighbourhood and find that cost-aware Requisition Algorithm can improve the service quality requirement fulfilment in a low cost.
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Resource Acquisition In P2p Networks

A piece of resource can be a utility for computation, temporary storage or permanent storage (such as bandwidth, RAM space and hard-disk space). We distinguish resource from a digital artifact (such as MP3, video content, other software). Resource is consumable and it can only be used by one agent for a given specific point of time. For example, a piece of harddisk space can only store data of a file and this space can be reused only when the file is moved away. The technological advancement in P2P systems and the popularity in high-speed Internet access facilitate sharing of resources from end systems. However, in most P2P networks, resources are mainly provided by the individual end nodes and the amount of resources and their availabilities are uncertain. Therefore, the provision of resources to support the upper layer services becomes a significant concern. Resource acquisition (RA) is to obtain these resources.

In P2P-based applications, three types of providers act as the sources of resources: Fully controlled, partly controlled and uncontrolled.

  • Fully Controlled Resource Providers: They are usually in form of dedicated servers. The index server of Napster is of this type, providing CPU cycles for responding, bandwidth for transmitting response data, and so on. Some content delivery providers, such as PPLive and CoolStream, do not rely solely on the peers’ uncommitted and voluntary contributions. They place some servers in certain strategic locations to enhance the overall video streaming quality. Peer-assisted VoD (Huang et al., 2007) deploys some servers to provide stable supply of bandwidth for streaming. While the service providers have full control of the resource, but it requires a greater capital investment and long time for planning and deployment.

  • Partly Controlled Resource Providers: They are hosted in a premise not controlled by a service operator. Server hardware is controlled by service operator as well as the holder in different aspects. Many residential video-on-demand (VoD) or paid TV services require installations of set-top-boxes (STB) provided by the service operators. The STB holder controls whether it is powered up and networked. On the other hand, service operators control their process execution and installation.

  • Uncontrolled Resource Providers: They are usually personal computers that are owned by individuals. They use P2P applications for their own interests. Resources provided by this type are, while huge when aggregated, the most unstable and uncontrollable.

Resource acquisition is to acquire resources from the latter two types of resource providers. STBs are good sources of resource providers. Some appropriate STBs join together as a network and provide resources for an application collaboratively. Each STB can share its spare resources to serve other users without additional installation work. However, any end user can disconnect the STB without any notification. To improve the availability of such provision, some end users’ commitments are required. STB users get informed on the resource as the service provision consumes the end users’ uploading bandwidth.

Some recent works (Tan & Jarvis, 2008; Ruffo & Schifanella, 2007; Hausheer & Stiller, 2005; Figueiredo et al., 2005] consider the explicit remuneration for soliciting peers’ resource contributions and consider the Internet as a market of resources that are provided by individual end computers. These works have revealed a new business model, explicit remuneration in P2P networks: Peers commit to contribute an amount of resources on each service requested and, in return, service providers award peers who have contributed their resources to support other peers. In Tan and Jarvis work (2008), a point system is proposed to implement a payment-based incentive scheme, in which peers bidding resources with higher points can get better service quality. PeerMart (Hausheer & Stiller, 2005) considers the use of markets for trading resources in P2P systems. Ruffo and Schifanella (2007) uses a profit-sharing strategy for content distribution services. Figueiredo et al. (2005) proposes to use monetary payments to enhance the peer availability for service provision.

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