Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Peer-to-Peer System

  • Wojciech GalubaEmail author
  • Sarunas Girdzijauskas
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_1230


Peer-to-peer network; Peer-to-peer overlay


A peer-to-peer system is a computer network which enables peers to share the network resources, computational power and data storage, without relying on a central authority. Most commonly, peer-to-peer systems form overlay networks deployed in the Internet and are used for file sharing, realtime data streaming and computationally intensive tasks.

Key Points

In contrast to client-server systems, peer-to-peer systems consist of interconnected peers of similar capabilities and responsibilities, where the peers can act as both servers and clients. Most commonly, the architecture of the peer-to-peer systems is flat and all peers are assumed to be functionally equal. However, a number of peer-to-peer systems employ hierarchical architecture where some peers (superpeers) act as local servers for the subsets of regular peers. It is also widely accepted in peer-to-peer systems, where some services can be provided by a centralized...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Berkeley open infrastructure for network computing homepage. http://boinc.berkeley.edu/.
  2. 2.
    Galaxy zoo homepage. http://galaxyzoo.org/.
  3. 3.
    Kazaa homepage. http://www.kazaa.com/.
  4. 4.
    Skype homepage. http://www.skype.com/.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EPFLLausanneSwitzerland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Karl Aberer
    • 1
  1. 1.Distributed Inf. Sys Lab.Inst. for Core Computing Science (IIF), EPFL-IC-IIF-LSIRLausanneSwitzerland