Diffusion Models for Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Media Distribution: On the Impact of Decentralized, Constrained Supply

Information Systems Research, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 271-287

31 Pages Posted: 20 May 2005 Last revised: 7 Jul 2012

See all articles by Kartik Hosanagar

Kartik Hosanagar

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department

Peng Han

University of Washington

Yong Tan

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business

Date Written: February 1, 2008

Abstract

In Peer-to-Peer (P2P) media distribution, users obtain content from other users who already have it. This form of decentralized product distribution demonstrates several unique features. Only a small fraction of users in the network are queried when a potential adopter seeks a file and many of these users may even free-ride i.e. not distribute the content to others. As a result, generated demand may not always be fulfilled immediately. We present mixing models for product diffusion in P2P networks that capture decentralized product distribution by current adopters, incomplete demand fulfillment and other unique aspects of P2P product diffusion. The models serve to demonstrate the important role that P2P search process and distribution referrals - payments made to users that distribute files - play in efficient P2P media distribution. We demonstrate the ability of our diffusion models to derive normative insights for P2P media distributors by studying the effectiveness of distribution referrals in speeding product diffusion and determining optimal referral policies for fully decentralized and hierarchical P2P networks.

Keywords: Peer to peer, P2P, product diffusion, P2P diffusion, supply-constrained diffusion

JEL Classification: M30

Suggested Citation

Hosanagar, Kartik and Han, Peng and Tan, Yong, Diffusion Models for Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Media Distribution: On the Impact of Decentralized, Constrained Supply (February 1, 2008). Information Systems Research, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 271-287. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=725305 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.725305

Kartik Hosanagar (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Peng Han

University of Washington ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

Yong Tan

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business ( email )

Box 353226
Seattle, WA 98195-3226
United States

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