A Game Theoretic Analysis of Incentives in Content Production and Sharing Over Peer-to-Peer Networks
IEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Signal Processing
User-generated content can be distributed at a low cost using peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, but the free-rider problem hinders the utilization of P2P networks. In order to achieve an efficient use of P2P networks, we investigate fundamental issues on incentives in content production and sharing using game theory. We build a basic model to analyze non-cooperative outcomes without an incentive scheme and then use different game formulations derived from the basic model to examine five incentive
... emes: cooperative, payment, repeated interaction, intervention, and enforced full sharing. The results of this paper show that 1) cooperative peers share all produced content while non-cooperative peers do not share at all without an incentive scheme; 2) a cooperative scheme allows peers to consume more content than non-cooperative outcomes do; 3) a cooperative outcome can be achieved among non-cooperative peers by introducing an incentive scheme based on payment, repeated interaction, or intervention; and 4) enforced full sharing has ambiguous welfare effects on peers. In addition to describing the solutions of different formulations, we discuss enforcement and informational requirements to implement each solution, aiming to offer a guideline for protocol designers when designing incentive schemes for P2P networks.