The future Internet will support pervasive applications and communications models that require end-nodes cooperation, such as fog computing and machine-to-machine communications. Among the many applications, also video streaming can be provided with a cooperative and peer-to-peer approach. Cooperative distribution requires building a distribution overlay on top of the physical topology (the underlay). This work proposes an optimized, cross-layer approach to build this overlay minimizing the impact on the underlay. We design an optimal strategy, which is proven to be NP-complete, and thus not solvable with a distributed, lightweight protocol. The optimal strategy is relaxed exploiting the knowledge on the betweenness centrality of the nodes in the underlay topology, obtaining two easily implementable solutions applicable to any link-state protocol for distributed wireless mesh networks. The additional introduction of heuristic improvements further optimizes the performance in real network scenarios. Extensive simulation results support the theoretical findings using three different network topologies. They show that the relaxed implementations are reasonably close to the optimal solution, and provide vast gains compared to the traditional overlay topologies that peer-to-peer applications build.
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