BIOINFORMATICS, vol.24, no.2, pp.299-301, 2008 (SCI-Expanded)
Bioinformatics involves the collection, organization and analysis of large amounts of biological data, using networks of computers and databases. Developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region are just moving into this new field of information-based biotechnology. However, the computational infrastructure and network bandwidths available in these countries are still at a basic level compared to that in developed countries. In this study, we assessed the utility of a BitTorrent-based Peer-to-Peer (btP2P) file distribution model for automatic synchronization and distribution of large amounts of biological data among developing countries. The initial country-level nodes in the Asia-Pacific region comprised Thailand, Korea and Singapore. The results showed a significant improvement in download performance using btP2P-three times faster overall download performance than conventional File Transfer Protocol (FTP). This study demonstrated the reliability of btP2P in the dissemination of continuously growing multi-gigabyte biological databases across the three Asia-Pacific countries. The download performance for btP2P can be further improved by including more nodes from other countries into the network. This suggests that the btP2P technology is appropriate for automatic synchronization and distribution of biological databases and software over low-bandwidth networks among developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region.