Sorry I think I need to clarify. I don’t mean that large sections cause centralization as in lots of data centralizes into a single section. I mean large sections cause centralization as in only a few centralized people are able to run vaults so consensus becomes more centralized. My meaning was that large sections pose a risk to consensus and power centraliztion, not data centralization.
This poses a bit of a conundrum. Extremely cheap prices attract Jane Smith as an uploader but discourage Jane Smith as a vault operator because of the large vault sizes (which are required to have cheap prices). The pricing algorithm has a natural tendency for uploaders to say ‘I’m just going to use these sweet cheap uploads and let the big operators worry about the vaults so they can make my uploads even cheaper by getting even bigger’.
I’m sure some interesting analysis could be done about how hard it would be for a group of ‘communist’ vault operators to combat large vaults and keep sizes relatively small and consensus distributed…
One other change that may be helpful in achieving one of the general aims of rfc-0012: “the farming rate decreases as the network grows”
Currently the farm rate decreases as the section grows, since it depends on the size of TP and TS which are specific to each section.
I think a better way to capture whether the network has grown is to include section prefix length in the calculation of farm rate. That way the overall size of the network can be calculated which better achieves the goal.
To illustrate why this matters, consider two networks with very different sizes but the same farm rate:
10 sections and 100K:90K TP:TS chunks per section (rfc-0012 gives a farm rate 0.1)
1000 sections and 1M:900K TP:TS chunks per section (rfc-0012 gives a farm rate 0.1)
The second network is overall 1000 times larger than the first (100 times more sections and 10 times more chunks per section) but has the exact same farm rate. So farm rate has not ‘decreased as the network grows’.
I think it’s a mistake to incentivise increasingly large sections. Including section prefix length would allow farm rate to decrease as the network grows without also needing sections to get large at the same time.