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Capturing Internet Traffic Dynamics through Graph Distances

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Author: Uhlig, S. · Fu, B. · Jamakovic, A.
Institution: TNO Informatie- en Communicatietechnologie · ICT
Source:Zhou, J., Complex Sciences, First International Conference, Complex 2009, 23-25 February 2009, Shanghai, China, Revised Papers, Part 2, 1213-1225
Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering
Identifier: 483004
doi: doi:10.1007/978-3-642-02469-6_3
Keywords: Traffic · AS topology · Graph distance · Internet topologies · Internet traffic · Long-term changes · Multi-resolutions · Routing data · Time-periods · Traffic dynamics · Traffic pattern · Telecommunication networks


Studies of the Internet have typically focused either on the routing system, i.e. the paths chosen to reach a given destination, or on the evolution of traffic on a physical link. In this paper, we combine routing and traffic, and study for the first time the evolution of the traffic on the Internet topology. We rely on the traffic and routing data of a large transit provider, spanning almost a month. We compute distances between the traffic graph over small and large timescales. We find that the global traffic distribution on the AS graph largely differs from traffic observed at small timescales. However, variations between consecutive time periods are relatively limited, i.e. the topology spanned by the traffic from one time period to the next is small. This difference between local and global traffic distribution is found in the timescales at which traffic dynamics occurs on AS-level links. Small timescales, i.e. less than a few hours, do not account for a significant fraction of the traffic dynamics. Most of the traffic variability is concentrated at timescales of days. Models of Internet traffic on its topology should thus focus on capturing the long-term changes in the global traffic pattern. © 2009 ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering.