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Fornasa, Martino (2009) Network Access Capacity Estimation through Passive Traffic Measurement. [Ph.D. thesis]

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Abstract (english)

This work proposes models, techniques and tools aimed at passively estimating the maximum achievable downlink network-layer bandwidth (capacity) of an access link to the Internet from inside a network. The Internet access capacity estimation by mean of passive measurements is an interesting issue from a scientific and from an industrial perspective.
From a scientific perspective the problem, still open, is of interest because of the packet based and best effort based nature of the TCP/IP, that makes the user perceived rate depend not only on the access rate but also on the backbone performance and on the endpoint server performance. Extracting the access rate from TCP/IP observations requires the development of appropriate models, algorithms and techniques.
From an industrial perspective the problem is relevant considering the Internet’s evolution is at a point at where the TCP/IP suite protocols best effort nature needs to be paired with appropriate provisioning policies based on enforceable service level agreements (SLA) between service providers and service users and/or between different types of service providers. The availability of widely accepted techniques to measure the service levels is fundamental to such an evolution.
This thesis proposes a method that extends the well-known packet-pair approach to network capacity estimation by considering longer TCP packet sequences to minimize the impact of measurement noise and to obtain reliable estimation without the need of a large amount of data. In order to obtain such a result, the method augments the traditional packet timing analysis with a model driven data analysis, similar to what is done in pattern recognition to extract known items from large data sets (for example to recognize known objects in images). A two layer process is proposed, in which the first layer performs packet timing analysis, based on statistical techniques, to extract the main traffic features, while the second layer combines the features extracted through appropriate heuristics, to compute the access capacity. The second layer takes advantage of the knowledge of the application environment (i.e. the way TCP/IP networks behave) to analyze the features in a global way, so as to eliminate the false features, i.e. those deriving from noise or artifacts, and identify the true features, i.e. those deriving from the known and expected network behaviour.

Abstract (italian)

L’utente di una linea di accesso a Internet (ad es. l’utente di una ADSL) è sensibile alla qualità del servizio, che è determinata da vari aspetti, tra cui la banda disponibile. La stima per mezzo di misure passive della massima banda ottenibile a livello IP (capacity) su un link di accesso ad una rete TCP/IP è un problema interessante sia dal punto di vista scientifico che considerando le sue applicazioni industriali.
Dal punto di vista scientifico, il problema è interessante perché l’estrazione della capacity a partire da osservazioni passive sul TCP/IP richiede lo sviluppo di modelli e algoritmi appropriati.
Dal punto di vista industriale, la stima della banda di accesso è uno strumento fondamentale per la verifica delle condizioni minime di servizio che possono essere stipulate tra un internet service provider ed un utente finale o tra il fornitore dell’accesso (access service provider) e il fornitore della connettività Internet (network service provider).
La tesi propone dei modelli e delle tecniche aventi lo scopo di stimare dall’interno della rete e in maniera passiva la capacity di un link di accesso a Internet. Il metodo proposto estende i tradizionali approcci basati sulle tecniche packet-pair considerando sequenze di pacchetti TCP più lunghe di due elementi allo scopo di minimizzare l’impatto del rumore di misura. Lo scopo è quello di ottenere una stima affidabile senza il bisogno di raccogliere grandi moli di dati su cui applicare tecniche statistiche.

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EPrint type:Ph.D. thesis
Tutor:Zingirian, Nicola
Data di deposito della tesi:29 January 2009
Anno di Pubblicazione:January 2009
Key Words:Bandwdith, network access capacity, passive, end-to-end, capacity estimation, TCP, Internet, packet-pair, Service Level Agreement
Settori scientifico-disciplinari MIUR:Area 09 - Ingegneria industriale e dell'informazione > ING-INF/05 Sistemi di elaborazione delle informazioni
Struttura di riferimento:Dipartimenti > Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Informazione
Codice ID:1341
Depositato il:29 Jan 2009
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