In search of the elusive ground truth: the internet's as-level connectivity structure

  • Authors:
  • Ricardo V. Oliveira;Dan Pei;Walter Willinger;Beichuan Zhang;Lixia Zhang

  • Affiliations:
  • University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA;AT&T Labs Research, Florham Park, NJ, USA;AT&T Labs Research, Florham Park, NJ, USA;University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA;University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA

  • Venue:
  • SIGMETRICS '08 Proceedings of the 2008 ACM SIGMETRICS international conference on Measurement and modeling of computer systems
  • Year:
  • 2008

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Despite significant efforts to obtain an accurate picture of the Internet's actual connectivity structure at the level of individual autonomous systems (ASes), much has remained unknown in terms of the quality of the inferred AS maps that have been widely used by the research community. In this paper we assess the quality of the inferred Internet maps through case studies of a set of ASes. These case studies allow us to establish the ground truth of AS-level Internet connectivity between the set of ASes and their directly connected neighbors. They also enable a direct comparison between the ground truth and inferred topology maps and yield new insights into questions such as which parts of the actual topology are adequately captured by the inferred maps, and which parts are missing and why. This information is critical in assessing for what kinds of real-world networking problems the use of currently inferred AS maps or proposed AS topology models are, or are not, appropriate. More importantly, our newly gained insights also point to new directions towards building realistic and economically viable Internet topology maps.