Connectivity Measures for Internet Topologies on the Level of Autonomous Systems

  • Authors:
  • Thomas Erlebach;Linda S. Moonen;Frits C. R. Spieksma;Danica Vukadinović

  • Affiliations:
  • Department of Computer Science, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, United Kingdom;Operations Research Group, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium;Operations Research Group, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium;Computer Engineering and Networks Laboratory (TIK), ETH Zürich, Switzerland

  • Venue:
  • Operations Research
  • Year:
  • 2009

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Classical measures of network connectivity are the number of disjoint paths between a pair of nodes and the size of a minimum cut. For standard graphs, these measures can be computed efficiently using network flow techniques. However, in the Internet on the level of autonomous systems (ASs), referred to as AS-level Internet, routing policies impose restrictions on the paths that traffic can take in the network. These restrictions can be captured by the valley-free path model, which assumes a special directed graph model in which edge types represent relationships between ASs. We consider the adaptation of the classical connectivity measures to the valley-free path model, where it is NP-hard to compute them. Our first main contribution consists of presenting algorithms for the computation of disjoint paths, and minimum cuts, in the valley-free path model. These algorithms are useful for ASs that want to evaluate different options for selecting upstream providers to improve the robustness of their connection to the Internet. Our second main contribution is an experimental evaluation of our algorithms on four types of directed graph models of the AS-level Internet produced by different inference algorithms. Most importantly, the evaluation shows that our algorithms are able to compute optimal solutions to instances of realistic size of the connectivity problems in the valley-free path model in reasonable time. Furthermore, our experimental results provide information about the characteristics of the directed graph models of the AS-level Internet produced by different inference algorithms. It turns out that (i) we can quantify the difference between the undirected AS-level topology and the directed graph models with respect to fundamental connectivity measures, and (ii) the different inference algorithms yield topologies that are similar with respect to connectivity and are different with respect to the types of paths that exist between pairs of ASs.