In search of path diversity in ISP networks

  • Authors:
  • Renata Teixeira;Keith Marzullo;Stefan Savage;Geoffrey M. Voelker

  • Affiliations:
  • University of California, San Diego;University of California, San Diego;University of California, San Diego;University of California, San Diego

  • Venue:
  • Proceedings of the 3rd ACM SIGCOMM conference on Internet measurement
  • Year:
  • 2003

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Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can exploit path diversity to balance load and improve robustness. Unfortunately, it is difficult to evaluate the potential impact of these approaches without routing and topological data, which are confidential. In this paper, we characterize path diversity in the real Sprint network. We then characterize path diversity in ISP topologies inferred using the Rocketfuel tool. Comparing the real Sprint topology to the one inferred by Rocketfuel, we find that the Rocketfuel topology has significantly higher apparent path diversity.(As a metric, path diversity is particularly sensitive to the presence of false or missing links, both of which are artifacts of active measurement techniques.) We evaluate heuristics that improve the accuracy of the inferred Rocketfuel topologies. Finally, we discuss limitations of active measurements techniques to capture topological properties such as path diversity.