On the Impact of Layer-2 on Node Degree Distribution

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:24 by Benoit Donnet


The Internet topology data collected through traceroute exploration has been extensively studied in the past. In particular, a remarkable property of the Internet, the power-law shape of node degree distribution, drew the
attention of the research community. Several studies have since questioned this property.

In this paper, based on a large dataset collected using mrinfo, we show that the node degree distribution is strongly impacted by the presence of layer-2 (L2) networks, such as switches. L2 devices interconnect a large
number of routers, themselves being also involved in multiple L2 interconnections. Such a situation induces nodes with very high degree when analyzing the layer-3 (L3) graph with traceroute probing. Considering the physical design of a network, our analysis provides a lower bound on the bias generated by using only an L3 view. We also provide a model that can be a first step towards L2 aware topology generation.

Pascal Mérindol, Benoit Donnet, Olivier Bonaventure and Jean-Jacques Pansiot
Proc. USENIX Internet Measurement Conference (IMC), pages 179-191, November 2010.
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