Internet Topology Discovery: a Survey

Tue, 06/05/2007 - 15:26 by Benoit Donnet


Since the beginning of the nineties, the Internet has undergone impressive growth. This growth can be evaluated in terms of equipment, such as routers, links, etc. as well as in terms of users making the Internet a great commercial success. In parallel to this expansion, for the past ten years, the networking research community has known a growing interest in discovering and analyzing the Internet topology. Researchers have developed several tools for gathering network topology data while others have tried to understand and model the Internet properties. We are, though, at a crossroad regarding measurement infrastructures: while, previously, these measurement infrastructures were both small (in terms of number of measurement points) and monolithic, we are starting to see the deployment of large-scale distributed measurement infrastructures made of hundreds or thousands of monitors. In such a context, we believe time has come to step back and take some time to look at what has been achieved. In this survey, we discuss past and current mechanisms for discovering the Internet topology at various levels: the IP interface, the router, the AS and the PoP level. In addition to discovery techniques, we provide an insight into some of the well known properties of the Internet topology.

B. Donnet and T. Friedman
IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials, 9(4):2-15, December 2007.
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