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Measurement and modeling of packet loss in the Internet

Maya Kirit Yajnik, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The introduction of services and applications to the Internet has spurred development of new protocols which provide reliability, congestion control and flow control. Multicasting, which enables group communication, is one such promising new service which has made a new class of applications possible. In addition, multimedia applications have become increasingly important applications. Understanding and modeling the patterns of packet loss, as it occurs in Internet connections, are crucial to the design of these new applications and the protocols that support them. The goal of this thesis is to characterize and model the measured packet loss in Internet connections for the design of new applications and protocols. First, we analyze the correlation of packet loss in multicast sessions. We consider the spatial correlation (between receivers in a multicast session) as well as the temporal correlation (the correlation with respect to time) as seen in measurements of packet loss. The measurements are taken on the MBone multicast network, an experimental network superimposed on the Internet. We also address the related issue of where loss occurs in the network by estimating the loss rates on different parts of the multicast distribution tree. Next, we focus on the temporal correlation of packet loss along both regular point-to-point connections as well as multicast connections. We estimate the correlation timescale of the measured data. We also estimate the level of model complexity required to accurately capture the observed temporal correlation and evaluate the validity of previously proposed models (the Bernoulli model and the two-state model). Finally, we examine the accuracy of probe measurements for estimating both the time-averaged congestion level of a network path, as well as the packet loss rate seen by traffic traversing the path. Our goal is to determine the circumstances under which the network performance characteristics estimated via probe data match the actual network performance as well as the end-to-end performance seen by an application. We conclude this dissertation with a discussion of future research.

Subject Area

Electrical engineering|Computer science

Recommended Citation

Yajnik, Maya Kirit, "Measurement and modeling of packet loss in the Internet" (2000). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9978575.