Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

International Journal of Future Generation Communication and Networking


A route in the Internet may take a longer AS path than the shortest AS path due to routing policies. In this paper, we systematically analyze AS paths and quantify the extent to which routing policies inflate AS paths. The results show that AS path inflation in the Internet is more prevalent than expected. We first present the extent of AS path inflation observed from the RouteView and RIPE routing tables. We then employ three common routing policies to show the extent of AS path inflation. We find that No-Valley routing policy causes the least AS path inflation among the three routing policies. PreferCustomer-and-Peer-over-Provider policy causes the most AS path inflation. In addition, we find that single-homed stub ASes experience more path inflations than transit ASes and multi-homed ASes. The AS pairs with shortest AS path of 3 AS hops experience more path inflations than other AS pairs. Finally, we investigate the AS path inflation on the end-to-end path from end users to two popular content providers, Google and Comcast. Although the majority of the shortest AS paths from end users to the two providers consists of no more than three AS hops, the actual end-to-end paths that the traffic will take are longer than the shortest AS paths in many cases. Quantifying AS path inflation in the Internet has important implications on the extent of routing policies, traffic engineering performed on the Internet, and BGP convergence speed.