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Traffic 'burstiness' doesn't reach Internet core

Tue, 06/05/2001 - 8:00pm
Anne Kerven

Don't be dissing their terms. If scientists confirm Internet edge "burstiness," then burstiness it is.

A team of Bell Labs researchers say that the extreme swings in traffic at edges of the Internet smooth out at the core, and "point the way to more efficient system and network designs with better performance at lower cost," Bell reports.

"The burstiness that you can see in individual traffic flows vanishes in large aggregate streams of Internet traffic," says computer scientist Don Sun.

The findings contradict the traditional assumption that burstiness would be "reflected and greatly magnified on higher-capacity links where traffic from many local tributary networks flows together," Bell reports.

The team assembled hundreds of gigs of packet traffic data from networks at Bell Labs and five universities via a software system called S-Net, which measures and analyzes the data. The software allowed the team to find patterns "not seen before in studies using less precise data-viewing instruments," says researcher William Cleveland. Results were tested and confirmed with PackMime, another software system created by the team.

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