Small-time scaling behaviors of Internet backbone traffic: An empirical study
Zhang, Zhi-Li; Ribeiro, Vinay Joseph; Moon, Sue; Diot, Christophe
We study the small-time (sub-seconds) scaling behaviors of Internet backbone traffic, based on traces collected from OC3/12/48 links in a tier-1 ISP. We observe that for a majority of these traces, the (second-order) scaling exponents at small time scales (1ms - 100ms) are fairly close to 0.5, indicating that <i>traffic fluctuations</i> at these time scales are (nearly) uncorrelated. In addition, the traces manifest mostly <i>monofractal</i> behaviors at small time scales. The objective of the paper is to understand the potential causes or factors that influence the small-time scalings of Internet backbone traffic via empirical data analysis. We analyze the traffic composition of the traces along two dimensions â flow size and flow <i>density</i>. Our study uncovers <i>dense</i> flows (i.e., flows with bursts of densely clustered packets) as the correlation-causing factor in small time scales, and reveals that the traffic composition in terms of proportions of <i>dense vs. sparse</i> flows plays a major role in influecing the small-time scalings of aggregate traffic.