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G. Maier, A. Feldmann, V. Paxson, and M. Allman, "On Dominant Characteristics of Residential Broadband Internet Traffic", in ACM SIGCOMM IMC, Nov 2009.
On Dominant Characteristics of Residential Broadband Internet Traffic
Authors: G. Maier
A. Feldmann
V. Paxson
M. Allman
Published: ACM SIGCOMM IMC, 2009
URL:http://www.icir.org/vern/papers/imc102-maier.pdf
ABSTRACT: While residential broadband Internet access is popular in many parts of the world, only a few studies have examined the characteristics of such traffic. In this paper we describe observations from monitoring the network activity for more than 20,000 residential DSL customers in an urban area. To ensure privacy, all data is immediately anonymized. We augment the anonymized packet traces with information about DSL-level sessions, IP (re-)assignments, and DSL link bandwidth. Our analysis reveals a number of surprises in terms of the mental models we developed from the measurement literature. For example, we find that HTTP-- not peer-to-peer -- traffic dominates by a significant margin; that more often than not the home user's immediate ISP connectivity contributes more to the round-trip times the user experiences than the WAN portion of the path; and that the DSL lines are frequently not the bottleneck in bulk-transfer performance.
RESULTS:
  • study a broad range of dominant characteristics of residential traffic across a number of dimensions, including DSL session characteristics, network and transport-level features, prominent applications, and network path dynamics
  • HTTP traffic makes up 60% of traffic by bytes while p2p contributes roughly 14%
  • DSL sessions run quite short in duration, with a median length of only 20-30 min
  • Delays experienced from a residence to the ISP's Internet gateway often exceed those over the wide-area path from the gateway to the remote peer
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