Many of our investigations involve IP address information in headers, which are sensitive to privacy issues. Because part of our mission is also to encourage graduate student research that can further contribute to the research field, we developed a mechanism for masking IP addresses in operational and trace statistics collection so that we can make them available to students without concern for compromising privacy.
To secure IP address privacy we wrote a perl script that encodes the IP address in a trace file as increasing numbers starting from the beginning of the file, while retaining the net/host relationships (e.g., ``net 3 host 4'' corresponds to the third unique network seen, and the fourth unique host on that network). There is no mapping back to the real addresses, or even the classes. But the mapping does allow one to see multiple hosts that belong to the same network number, which will be useful for many network workload studies. A resulting trace segment looks as follows (the columns are: timestamp, packet interarrival time, packet size, src:dst masked address pair, protocol, source port, destination port, and TCP flags):
Having no table to map the IP addresses back (since they are just monotonically increasing from the start of the trace file as new net:hst pairs occur) should address the privacy concerns so that students can use traces for research. The script is available from firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next three sections outline the projects we are planning for the next year. The ANR group is investigating how to make facilities, information, and opportunities for collaboration available on the network in an integrated fashion. In this context, facilities include supercomputers and workstations, information includes world wide web and gopher servers, and opportunities for collaboration include e-mail and multi-user domains (MUDs). One could think of these three categories as corresponding to three types of communication: machine-to-machine, people-to-machine, and people-to-people.
Within each category, multiple dimensions emerge: