R. Percacci and A. Vespignani, "Scale-free behavior of the Internet global performance", European Physical Journal B, vol. 32, pp. 411-414, 2003.
|Scale-free behavior of the Internet global performance
|European Physical Journal B, 2003
|Measurements and data analysis have proved very effective in the study of the Internet's physical fabric and have shown heterogeneities and statistical fluctuations extending over several orders of magnitude. Here we analyze performance measurements obtained by the PingER monitoring infrastructure. We focus on the relationship between the Round-Trip-Time (RTT) and the geographical distance. We define dimensionless variables that contain information on the quality of Internet connections finding that their probability distributions are characterized by a slow power-law decay signalling the presence of scale-free features. These results point out the extreme heterogeneity of the Internet since the transmission speed between different points of the network exhibits very large fluctuations. The associated scaling exponents appear to have fairly stable values in different data sets and thus define an invariant characteristic of the Internet that might be used in the future as a benchmark of the overall state of "health" of the Internet. The observed scale-free character should be incorporated in models and analysis of Internet performance.