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J. Rexford, J. Wang, Z. Xiao, and Y. Zhang, "BGP Routing Stability of Popular Destinations", in ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement Workshop, Nov 2002.

BGP Routing Stability of Popular Destinations
Authors: J. Rexford
J. Wang
Z. Xiao
Y. Zhang
Published: ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement Workshop, 2002
Entry Date: 2002-12-23
Abstract: The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) plays a crucial role in the delivery of traffic in the Internet. Fluctuations in BGP routes cause degradation in user performance, increased processing load on routers, and changes in the distribution of traffic load over the network. Although earlier studies have raised concern that BGP routes change quite often, previous work has not considered whether these routing fluctuations affect a significant portion of the traffic. This paper shows that the small number of popular destinations responsible for the bulk of Internet traffic have remarkably stable BGP routes. The vast majority of BGP instability stems from a small number of unpopular destinations. We draw these conclusions from a joint analysis of BGP update messages and flow-level traffic measurements from AT&T's IP backbone. In addition, we analyze the routing stability of destination prefixes corresponding to the NetRating's list of popular Web site using the update message collected by the RouteViews and RIPE-NCC servers. OUr results sugget that operators can engineer their networks under the assumption that the BGP advertisement associated with most of the traffic are reasonably stable.
Datasets: BGP update messages from RouteViews, RIPE NCC and a BGP monitor in the AT&T backbone from the entire month of March 2002.
  • Popular prefixes have relatively stable BGP routes.
  • There is no direct correlation between traffic volumes and BGP routing stability.
    Refines some results in:

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