Internet Laboratory for Empirical Network Science (iLENS)
The goal of the iLENS project was to develop the active measurement infrastructure Archipelago (Ark), providing academic researchers with an unprecedented laboratory in which to quickly design, implement, and easily coordinate the execution of experiments across a widely distributed set of dedicated monitors.
Principal Investigator: kc claffy
Funding source: NSF CNS-0958547 Period of performance: March 1, 2010 - February 28, 2014.
Over the course of the project, CAIDA upgraded and extended, both in geographic scope and in function, our active measurement platform (Ark). As of February 2014, we had deployed 80 Ark monitors, 29 of them Raspberry Pi based. The monitors are grouped in 3 teams to increase the efficiency of measurements while reducing the impact of probing on network resources.
The data obtained by using Ark infrastructure contribute to a wide range of network modeling, simulation, validation, analysis, and theoretical research activities. It enables new types of research, including historical Internet studies, improved annotations and accuracy of Internet topology graphs, evaluation of future Internet architectures, and empirical grounding for the emerging discipline of network science.
We make the raw collected and derived/aggregated data available to academic researchers all over the world. A few hundreds requests for topology data alone have been approved during the project. Aiming to promote and encourage wider use of our data for public good, we made raw IPv6 toplogy data, raw IPv4 topology data older than 2 years, and many of our derived datasets publicly downloadable from CAIDA web site.
We have also developed, released, and continued to support novel alias resolution tools as well as various software for analysis, annotation, topology generation, and interactive visualization of annotated Internet graphs derived from ongoing topology measurements with Ark.
In this project, we integrated research and education. PI KC Claffy conducted lectures and seminars for students and used the results of this project in her classroom. We encourage use of our data for educational curricula development. Young Hyun, the leading Ark developer, learned about Raspberry Pi miniature devices and how to program them to support Ark monitor functions. Using REU funds, we supported 5 UCSD undergraduate students, who worked with CAIDA researchers on data collection, analysis, and visualization therefore acquiring invaluable skills and experience in working with real Internet data.
We now critically depend on the Internet for our professional, personal, and political lives. This dependence has rapidly grown much stronger than our comprehension of its underlying structure, performance limits, dynamics, and evolution since fundamental characteristics of the Internet are perpetually challenging to research and analyze. Our project directly addressed this challenge as the deployed infrastructure and resulting data gave access and experience with worldwide Internet measurements to a larger section of the research community. These results promote informed discussion of the issues that are increasingly relevant to not just the current Internet, but to future large-scale networks as well.
The iLENS project proposes to upgrade and extend the active measurement infrastructure Archipelago (Ark), to provide academic researchers an unprecedented laboratory in which to quickly design, implement, and easily coordinate the execution of experiments across a widely distributed set of dedicated monitors.
An abbreviated version of the original proposal is shown below.