Scaling in Internet Traffic: A 14 Year and 3 Day Longitudinal Study, with Multiscale Analyses and Random Projections

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Journal Article
IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, 2017, 25 (4), pp. 2152 - 2165
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© 2017 IEEE. In the mid 1990s, it was shown that the statistics of aggregated time series from Internet traffic departed from those of traditional short range-dependent models, and were instead characterized by asymptotic self-similarity. Following this seminal contribution, over the years, many studies have investigated the existence and form of scaling in Internet traffic. This contribution first aims at presenting a methodology, combining multiscale analysis (wavelet and wavelet leaders) and random projections (or sketches), permitting a precise, efficient and robust characterization of scaling, which is capable of seeing through non-stationary anomalies. Second, we apply the methodology to a data set spanning an unusually long period: 14 years, from the MAWI traffic archive, thereby allowing an in-depth longitudinal analysis of the form, nature, and evolutions of scaling in Internet traffic, as well as network mechanisms producing them. We also study a separate three-day long trace to obtain complementary insight into intra-day behavior. We find that a biscaling (two ranges of independent scaling phenomena) regime is systematically observed: long-range dependence over the large scales, and multifractallike scaling over the fine scales. We quantify the actual scaling ranges precisely, verify to high accuracy the expected relationship between the long range dependent parameter and the heavy tail parameter of the flow size distribution, and relate fine scale multifractal scaling to typical IP packet inter-arrival and to round-trip time distributions.
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