Difficulties in Simulating the Internet

TitleDifficulties in Simulating the Internet
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsFloyd, S., & Paxson V.
Published inIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Other Numbers302

Simulating how the global Internet behaves is an immensely challenging undertaking because of the network's great heterogeneity and rapid change. The heterogeneity ranges from the individual links that carry the network's traffic, to the protocols that interoperate over the links, the "mix" of different applications used at a site, and the levels of congestion seen on different links. We discuss two key strategies for developing meaningful simulations in the face of these difficulties: searching for invariants and judiciously exploring the simulation parameter space. We finish with a look at a collaborative effort within the research community to develop a common network simulator.


This work was supported by funding provided to ICSI by AT&T.

Bibliographic Notes

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, Vol.9, No.4, pp. 392-403. (An earlier version appeared in Proceedings of the 1997 Winter Simulation Conference, December 1997).

Abbreviated Authors

S. Floyd and V. Paxson

ICSI Research Group

Networking and Security

ICSI Publication Type

Article in journal or magazine