Observed Structure of Addresses in IP Traffic

TitleObserved Structure of Addresses in IP Traffic
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsKohler, E., Li J., Paxson V., & Shenker S.
Published inIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Other Numbers3486

We investigate the structure of addresses contained in IPv4 traffic-specifically, the structural characteristics of destination IP addresses seen on Internet links, considered as a subset of the address space. These characteristics have implications for algorithms that deal with IP address aggregates, such as routing lookups and aggregate-based congestion control. Several example address structures are well modeled by multifractal Cantor-like sets with two parameters. This model may be useful for simulations where realistic IP addresses are preferred. We also develop concise characterizations of address structures, including active aggregate counts and discriminating prefixes. Our structural characterizations are stable over short time scales at a given site, and different sites have visibly different characterizations, so that the characterizations make useful "fingerprints" of the traffic seen at a site. Also, changing traffic conditions, such as worm propagation, significantly alter these fingerprints


This work was partially supported by funding provided to ICSI through National Science Foundation grant ACI: 0230921 (“Measurements, Models, and Simulation Scenarios for Internet Research”). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors or originators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Bibliographic Notes

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, Vol. 14, No. 16, pp. 1207-1218. An earlier version of this paper appeared in the proceedings of the 2nd Internet Measurement Workshop (IMW), Marseille, France, November 2002.

Abbreviated Authors

E. Kohler, J. Li, V. Paxson, and S. Shenker

ICSI Research Group

Networking and Security

ICSI Publication Type

Article in journal or magazine