The Large-Scale Geography of Internet Round Trip Times

Paper type: 
Conference paper
Raul Landa, Joao Taveira Araujo, Richard G. Clegg, Eleni Mykoniati, David Griffin, Miguel Rio
Presented at IFIP/Networking, 2013
One of the challenges that distributed systems designers face is that their performance is very sensitive to the characteristics of the underlying network. Hence, simple models that accurately describe some statistical properties of the Internet can be very helpful in the modelling, simulation and design of Internet-scale distributed systems. In this paper we present a model for the analysis of Internet round trip time (RTT) and its relationship to geolocation distance. This model is based on a novel dataset comprising ∼200 million RTT samples between ∼54 thousand DNS servers, and can be used to accurately predict the median RTT between two Internet hosts separated by a given geographical distance. Our main contribution is a procedure for the geographic analysis of RTT that reveals large-scale routing information. We accomplish this by investigating RTT on the basis of large, disjoint geographic components. By applying a novel median- based, least-squares fitting algorithm to traffic flows between these components, we analyse their RTT\distance behaviour and compute a large-scale routing excess that quantifies the extra distance beyond the great circle that packets traverse when they flow between large-scale geographic areas.
This paper describes the collection and analysis of a very large collection of delay data. The data is collected using the Turbo King method (recursive queries of Domain Name Servers). A model is given to fit the data. The data is analysed by continent. It is shown that there is a strong relationship between delay and Haversine distance (the distance across the surface of the earth). However, this relationship breaks down in specific cases and occasionally, for some continent pairs, the opposite relationship is shown (longer distance is shorter delay).
author={Landa, R. and Araujo, J.T. and Clegg, R.G. and Mykoniati, E. and Griffin, D. and Rio, M.}, 
booktitle={IFIP Networking Conference, 2013}, 
title={The large-scale geography of Internet round trip times},