Up, Down and Around the Stack: ISP Characterization from Network Intensive Applications
Zachary S. Bischof, John S. Otto, and Fabián E. Bustamante.
In Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Measurements Up the STack (W-MUST), August 2012. Also in ACM SIGCOMM CCR Special Issue, Volume 42 Issue 4, October 2012.
Evanston, IL 60201, USA
Broadband characterization has recently attracted much attention from the research community and the general public. Given the important business and policy implications of residential Internet service characterization, recent years have brought a variety of approaches to profiling Internet services, ranging from Web-based platforms to dedicated infrastructure inside home networks. We have previously argued that network-intensive applications provide an almost ideal vantage point for broadband characterization at sufficient scale, nearly continuously and from end users. While we have shown that the approach is indeed effective at service characterization and can enable performance comparisons between service providers and geographic regions, a key unanswered question is how well the performance characteristics captured by these systems can predict the overall user experience with different applications.
In this paper, using BitTorrent as an example host application, we present initial results that demonstrate how to obtain estimates of bandwidth and latency of a network connection by leveraging passive monitoring and limited active measurements from network intensive applications. We then analyze user experienced web performance under a variety of network conditions and show how estimates from a network intensive application can serve as good web performance predictors.