John Heidemann / Papers / On the correlation of Internet flow characteristics

On the correlation of Internet flow characteristics
Kun-chan Lan and John Heidemann
USC/Information Sciences Institute


Kun-chan Lan and John Heidemann. On the correlation of Internet flow characteristics. Technical Report ISI-TR-574. USC/Information Sciences Institute. [PDF] [alt PDF]


Previous studies of Internet traffic have shown that a very small percentage of flows consume most of the network bandwidth. It is important to understand the characteristics of such flows for traffic monitoring and modeling purposes. Several prior researchers have characterized such flows using different classification schemes: by size as elephant and mice; by duration as tortoise and dragonfly; and by burstiness as alpha and beta traffic. However, it is not clear how these different definitions of flows are related to each other. In our work, we study these “heavy-hitter” flows in four orthogonal dimensions, namely size, duration, rate and burstiness, and examine how they are correlated. This paper makes three contributions: First, we systematically characterize prior definitions for the properties of such heavy-hitter traffic. Second, we show that there are strong correlations between some combinations of size, rate and burstiness. Finally, we show that these correlations can be explained by transport and application-level protocol mechanisms.

Bibtex Citation

  author = {Lan, Kun-chan and Heidemann, John},
  title = {On the correlation of Internet flow characteristics},
  institution = {USC/Information Sciences Institute},
  year = {2003},
  sortdate = {2003-07-01},
  project = {ant, nocredit, saman},
  jsubject = {chronological},
  number = {ISI-TR-574},
  month = jul,
  location = {johnh: pafile},
  keywords = {Internet traffic, elephant, tortise, cheetah,
  url = {},
  pdfurl = {},
  myorganization = {USC/Information Sciences Institute}
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