Measurement vantage point selection using a similarity metric

Authors: Thomas Holterbach, Emile Aben, Cristel Pelsser, Randy Bush, and Laurent Vanbever
Proceedings of the Applied Networking Research Workshop (ANRW '17)


It is a challenge to select the most appropriate vantage points in a measurement platform with a wide selection. RIPE Atlas [2], for example currently has over 9600 active measurement vantage points, with selections based on AS, country, etc. A user is limited to how many vantage points they can use in a measurement. This is not only due to limitations the measurement platform imposes, but data from a large number of vantage points would produce a large volume to analyse and store. So it makes sense to optimize for a minimal set of vantage points with a maximum chance of observing the phenomenon in which the user is interested.

Network operators often need to debug with only limited information about the problem (“Our network is slow for users in France!”). doing a minimal set of measurements that would allow testing through a wide diversity of networks could be a valuable add-on to the tools available to network operators. Given platforms with numerous vantage points, we have the luxury of testing a large set of end-customer outgoing paths. A diversity metric would allow selection of the most dissimilar vantage points, while exploring from as diverse angles as possible, even with a limited probing budget. If one finds an interesting network phenomenon, one could use the similarity metric to advantage by selecting the most similar vantage points to the one exhibiting the phenomenon, to validate the phenomenon from multiple vantage points.

We propose a novel means of selecting vantage points, not based on categorical properties such as origin AS, or geographic location, but rather on topological (dis)similarity between vantage points. We describe a similarity metric across RIPE Atlas probes, and show how it performs better for the purpose of topology discovery than the default probe selection mechanism built into RIPE Atlas.


Dr. Thomas Holterbach
PhD student


	isbn = {978-1-4503-5108-9},
	doi = {10.1145/3106328.3106334},
	year = {2017},
	booktitle = {Proceedings of the Applied Networking Research Workshop (ANRW '17)},
	type = {Conference Paper},
	author = {Holterbach, Thomas and Aben, Emile and Pelsser, Cristel and Bush, Randy and Vanbever, Laurent},
	keywords = {RIPE Atlas; Internet Measurements; Monitoring},
	language = {en},
	address = {New York, NY},
	publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
	title = {Measurement vantage point selection using a similarity metric},
	PAGES = {1 - 3},
	Note = {Applied Networking Research Workshop (ANRW '17); Conference Location: Prague, Czech Republic; Conference Date: 15-Jul-17}

Research Collection: 20.500.11850/192308