Measuring the Degree Distribution of Routers in the Core Internet

Matthieu Latapy, Elie Rotenberg, Christophe Crespelle, Fabien Tarissan

13th IFIP International Conference on Networking – Networking 2014, 2014, Trondheim, Norway. IEEE, pp.1-9

Most current models of the internet rely on knowledge of the degree distribution of its core routers, which plays a key role for simulation purposes. In practice, this distribution is usually observed directly on maps known to be partial, biased and erroneous. This raises serious concerns on the true knowledge one may have of this key property. Here, we design an original measurement approach targeting reliable estimation of the degree distribution of core routers, without resorting to any map. It consists in sampling random core routers and precisely estimate their degree thanks to probes sent from many distributed monitors. We run and assess a large-scale measurement following this approach, carefully controlling and correcting bias and errors encountered in practice. The estimate we obtain is much more reliable than previous knowledge, and it shows that the true degree distribution is very different from all current assumptions.