Traffic measurements and characterization

Traffic measurement and characterization are applied networking research methodologies aimed at understanding packet traffic on the Internet. From its humble beginnings in LAN-based measurement of network applications and protocols, network measurement research has grown in scope and magnitude, and has helped providing insight to fundamental properties of the Internet, its protocols, and its users. For example, Internet traffic measurement and monitoring serves as the basis for a wide range of IP network operations, management, engineering tasks such as trouble shooting, accounting and usage profiling, routing weight configuration, load balancing, capacity planning, and so forth.

Recently, traffic classification emerged as an additional powerful tool to better understand the Internet traffic and its users. Design and development of robust and efficient traffic classification tools for IP networks proved to be very useful for anomaly detection, intrusion detection and intrusion prevention systems, enforcement of network security policies by traffic filtering, QoS management & traffic engineering, network provisioning. Given the continuous evolution of Internet applications, new techniques must be designed to correctly classify Internet traffic, since most of today applications follow a proprietary design and often exploit encryption techniques, so that classical packet inspection mechanisms cannot be used.

The Telecommunication Research Group has been very active in the research community considering both traffic classification, measurement and characterization. New methodologies have been proposed, and implemented in Tstat (, a tool that, starting from standard software libraries, offers to network managers and researchers important information about classic and novel performance indexes and statistical data about Internet traffic.

Contact information: MELLIA MARCO

Research groups

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