Where the Sidewalk Ends: Extending the Internet AS Graph Using Traceroutes From P2P Users

Kai Chen, David R. Choffnes, Rahul Potharaju, Yan Chen, Fabián E. Bustamante, Dan Pei and Yao Zhao
In Proc. of CoNEXT, December 2009.

EECS Department
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL 60201, USA

AT&T Labs -- Research


An accurate Internet topology graph is important in many areas of networking, from deciding ISP business relationships to diagnosing network anomalies. Most Internet mapping efforts have derived the network structure, at the level of interconnected autonomous systems (ASes), from a limited number of either BGP- or traceroute-based data sources. While techniques for charting the topology continue to improve, the growth of the number of vantage points is significantly outpaced by the rapid growth of the Internet.

In this paper, we argue that a promising approach to revealing the hidden areas of the Internet topology is through active measurement from an observation platform that scales with the growing Internet. By leveraging measurements performed by an extension to a popular P2P system, we show that this approach indeed exposes significant new topological information. Based on traceroute measurements from more than 992,000 IPs in over 3,700 ASes distributed across the Internet hierarchy, our proposed heuristics identify 23,914 new AS links not visible in the publicly-available BGP data -- 12.86% more customer-provider links and 40.99% more peering links, than previously reported. We validate our heuristics using data from a tier-1 ISP and show that they correctly filter out all false links introduced by public IP-to-AS mapping. We have made the identified set of links and their inferred relationships publically available.

Dataset: The data for this study is available from this link.