Passive and Active Network Measurement

Volume 4979 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 92-101

A Reactive Measurement Framework

  • Mark AllmanAffiliated withInternational Computer Science Institute
  • , Vern PaxsonAffiliated withInternational Computer Science Institute

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Often when assessing complex network behavior a single measurement is not enough to gain a solid understanding of the root causes of the behavior. In this initial paper we argue for thinking about “measurement” as a process rather than an event. We introduce reactive measurement (REM), which is a technique in which one measurement’s results are used to automatically decide what (if any) additional measurements are required to further understand some observed phenomenon. While reactive measurement has been used on occasion in measurement studies, what has been lacking is (i) an examination of its general power, and (ii) a generic framework for facilitating fluid use of this approach. We discuss REM’s power and sketch an architecture for a system that provides general REM functionality to network researchers. We argue that by enabling the coupling of disparate measurement tools, REM holds great promise for assisting researchers and operators in determining the root causes of network problems and enabling measurement targeted for specific conditions.