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Multivariate network traffic analysis using clustered patterns


Traffic analysis is a core element in network operations and management for various purposes including change detection, traffic prediction, and anomaly detection. In this paper, we introduce a new approach to online traffic analysis based on a pattern-based representation for high-level summarization of the traffic measurement data. Unlike the past online analysis techniques limited to a single variable to summarize (e.g., sketch), the focus of this study is on capturing the network state from the multivariate attributes under consideration. To this end, we employ clustering with its benefit of the aggregation of multidimensional variables. The clustered result represents the state of the network with regard to the monitored variables, which can also be compared with the observed patterns from previous time windows enabling intuitive analysis. We demonstrate the proposed method with two popular use cases, one for estimating state changes and the other for identifying anomalous states, to confirm its feasibility. Our extensive experimental results with public traces and collected monitoring measurements from ESnet traffic traces show that our pattern-based approach is effective for multivariate analysis of online network traffic with visual and quantitative tools.

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This work was supported in part by the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Office of Science, of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231, and by Institute for Information & communications Technology Promotion(IITP) grant funded by the Korea government(MSIP) (No. 2016-0-00078, Cloud based Security Intelligence Technology Development for the Customized Security Service Provisioning).

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Correspondence to Jinoh Kim.

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Kim, J., Sim, A., Tierney, B. et al. Multivariate network traffic analysis using clustered patterns. Computing 101, 339–361 (2019).

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  • Network traffic analysis
  • Clustered patterns
  • Change detection
  • Anomaly detection
  • Multivariate analysis

Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 68Uxx Computing methodologies and applications