Performance Limitations of ADSL Users: A Case Study

  • Matti Siekkinen
  • Denis Collange
  • Guillaume Urvoy-Keller
  • Ernst W. Biersack
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4427)


We report results from the analysis of a 24-hour packet trace containing TCP traffic of approximately 1300 residential ADSL clients. Some of our observations confirm earlier studies: the major fraction of the total traffic originates from P2P applications and small fractions of connections and clients are responsible for the vast majority of the traffic. However, our main contribution is a throughput performance analysis of the clients. We observe suprisingly low utilizations of upload and download capacity for most of the clients. Furthermore, by using our TCP root cause analysis tool, we obtain a striking result: in over 90% of the cases, the low utilization is mostly due to the (P2P) applications clients use, which limit the transmission rate and not due to network congestion, for instance. P2P applications typically impose upload rate limits to avoid uplink saturation that hurt download performance. Our analysis shows that these rate limits are very low and, as a consequence, the aggregate download rates for these applications are low.


Cause Analysis Link Utilization Access Link Root Cause Analysis Network Limitation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Siekkinen, M., Collange, D., Urvoy-Keller, G., Biersack, E.W.: Application-level performance of ADSL users. Technical report (2006),
  2. 2.
    Karagiannis, T., et al.: Is P2P dying or just hiding? In: Proc. Globecom 2004, Nov. 2004 (2004)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cho, K., Fukuda, K., Esaki, H., Kato, A.: The impact and implications of the growth in residential user-to-user traffic. In: SIGCOMM ’06: Proceedings of the 2006 conference on Applications, technologies, architectures, and protocols for computer communications, Pisa, Italy, Sept. 2006, pp. 207–218. ACM Press, New York (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Zhang, Y., Breslau, L., Paxson, V., Shenker, S.: On the characteristics and origins of internet flow rates. In: Proceedings of ACM SIGCOMM ’02, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, Aug. 2002, ACM Press, New York (2002)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Siekkinen, M., Urvoy-Keller, G., Biersack, E., En-Najjary, T.: Root cause analysis for long-lived tcp connections. In: Proceedings of CoNEXT, Oct. 2005 (2005),
  6. 6.
    Siekkinen, M., Urvoy-Keller, G., Biersack, E.W.: On the impact of applications on tcp transfers. Technical report, Institut Eurecom (2005),
  7. 7.
    Siekkinen, M.: Root Cause Analysis of TCP Throughput: Methodology, Techniques, and Applications. PhD thesis, Institut Eurécom / Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Sophia Antipolis, France (2006),
  8. 8.
    Plissonneau, L., Costeux, J.-L., Brown, P.: Detailed analysis of edonkey transfers on adsl. In: Proceedings of EuroNGI (2006)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matti Siekkinen
    • 1
  • Denis Collange
    • 2
  • Guillaume Urvoy-Keller
    • 3
  • Ernst W. Biersack
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Oslo, Dept. of Informatics, Postbox 1080 Blindern, 0316 OsloNorway
  2. 2.France Télécom R&D, 905, rue Albert Einstein, 06921 Sophia-AntipolisFrance
  3. 3.Institut Eurecom, 2229, route des crêtes, 06904 Sophia-AntipolisFrance

Personalised recommendations