unique ASesRouteviews/RIPE 790 438Skitter 24
DIMES 8,059 200Ours 580,000 6,000
Table 1: The VPs for each project, approximately.
occurrences, and quantify the number of missing links due toeach of those reasons (Section 5). Interestingly, many of themissing links (
in our dataset) are missing due to mul-tiple, concurrent reasons.In the remainder of this paper we discuss the value of paperas well as its limitations in Section 6, review closely relatedwork in Section 7 and conclude in Section 8.
2. P2P FOR TOPOLOGY MONITORING
Understanding and characterizing the salient features of theever-changing Internet topology requires a system of observa-tion points that grows organically with the network. BecauseISP interconnectivity is driven by business arrangements of-ten protected by nondisclosure agreements, one must infer ASlinks from publicly available information such as BGP andtraceroute measurements. The success of either approach ul-timately depends on the number of VPs involved in the mea-surements.To achieve broad coverage, it is essential to use a platformbuiltuponlarge-scaleemergentsystems, suchasP2P,thatgrowwith the Internet itself. By piggybacking on an existing P2Psystem, we eliminate the need to place BGP monitors in eachISP; rather, each participating host in our system can con-tribute to the AS topology measurement study simply by per-forming traceroute measurements.Through an extension to a popular BitTorrent client cur-rentlyinstalledby580,000peers
locatedinover40,000routablepreﬁxes, spanning more than 6,000 ASes and 192 countries,our software collects traceroute measurements between con-nected hosts. This platform constitutes the most diverse setof measurement VPs and is the largest set of traceroute mea-surements collected from end hosts to date. Table 1 contraststhe number of unique machines and VPs in our study and in aset of related efforts including Routeviews , RIPE/ RIS ,iPlane , DIMES  and Skitter .As we show in Section 4, about 23,914 new links are dis-covered through these traceroute measurements. These newlinks include 26 ASNs (AS numbers) that do not appear in thepublic view and thus are truly “dark networks” when viewedthrough the lens of the public BGP servers. Thus the view of the network from P2P users contributes a vast amount of in-formation about network topology unobtainable through otherapproachessuchasBGPtabledumpsandstrategicactiveprob-ing from dedicated infrastructure.Figure 1 shows the layer-wise distribution of VPs for thepublic view and our existing P2P traceroutes. It is remarkablethat our P2P traceroutes have an overwhelming advantage over
We use “peer” for P2P user, and italic “
” for peering ISP.
1234505001000150020002500Network tier of vantage point
T o t a l # o f v a n t a g e p o i n t s
P2P traceroutePublic View
Figure 1: Distribution of VPs with respect to their network tiers.
the public view, especially in these low tier networks. The bet-ter coverage of P2P VPs could conceive a different perspectiveof the Internet graph and its potentially missing links. The fol-lowing sections present our methodology for AS-level topol-ogy inference and report on our study of missing links.
In this section, we present our methodologies. After we de-scribe our datasets, we present a systematic approach to ad-dressing the challenges associated with accurately inferringAS-level paths from traceroute data, and discuss how we vali-date our resulting topologies. Finally, we detail the algorithmsused for inferring properties of the AS topology.
3.1 Data Collected
3.1.1 P2P traceroutes
The traceroutes in our dataset are collected by P2P usersrecording the result of the
command providedby their operating system. Because the software performingthe measurements is cross-platform, there are multiple tracer-oute implementations that generate data for our study. Notsurprisingly, the vast majority of the data that we gather comesfrom the Windows traceroute implementation.The measurement is performed using default settings exceptthat the timeout for router responses is 3 seconds and no re-verse DNS lookups are performed. Each peer running our soft-ware performs at most one measurement at a time; after eachtraceroute completes, the peer issues another to a randomly se-lected destination from the set of connections it has establishedthrough BitTorrent.There are three measurements for each router hop, the or-dered set of hops is sent to our central data-collection serversalong with the time at which the measurement was performed.We use the data collected between Dec 1, 2007 and Sep 30,2008, which consists of 541,023,742 measurements contain-ing over 6.2 billion hops. The data was collected from morethan 580,000 distinct peers in 6,600 unique ASes.
3.1.2 BGP feeds