Active inference of network neutrality

Abstract : In the last decade, some ISPs have been reported to discriminate againstspecific user traffic, especially if generated by bandwidth-hungry applications(e.g., peer-to-peer, video streaming) or competing services (e.g. Voice-over-IP).Network neutrality, a design principle according to which a network shouldtreat all incoming packets equally, has been widely debated ever since. In thisthesis we present ChkDiff, a novel tool for the detection of trafficdifferentiation at the Internet access. In contrast to existing work, our methodis agnostic to both the applications being tested and the shaping mechanismsdeployed by an ISP. The experiment comprises two parts, in which we check fordifferentiation separately on upstream and downstream traffic that wepreviously dump directly from the user. In the upstream direction, ChkDiffreplays the user's outgoing traffic with a modified TTL value in order to checkfor differentiation on routers at the first few hops from the user. By comparingthe resulting delays and losses of flows that traversed the same routers, andanalyzing the behaviour on the immediate router topology spawning from theuser end point, we manage to detect instances of traffic shaping and attempt tolocalize shapers. Our study on the responsiveness of routers to TTL-limitedprobes consolidates our choice of measurements in the upstream experiment.In the downstream experiment, we replay the user's incoming traffic from ameasurement server and analyze per-flow one-way delays and losses, whiletaking into account the possibility of multiple paths between the two endpoints.Along the chapters of this thesis, we provide a detailed description of ourmethodology and a validation of our tool.
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Riccardo Ravaioli. Active inference of network neutrality. Other [cs.OH]. Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016NICE4044⟩. ⟨tel-01382731⟩

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