The Daily Model of the World Wide Internet Shows Its Behavior

Photo Courtesy of University of Southern California

The Nerd Stalkers received news that researchers from the University of Southern California(USC)  studying how big the Internet is have found that it “sleeps,” almost like a living creature. The finding will help scientists and policymakers develop better systems to measure and track Internet outages, such as those that struck the New York area after Hurricane Sandy and other disasters.  Understanding how the Internet sleeps will help them avoid confusing a sleeping Internet with an Internet outage. Check out their short video below.

Baselining the Internet

“The Internet is important in our lives and businesses, from streaming movies to buying online.  Measuring network outages is a first step to improving Internet reliability,” said John Heidemann, research professor at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Information Sciences Institute(ISI), and the study’s corresponding author. 

Heidemann collaborated with USC’s Lin Quan and Yuri Pradkin on the study, which will be presented at the 2014 ACM Internet Measurements Conference on November 5.
There are currently around 4 billion IPv4 internet addresses. Heidemann and his team pinged about 3.7 million address blocks (representing about 950 million addresses) every 11 minutes over the span of two months, looking for daily patterns. Currently, Heidemann and team has grown their daily coverage to around 1 billion addresses.
Their study also correlates countries with strong diurnal Internet access with lower GDP– meaning that the richer a country is, the more likely it is that the Internet will be up and running 24/7.

“This data helps us establish a baseline for the Internet — to understand how it functions, so that we have a better idea of how resilient it is as a whole, and can spot problems quicker,” Heidemann said.

This research was funded by the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate; HSARPA, Cyber Security Division via the Air Force Research Laboratory, Information Directorate and SPAWAR.


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