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Minimally-intrusive frequent round trip time measurements using Synthetic Packet-Pairs

Zander, S. and Armitage, G. (2013) Minimally-intrusive frequent round trip time measurements using Synthetic Packet-Pairs. In: IEEE 38th Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN) 2013, 21 - 24 October 2013, Sydney, Australia

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Accurate and frequent round trip time (RTT) measurements are important in testbeds and operational networks. Active measurement techniques inject probe packets that may modify the behaviour of the observed network and may produce misleading RTT estimates if the network handles probe packets differently to regular packets. Previous passive measurement techniques address these issues, but require precise time synchronisation or are limited to certain traffic types. We introduce Synthetic Packet-Pairs (SPP), a novel passive technique for RTT measurement. SPP provides frequently updated RTT measurements using any network traffic already present in the network without the need for time synchronisation. SPP accurately measures the RTT experienced by any application's traffic, even applications that do not exhibit symmetric client-server packet exchanges. We experimentally demonstrate the advantages of SPP.

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