On the Feasibility of a Large Scale Distributed Testbed for Measuring Quality of Path Characteristic

There is a long line of research on measuring the Quality of Service (QoS) path characteristics of the Internet, such as available bandwidth, path capacity, packets reordering, delay and jitter. Most of the measurement techniques are based on active probing using pairs or trains of packets. The packets are either transmitted back-to-back or at a desired spacing (e.g., to achieve a certain rate). In most cases, one-way active probing techniques are preferred over round trip measurements as they gather less measurement noise.

However, a large scale study of the Internet using such techniques was not feasible due to the need to deploy and manage a large number of packet emitters and sinks. In this paper, we present the design of a system for conducting large scale QoPC measurements. Our novel design is based on the ability to emit packets either back to back or at desired rates using off the shelf MS Windows hosts, thus achieving the ability to use a volunteer community as measurement hosts. We demonstrate experimentally and explain how this can be done, and discuss the system aspects of such a solution.