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## Network Traffic Self-Similarity

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**Network Traffic Self-Similarity**Based on slides by Carey Williamson**Introduction**• A classic measurement study has shown that aggregate Ethernet LAN traffic is self-similar [Leland et al 1993] • A statistical property that is very different from the traditional Poisson-based models • This presentation: definition of network traffic self-similarity, Bellcore Ethernet LAN data, implications of self-similarity**Measurement Methodology**• Collected lengthy traces of Ethernet LAN traffic on Ethernet LAN(s) at Bellcore • High resolution time stamps • Analyzed statistical properties of the resulting time series data • Each observation represents the number of packets (or bytes) observed per time interval (e.g., 10 4 8 12 7 2 0 5 17 9 8 8 2...)**Self-Similarity: The intuition**• If you plot the number of packets observed per time interval as a function of time, then the plot looks ‘‘the same’’ regardless of what interval size you choose • E.g., 10 msec, 100 msec, 1 sec, 10 sec,... • Same applies if you plot number of bytes observed per interval of time**Self-Similarity: The Intuition**• In other words, self-similarity implies a ‘‘fractal-like’’ behavior: no matter what time scale you use to examine the data, you see similar patterns • Implications: • Burstiness exists across many time scales • No natural length of a burst • Key: Traffic does not necessarily get ‘‘smoother” when you aggregate it (unlike Poisson traffic)**Self-Similarity: The Math**• Self-similarity is a rigorous statistical property • (i.e., a lot more to it than just the pretty ‘‘fractal-like’’ pictures) • Assumes you have time series data with finite mean and variance • i.e., covariance stationary stochastic process • Must be a very long time series • infinite is best! • Can test for presence of self-similarity**Self-Similarity: The Math**• Self-similarity manifests itself in several equivalent fashions: • Slowly decaying variance • Long range dependence • Non-degenerate autocorrelations • Hurst effect**Methods of showing Self-Similarity**Estimate H 0.8 H=1 H=0.5 H=0.5**Slowly Decaying Variance**• The variance of the sample decreases more slowly than the reciprocal of the sample size • For most processes, the variance of a sample diminishes quite rapidly as the sample size is increased, and stabilizes soon • For self-similar processes, the variance decreases very slowly, even when the sample size grows quite large**Time-Variance Plot**• The ‘‘variance-time plot” is one means to test for the slowly decaying variance property • Plots the variance of the sample versus the sample size, on a log-log plot • For most processes, the result is a straight line with slope -1 • For self-similar, the line is much flatter**Time Variance Plot**Variance m**Variance-Time Plot**100.0 10.0 Variance of sample on a logarithmic scale Variance 0.01 0.001 0.0001 m**Variance-Time Plot**Variance Sample size m on a logarithmic scale 4 5 6 7 m 1 10 100 10 10 10 10**Variance-Time Plot**Variance m**Variance-Time Plot**Variance m**Variance-Time Plot**Slope = -1 for most processes Variance m**Variance-Time Plot**Variance m**Variance-Time Plot**Slope flatter than -1 for self-similar process Variance m**Long Range Dependence**• Correlation is a statistical measure of the relationship, if any, between two random variables • Positive correlation: both behave similarly • Negative correlation: behave as opposites • No correlation: behavior of one is unrelated to behavior of other**Long Range Dependence**• Autocorrelation is a statistical measure of the relationship, if any, between a random variable and itself, at different time lags • Positive correlation: big observation usually followed by another big, or small by small • Negative correlation: big observation usually followed by small, or small by big • No correlation: observations unrelated**Long Range Dependence**• Autocorrelation coefficient can range between: +1 (very high positive correlation) -1 (very high negative correlation) • Zero means no correlation • Autocorrelation function shows the value of the autocorrelation coefficient for different time lags k**Autocorrelation Function**+1 0 Autocorrelation Coefficient -1 lag k 0 100**Autocorrelation Function**+1 Maximum possible positive correlation 0 Autocorrelation Coefficient -1 lag k 0 100**Autocorrelation Function**+1 0 Autocorrelation Coefficient Maximum possible negative correlation -1 lag k 0 100**Autocorrelation Function**+1 No observed correlation at all 0 Autocorrelation Coefficient -1 lag k 0 100**Autocorrelation Function**+1 0 Autocorrelation Coefficient -1 lag k 0 100**Autocorrelation Function**+1 Significant positive correlation at short lags 0 Autocorrelation Coefficient -1 lag k 0 100**Autocorrelation Function**+1 0 Autocorrelation Coefficient No statistically significant correlation beyond this lag -1 lag k 0 100**Long Range Dependence**• For most processes (e.g., Poisson, or compound Poisson), the autocorrelation function drops to zero very quickly • usually immediately, or exponentially fast • For self-similar processes, the autocorrelation function drops very slowly • i.e., hyperbolically, toward zero, but may never reach zero • Non-summable autocorrelation function**Autocorrelation Function**+1 0 Autocorrelation Coefficient -1 lag k 0 100**Autocorrelation Function**+1 Typical short-range dependent process 0 Autocorrelation Coefficient -1 lag k 0 100**Autocorrelation Function**+1 0 Autocorrelation Coefficient -1 lag k 0 100**Autocorrelation Function**+1 Typical long-range dependent process 0 Autocorrelation Coefficient -1 lag k 0 100**Autocorrelation Function**+1 Typical long-range dependent process 0 Autocorrelation Coefficient Typical short-range dependent process -1 lag k 0 100**Non-Degenerate Autocorrelations**• For self-similar processes, the autocorrelation function for the aggregated process is indistinguishable from that of the original process • If autocorrelation coefficients match for all lags k, then called exactly self-similar • If autocorrelation coefficients match only for large lags k, then called asymptotically self-similar**Autocorrelation Function**+1 Original self-similar process 0 Autocorrelation Coefficient -1 lag k 0 100**Autocorrelation Function**+1 Original self-similar process 0 Autocorrelation Coefficient -1 lag k 0 100**Autocorrelation Function**+1 Original self-similar process 0 Autocorrelation Coefficient Aggregated self-similar process -1 lag k 0 100**Aggregation**• Aggregation of a time series X(t) means smoothing the time series by averaging the observations over non-overlapping blocks of size m to get a new time series Xm(t)**Aggregation Example**• Suppose the original time series X(t) contains the following (made up) values 2 7 4 12 5 0 8 2 8 4 6 9 11 3 3 5 7 2 9 1... • Then the aggregated series for m = 2 is:**Aggregation Example**• Suppose the original time series X(t) contains the following (made up) values: 2 7 4 12 5 0 8 2 8 4 6 9 11 3 3 5 7 2 9 1... • Then the aggregated series for m = 2 is:**Aggregation Example**• Suppose the original time series X(t) contains the following (made up) values: 2 7 4 12 5 0 8 2 8 4 6 9 11 3 3 5 7 2 9 1... • Then the aggregated series for m = 2 is: 4.5**Aggregation example**• Suppose the original time series X(t) contains the following (made up) values: 2 7 4 12 5 0 8 2 8 4 6 9 11 3 3 5 7 2 9 1... • Then the aggregated series for m = 2 is: 4.5 8.0**Aggregation Example**• Suppose the original time series X(t) contains the following (made up) values: 2 7 4 12 5 0 8 2 8 4 6 9 11 3 3 5 7 2 9 1... • Then the aggregated series for m = 2 is: 4.5 8.0 2.5**Aggregation Example**• Suppose the original time series X(t) contains the following (made up) values: 2 7 4 12 5 0 8 2 8 4 6 9 11 3 3 5 7 2 9 1... • Then the aggregated series for m = 2 is: 4.5 8.0 2.5 5.0**Aggregation Example**• Suppose the original time series X(t) contains the following (made up) values: 2 7 4 12 5 0 8 2 8 4 6 9 11 3 3 5 7 2 9 1... • Then the aggregated series for m = 2 is: 4.5 8.0 2.5 5.0 6.0 7.5 7.0 4.0 4.5 5.0...**Aggregation Example**• Suppose the original time series X(t) contains the following (made up) values: 2 7 4 12 5 0 8 2 8 4 6 9 11 3 3 5 7 2 9 1... Then the aggregated time series for m = 5 is:**Aggregation: An Example**• Suppose the original time series X(t) contains the following (made up) values: 2 7 4 12 5 0 8 2 8 4 6 9 11 3 3 5 7 2 9 1... Then the aggregated time series for m = 5 is: