SIGCOMM 2004 Wokshop Papers

Future Directions in Network Architecture

The Case for Separating Routing from Routers
Simplified Layering and Flexible Bandwidth with TWIN
Secure Routerless Routing
A Virtualized Link Layer with Support for Indirection
On Demand Label Switching for Spontaneous Networks
NUTSS: A SIP-based approach to UDP and TCP network connectivity
Steps Towards a DoS-resistant Internet Architecture
Loose Source Routing as a Mechanism for Traffic Policies
Invariants ­ A New Design Methodology for Network Architectures

Practice and Theory of Incentives and Game Theory in Networked Systems

Internet Congestion: A Laboratory Experiment
Experiences Applying Game Theory to System Design
Rethinking Incentives for Mobile Ad Hoc Networks
On the Benefits and Feasibility of Incentive Based Routing Infrastructure
A Case for Taxation in Peer-to-Peer Streaming Broadcast
Near rationality and competitive equilibria in networked systems
Faithfulness in Internet Algorithms
Free-Riding and Whitewashing in Peer-to-Peer Systems

Network and System Support for Games

A Mobile Gaming Platform for the IMS
Lightweight QoS-Support for Networked Mobile Gaming
Feedback, Latency, Accuracy: Exploring Tradeoffs in Location-Aware Gaming
Using Session Initiation Protocol to Build Context-Aware VoIP Support for Multiplayer Networked Games
Implementation of a Service Platform for Online Games
OpenPING: A Reflective Middleware for the Construction of Adaptive Networked Game Applications
Zoned Federation of Game Servers: a Peer-to-Peer Approach to Scalable Multi-player Online games
Realizing Bullet Time Effect in Multiplayer Games with Local Perception Filters
Scalable Peer-to-peer Networked Virtual Environment
Is Runtime Verification Applicable to Cheat Detection?
A Cheat Controlled Protocol for Centralized Online Multiplayer Games
The Effects of Loss and Latency on User Performance in Unreal Tournament 2003
Objective and Subjective Evaluation of the Influence of Small Amounts of Delay and Jitter on a Recent First Person Shooter Game
Thoughts on Emulating Jitter for User Experience Trials
Accuracy in Dead-Reckoning Based Distributed Multi-Player Games

Network Troubleshooting: Research, Theory and Operations Practice Meet Malfunctioning Reality

H.323 Beacon Tool: An H.323 Application Related End-to-End Performance Troubleshooting Tool
Experiences in Traceroute and Available Bandwidth Change Analysis
A Wavelet-Based Framework for Proactive Detection of Network Misconfigurations
Path Diagnosis with IPMP
Distributed DNS Troubleshooting
Is Your Caching Resolver Polluting the Internet?
Mohonk: Mobile honeypots to trace unwanted traffic early
Identifying IPv6 Network Problems in the Dual-Stack World
Troubleshooting on Intra-Domain Routing Instability
Fixing BGP, One AS at a Time
Locating BGP Missing Routes Using Multiple Perspectives
IP Forwarding Anomalies and Improving their Detection Using Multiple Data Sources
A Measurement Framework for Pinpointing Routing Changes


The Case for Seperating Routing from Routers

Nick Feamster (MIT),  Hari Balakrishnan (MIT),  Jennifer Rexford (AT&T Labs--Research),  Aman Shaikh (AT&T Labs--Research),  Kobus van der Merwe (AT&T Labs--Research)

Abstract:




Over the past decade, the complexity of the Internet’s routing infrastructure has increased dramatically. This complexity and the problems it causes stem not just from various new demands made of the routing infrastructure, but also from fundamental limitations in the ability of today’s distributed infrastructure to scalably cope with new requirements.  The limitations in today’s routing system arise in large part from the fully distributed path-selection computation that the IP routers in an autonomous system (AS) must perform. To overcome this weakness, interdomain routing should be separated from today’s IP routers, which should simply forward packets (for the most part).  Instead, a separate Routing Control Platform (RCP) should select
routes on behalf of the IP routers in each AS and exchange reachability information with other domains. Our position is that an approach like RCP is a good way of coping with complexity while being responsive to new demands and can lead to a routing system that is substantially easier to manage than today. We present a design overview of RCP based on three architectural principles—path computation based on a consistent view of network state, controlled interactions between routing protocol layers, and expressive specification of routing policies—and discuss the architectural strengths and weaknesses of our proposal.


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Simplified Layering and Flexible Bandwidth with TWIN

Indra Widjaja (Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies), Iraj Saniee (Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies)

Abstract:




This paper describes a novel network architecture with simplifed layering, called Time-domain Wavelength Interleaved Networking (TWIN), that scales end-to-end bandwidth granularity flexibly up to the wavelength capacity. In TWIN, all packet and complex processing functions are pushed to the network edge such that the network core only has to deal with an optical forwarding layer. Furthermore, by avoiding fast optical switching and optical buffering in the core through scheduling fast-tunable lasers and buffering packets at the edge, TWIN effectively makes the network act like a switch. We examine distributed network scheduling for this architecture and show its performance via analysis and simulation. We also explore other research issues that are unique in TWIN.


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Secure Routerless Routing

Vince Grolmusz (Eotvos University),  Zoltan Kiraly (Eotvos University)

Abstract:




Suppose that there are n Senders and r Receivers. Our goal is to design a communication network such that long messages can be sent from Sender i to Receiver π(i) such that no other receiver can retrieve the message intended for Receiver π(i). The task can easily be completed using some classical interconnection network and routers in the network. Alternatively, if every Receiver is directly connected to all n Senders, then the Senders can choose which channel to
use for communication, without using any router. Fast optical networks are slowed down considerably if routers are inserted in their nodes. Moreover, handling queues or buffers at the routers is extremely hard in all-optical setting. An obvious routerless solution, connecting each possible Sender-Receiver pairs with direct channels seems to be infeasible in most cases. The main result of the present work is the mathematical model of two networks and corresponding networkprotocols in which the Senders and the Receivers are connected with only ro(1) channels (in practice no more than 32 channels in both networks); there are no switching or routing-elements in the network, just linear combinations of the signals are computed. Such designs would be usable in fast all-optical networks. In the proof of the security of the networks we do not use any unproven cryptographical or complexity theoretical assumptions: the security is information-theoretically proved, and does not depend on cryptographical primitives.


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A Virtualized Link Layer with Support for Indirection

Richard Gold (Uppsala University),  Per Gunningberg (Uppsala University),  Christian Tschudin (University of Basel)

Abstract:




The current Internet today hosts several extensions for indirection like Mobile IP, NAT, proxies, route selection and various network overlays. At the same time, user-controlled indirection mechanisms foreseen in the Internet architecture (e.g., loose source routing) cannot be used to implement these extensions. This is a consequence of the Internet’s indirection semantics not being rich enough at some places and too rich at others. In order to achieve a more uniform handling of indirection we propose SelNet, a network architecture that is based on a virtualized link layer with explicit indirection support.  Indirection in this context refers to user-controlled steering of packet flows through the network. We discuss the architectural implications of such a scheme and report on implementation progress.


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On Demand Label Switching for Spontaneous Networks

Vincent Untz (IMAG), Martin Heusse (IMAG), Franck Rousseau (IMAG), Andrzej Duda (IMAG)

Abstract:




We consider the problem of interconnecting hosts in spontaneous edge networks composed of various types of wired or wireless physical and link layer technologies. All or some hosts in a spontaneous network can be organized as a multihop ad hoc network, connected or not to the global Internet.  We argue that this kind of networks requires a more sophisticated approach than standard IP forwarding: communication paths should be managed on a per flow basis, multiple
paths need to be maintained to cope with link failures or changing topologies, and the interconnection architecture should provide information on destination reachability.  We have designed and implemented Lilith, a prototype of an interconnection node for spontaneous edge networks.  We handle network dynamics by establishing MPLS (MultiProtocol Label Switching) label switched paths (LSP) on demand with a reactive ad hoc routing protocol. Interconnection
at layer 2.5 makes all the hosts to appear as one single IP subnet so that configuration protocols can use the subnet broadcast for all forms of discovery (addresses, names, services).  Performance measurements of the Lilith implementation on Linux show good performance compared with standard IP forwarding and important performance gains when multiple paths are used.


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NUTSS: A SIP-based Approach to UDP and TCP Network Connectivity

Saikat Guha (Cornell University),  Yutaka Takeda (Cornell University),  Paul Francis (Cornell University)

Abstract:




The communications establishment capability of the Session Initiation Protocol is being expanded by the IETF to include establishing network layer connectivity for UDP for a range of scenarios, including where hosts are behind NAT boxes, and host are running IPv6. So far, this work has been limited to UDP because of the assumed impossibility of establishing TCP connections through NAT, and because of the difficulty of predicting port assignments on certain common types of NATs. This paper reports on preliminary success in establishing TCP connections through NAT, and on port prediction. In so doing, we suggest that it may be appropriate for SIP to take a broader architectural role in P2P network layer connectivity for both IPv4 and IPv6.


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Steps Towards a DoS-Resistant Internet Architecture

Mark Handley (UCL), Adam Greenhalgh (UCL)

Abstract:




Defending against DoS attacks is extremely difficult; effective solutions probably require significant changes to the Internet architecture.  We present a series of architectural changes aimed at preventing most flooding DoS attacks, and making the remaining attacks easier to defend against. The goal is to stimulate a debate on tradeoffs between the flexibility needed for future Internet evolution and the need to be robust to attack.


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Loose Source Routing as a Mechanism for Traffic Policies

Katerina Argyraki (Stanford University),  David Cheriton (Stanford University)

Abstract:




Internet packet delivery policies have been of concern since the earliest times of the Internet, as witnessed by the presence of the Type of Service (ToS) eld in the IPv4 header. Efforts continue today with Differentiated Services (DiffServ) and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). We claim
that these approaches have not succeeded because they re- quire, either explicitly or subtly, a network-layer virtual circuit mechanism.  In this paper, we describe how adding a form of Loose
Source and Record Route (LSRR) capability into the next generation Internet provides adequate support for transmit and receive policies, including filtering, while avoiding the problems of virtual circuits and the original problems with LSRR in IPv4.


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Invariants: A New Design Methodology for Network Architectures

Bengt Ahlgren (Swedish Institute of Computer Science), Marcus Brunner (NEC Network Laboratories),  Lars Eggert (NEC Network Laboratories), Robert Hancock (Siemens/Roke Manor Research), Stefan Schmid (NEC Network Laboratories)

Abstract:




The first age of Internet architectural thinking concentrated on defining the correct principles for designing a packet-switched network and its application protocol suites. Although these same
principles remain valid today, they do not address the question of how to reason about the evolution of the Internet or its interworking with other networks of very different heritages. This
paper proposes a complementary methodology, motivated by the view that evolution and interworking flexibility are determined not so much by the principles applied during initial design, but by the choice of fundamental components or “design invariants” in terms of which the design is expressed. The paper discusses the characteristics of such invariants, including examples from the Internet and other networks, and considers what attributes of invariants best support architectural flexibility.


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Internet Congestion: A Laboratory Experiment

Daniel Friedman (UCSC), Bernardo Huberman (HP Labs)

Abstract:




Human players and automated players (bots) interact in real time in a congested network. A player’s revenue is proportional to the number of successful “downloads” and his cost is proportional to his total waiting time. Congestion arises because waiting time is an increasing random function of the number of uncompleted download attempts by all players. Surprisingly, some human players earn considerably higher profits than bots. Bots are better able to exploit periods of excess capacity, but they create endogenous trends in congestion that human players are better able to exploit. Nash equilibrium does a good job of predicting the impact of network capacity and noise amplitude. Overall efficiency is quite low, however, and players overdissipate
potential rents, i.e., earn lower profits than in Nash equilibrium..


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Experiences Applying Game Theory to System Design

Ratul Mahajan (U. Wash.), Maya Rodrig (U. Wash.),  David Wetherall (U. Wash.), John Zahorjan (U. Wash.)

Abstract:




We applied techniques from game theory to help formulate and analyze solutions to two systems problems: discouraging selfishness in multi-hop wireless networks and enabling cooperation among ISPs in the Internet. It proved difficult to do so. This paper reports on our experiences and explains the issues that we encountered. It describes the ways in which the straightforward use of results from traditional game theory did not fit well with the requirements of our problems. It also identifies an important characteristic of the solutions we did eventually adopt that distinguishes them from those available using game theoretic approaches. We hope that this discussion will help to highlight formulations of game theory which are well-suited for problems involving computer systems.


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Rethinking Incentives for Mobile Ad Hoc Networks

Elgan Huang (U. Cambridge), Jon Crowcroft (U. Cambridge), Ian Wassell (U.Cambridge)

Abstract:




Without sufficient nodes cooperating to provide relaying functions, a mobile ad hoc network cannot function properly.  Consequently various proposals have been made which provide incentives for individual users of an ad hoc mobile network to cooperate with each other. In this paper we examine this problem and analyse the drawbacks of currently proposed incentive systems. We then argue that there may not be a need for incentive systems at all, especially in the early stages of adoption, where excessive complexity can only hurt the deployment of ad hoc networks. We look at the needs of different customer segments at each stage of the technological adoption cycle and propose that incentive systems should not be used until ad hoc networks enter mainstream markets. Even then, incentive systems should be tailored to the needs of each individual application rather than adopting a generalised approach that may be flawed or too technically demanding to be implemented in reality.


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On the Benefits and Feasibility of Incentive Based Routing Infrastructure

Mike Afergan (MIT), John Wroclawski (MIT)

Abstract:




Routing on the Internet today is as much about money as it is traffic. The business relationships of an ISP largely dictate its routing policy and drive the work of its engineers. In today's routing mechanism, this leads to a number of well-known pathologies. This structure is further challenged by the emergence of user-directed routing.  This paper explores these challenges and argues for the introduction of explicit incentives (prices) into the routing fabric of the Internet. We argue that doing so addresses limitations of the current system that are significant today and will only be exacerbated by user-directed routing. To support this claim, we describe the benefits and properties of incentive-based routing frameworks and demonstrate how such frameworks can be applied to a number of routing architectures, including BGP.


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A Case for Taxation in Peer-to-Peer Streaming Broadcast

Yang-hua Chu (CMU), John Chuang (UC Berkeley), Hui Zhang (CMU)

Abstract:




Most existing research on peer-to-peer (p2p) has been on file sharing applications. In this paper, we focus on p2p streaming applications. In particular, we argue that the Bit-for-Bit model, widely adopted in p2p file sharing, is not applicable in p2p streaming. In p2p streaming, the bottleneck resource is the upstream bandwidth capacity. Our empirical experience with p2p streaming indicates that a large percent of peers on the Internet have limited upstream bandwidth capacity,
and the Bit-for-Bit model severely limits the amount of bandwidth these resource-poor peers can receive. To address this issue, we propose a taxation model. In the taxation model, resource-rich peers contribute more bandwidth to the system, and subsidize for the resourcepoor peers. This redistribution of wealth improves social welfare. Such a model is applicable in the streaming context because the publisher of the video stream has the means to enforce taxation on peers and the will to maximize their collective social welfare. We design a simple linear taxation scheme and incorporate it in a distributed streaming protocol. Our simulation results indicate that taxation can significantly improve social welfare without incurring a significant overhead to the system.


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Near Rationality and Competitive Equilibria in Networked Systems

Nicolas Christin (UC Berkeley), Jens Grossklags (UC Berkeley), John Chuang(UC Berkeley)

Abstract:




A growing body of literature in networked systems research relies on game theory and mechanism design to model and address the potential lack of cooperation between self-interested users. Most game-theoretic models applied to system research only describe competitive equilibria in terms of pure Nash equilibria, that is, a situation where the strategy of each user is deterministic, and is her best response to the strategies of all the other users. However, the assumptions necessary for a pure Nash equilibrium to hold may be too stringent for practical systems. Using three case studies on network formation, computer security, and TCP congestion control, we outline the limits of game-theoretic models relying on Nash equilibria, and we argue that considering competitive equilibria of a more general form helps in assessing the accuracy of a game theoretic model, and can even help in reconciling predictions from game-theoretic models with empirically observed behavior.


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Faithfulness in Internet Algorithms

Jeff Shneidman (Harvard), David Parkes (Harvard), Laurent Massoulie (Microsoft Research)

Abstract:




Proving or disproving faithfulness (a property describing robustness to rational manipulation in action as well as information revelation) is an appealing goal when reasoning about distributed systems containing rational participants.  Recent work formalizes the notion of faithfulness and its foundation properties, and presents a general proof technique in the course of proving the ex post Nash faithfulness of a theoretical routing problem [11].

In this paper, we use a less formal approach and take some first steps in faithfulness analysis for existing algorithms running on the Internet. To this end, we consider the expected faithfulness of BitTorrent, a popular file download system, and show how manual backtracing (similar to the the ideas behind program slicing [22]) can be used to find rational manipulation problems. Although this primitive technique has serious drawbacks, it can be useful in disproving faithfulness.

Building provably faithful Internet protocols and their corresponding specifications can be quite difficult depending on the system knowledge assumptions and problem complexity.  We present some of the open problems that are associated with these challenges.


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Free-Riding and Whitewashing in Peer-to-Peer Systems

Michal Feldman (UC Berkeley), Christos Papadimitriou (UC Berkeley), Ion Stoica (UC Berkeley), John Chuang (UC Berkeley)

Abstract:




We develop a model to study the phenomenon of free-riding in peer-to-peer (P2P) systems. At the heart of our model is a user of a certain type, an intrinsic and private parameter that re
ects the user's willingness to contribute resources to the system. A user decides whether to contribute or free-ride based on how the current contribution cost in the system compares to her type. When the societal generosity (i.e., the average type) is low, intervention is required in order to sustain the system. We present the effect of mechanisms that exclude low type users or, more realistic, penalize free-riders with degraded service. We also consider dynamic scenarios with arrivals and departures of users, and with white-washers: users who leave the system and rejoin with new identities to avoid reputational penalties. We find that when penalty is imposed on all newcomers in order to avoid whitewashing, system performance degrades significantly only when the turnover rate among users is high.


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A Mobile Gaming Platform for the IMS

Amjad Akkawi, Sibylle Schaller, Oliver Wellnitz, Lars Wolf

Abstract:




Mobile devices offer the opportunity to play games nearly everywhere. Moreover, networked games allow individual players to interact with other people and to participate in a larger gaming
world, which also provides for new business opportunities.  Hence, we currently see an increased interest from game developers, providers and players in mobile games. In this paper we propose a novel architecture and platform for games on the IMS. This allows games to utilize the features and capabilities that are inherent to the IMS. At the same time existing games can be flexibly adapted to this new type of network and have the possibility to reserve network resources for game data transmission, thus improving the experience of players.


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Lightweight QoS-Support for Networked Mobile Gaming

Marcel Busse, Bernd Lamparter, Martin Mauve, Wolfgang Effelsberg

Abstract:




In this paper, we present an approach to provide Quality of Service (QoS) for networked mobile gaming. In order to examine the QoS requirements of mobile games, we ported a simple real-time game called GAV (GPL Arcade Volleyball) to a PDA and performed several traffic measurements over both GPRS and UMTS networks.  We show that due to high end-to-end delay and delay jitter, realtime games are not supported by GPRS. While UMTS improves both delay and jitter, it still does not match the requirements of real-time games. The key reason for this problem is that overprovisioning, as it is used to allow real-time games in the Internet, is very
expensive in mobile networks. At the same time, QoS classes for mobile networks are not tailored to real-time games. In order to reduce delay and jitter for this application class, while still accounting for the very bursty nature of real-time game flows, we propose to use a combination of statistical multiplexing and QoS guarantees.  The general idea is to aggregate multiple game flows and perform reservation for that aggregate. As a theoretical background, we use a queuing system based model. Through simulation of a sample network with the traffic data generated by GAV, we validate our assumptions and demonstrate the performance and characteristics of
our approach.


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Feedback, Latency, Accuracy: Exploiting Tradeoffs in Location-Aware Gaming

Kieran Mansley, David Scott, Alastair Tse, Anil Madhavapeddy

Abstract:




We are witnessing the development of large-scale location systems and a corresponding rise in the popularity of location-aware applications, especially games. Traditional computer games have pushed the limits of CPU and graphics card performance for many years and experience suggests that location-aware games will place similar demands upon location systems. Unlike traditional gaming platforms however, the mobile devices that interact with location systems
are heavily constrained especially in the number of ways that feedback can be provided.

In this paper we describe a location-aware, fast-paced, close quarters action game and use it to experiment with three key components of future location-aware gaming platforms: (i) the location
system, (ii) the network to connect the mobile devices, and (iii) the feedback and computational capabilities of the mobile devices themselves.

We investigate the tradeoffs that are possible between these components, the effect of the feedback channel and the suitability of Bluetooth as a network for mobile game devices.


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Using Session Initiation Protocol to Build Context-Aware VOIP Support for Multiplayer Networked Games

Aameek Singh, Arup Acharya

Abstract:




Multiplayer networked games are the trend of the day. Receiving a major boost from various commercial ventures like Microsoft Xbox  [19] and Sony Playstation  [13], the networked gaming industry is set to grow dramatically. These multiplayer games allow geographically dispersed and possibly distant players to participate in a single game. In order to provide interaction amongst players in such environments, text messaging and recently, real-time voice interaction through VoIP is used. However, such interactions are mostly out-of-band (not based on game contexts), user-initiated and limited in operability, failing to exploit the entire potential and functionality of VoIP. 

In this paper, we present mechanisms and design of a prototype that allows game-context based VoIP communication between players. Thus, in addition to allowing players to talk to each other to coordinate teammates and activities (through a static team-based audio conference) as in some of the current systems, it supports communication among players based on shared contexts like the same physical location or room within the gaming environment. We use the
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) [14] to realize VoIP and describe mechanisms for building network gaming services using SIP. We also propose a sophisticated gaming scenario, in which VoIP is used to relay information about another player's distance and location with respect to the recipient, e.g. players farther away sound farther away.


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Implementation of a Service Platform for Online Games

Anees Shaikh, Sambit Sahu, Marcel Rosu, Michael Shea, Debanjan Saha

Abstract:




Large-scale multiplayer online games require considerable investment in hosting infrastructures. However, the difficulty of predicting the success of a new title makes investing in dedicated server
and network resources very risky. A shared infrastructure based on utility computing models to support multiple games offers an attractive option for game providers whose core competency is not in managing large server deployments.

In this paper we describe a prototype implementation of a shared, on demand service platform for online games. The platform builds on open standards and off-the-shelf software developed to support utility computing offerings for Web-based business applications. We describe our early experience with identifying appropriate performance metrics for provisioning game servers and with implementing the platform components that we consider essential for its acceptance.


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OpenPING: A Reflective Middleware for the Construction of Adaptive Networked Game Applications

Paul Okanda, Gordon Blair

Abstract:




The emergence of distributed Virtual Reality (VR) applications that run over the Internet has presented networked game application designers with new challenges. In an environment where the public internet streams multimedia data and is constantly under pressure to deliver over widely heterogeneous user-platforms, there has been a growing need that distributed VR applications be aware of and adapt to frequent variations in their context of execution. In this paper, we argue that in contrast to research efforts targeted at improvement of scalability, persistence and responsiveness capabilities, much less attempts have been aimed at addressing the flexibility, maintainability and extensibility requirements in contemporary distributed VR platforms. We propose the use of structural reflection as an approach that not only addresses these requirements but also offers added value in the form of providing a framework for scalability, persistence and responsiveness that is itself flexible, maintainable and extensible. We also present an adaptive middleware platform implementation called OpenPING1 that supports our proposal in addressing these requirements.


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Zoned Federation of Game Servers: A Peer-to-Peer Approach to Scalable Multi-Player Online Games

Takuji Iimura, Hiroaki Hazeyama, Youki Kadobayashi

Abstract:




Today’s Multi-player Online Games (MOGs) are challenged by infrastructure requirements, because of their server-centric nature. Peer-to-peer networks are an interesting alternative, if they can implement the set of functions that are traditionally performed by centralized authoritative servers. In this paper, we propose a zoned federation model to adapt MOG to peer-to-peer networks. In this model, zoning layer is inserted between the game program and peer-to-peer networks. We introduce the concept of zone and zone owner to MOG. Zone is some part of the whole game world, and zone owner is an authoritative server of a specific zone. According to the demands of the game program, each node actively changes its role to zone owner and works in the same way as a centralized authoritative server. By dividing the whole game world into several
zones, workloads of the centralized authoritative game server can be distributed to a federation of nodes. We have implemented the zoned federation model, and evaluate it with a prototypical multi-player game. Evaluation results indicate that our proposed approach is applicable to small and medium-sized MOGs, where the number of nodes is less than 500.


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Realizing Bullet Time Effect in Multiplayer Games with Local Perception Filters

Jouni Smed, Henrik Niinisalo, Harri Hakonen

Abstract:




Local perception filters exploit the limitations of human perception to reduce the effects of network latency in multiplayer computer games. Because they allow temporal distortions in the rendered view, they can be modified to realize bullet time effect, where a player can get more reaction time by slowing down the surrounding game world. In this paper, we examine the concepts behind local perception filters and extend them to cover artificially increased delays. The presented methods are implemented in a testbench program, which is used to study the usability and limitations of the approach.


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Scalable Peer-to-Peer Networked Virtual Environment

Shun-Yun Hu, Guan-Ming Liao

Abstract:




We propose a fully-distributed peer-to-peer architecture to solve the scalability problem of Networked Virtual Environment in a simple and efficient manner. Our method exploits locality of user interest inherent to such systems and is based on the mathematical construct Voronoi diagram. Scalable, responsive, fault-tolerant NVE can thus be constructed and deployed in an affordable way.


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Is Runtime Verification Applicable to Cheat Detection?

Margaret DeLap, Bjorn Knutsson, Honghui Lu, Oleg Sokolsky, Usa Sammapun, Insup Lee, Christos Tsarouchis

Abstract:




We investigate the prospect of applying runtime verification to cheat detection. Game implementation bugs are extensively exploited by cheaters, especially in massively multiplayer games. As games are implemented on larger scales and game object interactions become more complex, it becomes increasingly difficult to guarantee that high-level game rules are enforced correctly in the implementation.  We observe that although implementing high-level rules in code is complex because of interference between rules, checking for rule compliance at runtime is simple because only a single rule is involved in each check. We demonstrate our idea by applying the Java-MaC runtime verification system to a simple game to detect a transaction bug that is common in massively multiplayer games.


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A Cheat Controlled Protocol for Centralized Online Multiplayer Games

Bei Di Chen, Muthucumaru Maheswaran

Abstract:




Ordering of command messages from the clients at the game servers is an important issue that impacts fairness, response times, and smoothness of the game play. Recently, protocols based on “reaction” times were proposed to order the command messages. This paper presents a protocol that can be used to control cheating in reaction time based message ordering schemes. We examine the performance of the proposed protocol by emulating wide-area game play scenarios on the Planet-Lab. The results from the experiments indicate that the proposed protocol is able to dramatically reduce the cheating opportunities that exist for the clients.


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The Effects of Loss and Latency on User Performance in Unreal Tournament 2003

Tom Beigbeder, Rory Coughlan, Corey Lusher, John Plunkett, Emmanuel Agu, Mark Claypool

Abstract:




The growth in the popularity of interactive network games has increased the importance of a better understanding of the effects of packet loss and latency on user performance.  While previous work on network games has studied user tolerance for high latencies and has studied the effects of latency on user performance in real-time strategy games, to the best of our knowledge, there has been no systematic study of the effects of loss and latency on user performance.  In this paper we study user performance for Unreal Tournament 2003 (UT2003), a popular first person shooter game, under varying amounts of packet loss and latency. First, we
deduced typical real world values of packet loss and latency experienced on the Internet by monitoring numerous operational UT2003 game servers. We then used these deduced values of loss and latency in a controlled networked environment that emulated various conditions of loss and latency, allowing us to monitor UT2003 at the network, application and user levels. We designed maps that isolated the fundamental first person shooter interaction components of movement and shooting, and conducted numerous user studies under controlled network conditions. We find that typical ranges of packet loss have no impact on user performance or
on the quality of game play. The levels of latency typical for most UT2003 Internet servers, while sometimes unpleasant, do not significantly affect the outcome of the game. Since most first person shooter games typically consist of generic player actions similar to those that we tested, we believe that these results have broader implications.


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Objective and Subjective Evaluation of the Influence of Small Amounts of Delay and Jitter on a Recent First Person Shooter Game

Peter Quax, Patrick Monsieurs, Wim Lamotte, Danny De Vleeschauwer, Natalie Degrande

Abstract:




There have been several studies in the past years that investigate the impact of network delay on multi-user applications.  Primary examples of these applications are real-time multiplayer games. These studies have shown that high network delays and jitter may indeed influence the player’s perception of the quality of the game. However, the proposed test values, which are often high, are not always representative for a large percentile of on-line game players. We have therefore investigated the influence of delay and jitter with numbers that are more representative for typical access networks. This in effect allows us to simulate a setup with multiplayer game servers that are located at ISP level and players connected through that ISP’s access network. To obtain further true-to-life results, we opted to carry out the test using a recent first person shooter (FPS) game, Unreal Tournament 2003. It can, after all, be expected that this new generation of games has built-in features to diminish the effect of small delay values, given the popularity of playing
these games over the Internet. In this paper, we have investigated both subjective perceived quality and objective measurements and will show that both are indeed influenced by even these small delay and jitter values.


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Thoughts on Emulating Jitter for User Experience Trials

Grenville Armitage, Lawrence Stewart

Abstract:




It is usually hard to control the network conditions affecting public online game servers when studying the impact of latency, loss and jitter on user experience. This leads to a natural desire for running user-experience trials under controlled network conditions, and hence a requirement for accurate (or at least predictable) emulation of IP level latency, loss and jitter on a localized network testbed. In this short paper we reflect on some experiences with running userexperience
trials, and specifically evaluate the utility and limitations of using FreeBSD’s kernel-resident dummynet module to introduce controlled jitter. We expect these insights will stimulate further userexperience trials built around low-cost, unix-based networking tools.


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Accuracy in Dead-Reckoning Based Distributed Multiplayer Games

Sudhir Aggarwal, Hemant Banavar, Amit Khandelwal, Sarit Mukherjee, Sampath Rangarajan

Abstract:




Distributed multi-player games use dead reckoning vectors to intimate other (at a distance) participating players about the movement of any entity by a controlling player. The dead reckoning vector contains the current position of the entity and the velocity components.  When a participating player receives a vector, traditionally it puts the entity at the current position specified by the vector and starts projecting the path of the entity from that point using the local clock of the receiver. In this paper we show that this traditional method of usage of dead reckoning vector brings in inaccuracy in the receivers’ rendering of the entity. This inaccuracy can be substantial even with low network delay between the senderreceiver pairs and increases with network delay. We propose the use of globally synchronized clocks among the participating players and a time-stamp augmented dead reckoning vector that enables the receiver to render the entity accurately. We modified the popular game BZFlag with this technique, and compared the accuracy seen in game playing using the traditional method and the proposed technique. We conducted several types of experiments varying the frequency of generation of dead reckoning vectors and the delay between the sender and the receivers. The experiments show significant
quantitative improvement in accuracy even for 100ms delay between the sender-receiver pairs and appreciable qualitative improvement in game playing experience.


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H.323 Beacon Tool: An H.323 Application Related End-to-End Performance Troubleshooting Tool

Prasad Calyam (OARnet), Weiping Mandrawa (OARnet), Mukundan Sridharan (The Ohio State University), Arif Khan (OARnet), Paul Schopis (OARnet)

Abstract:




H.323 protocol based Voice and Video conferencing solutions are established popular technologies both in industry and academia. However, these bandwidth intensive applications
are often plagued by various performance problems.  In this paper we describe a few common end-to-end performance problems noticed over several years in our ITU-T H.323 protocol-based ”Video and Voice over IP” (VVoIP) infrastructure and provide a tool for troubleshooting these
performance issues. Based on our operations experiences, we are developing a tool called the ”H.323 Beacon” to measure, monitor and qualify the performance of H.323 sessions.  We describe the development architecture and feature set of the H.323 Beacon, which can be used by a novice end-user, network engineer or conference-operator using VVoIP systems. H.323 Beacon is an application-specific network measurement tool that provides H.323-protocol specific evidence and other information necessary to troubleshoot H.323 application performance in the network and at the host (endto-end). We also present 2 use-cases for the H.323 Beacon that demonstrate the utility of the tool for VVoIP performance debugging. Finally, we outline essential best practices for prevention and efficient resolution of intermittent and imminent failures of H.323 VVoIP applications.


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Experiences in Traceroute and Available Bandwidth Change Analysis

Connie Logg (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center), R. Les Cottrell (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center)

Abstract:




SLAC has been studying end-to-end WAN bandwidth availability and achievability for 2.5 years via IEPM-BW [1]. IEPM-BW performs network intensive tests every 90 minutes. Based on that
experience we have also developed a light weight available bandwidth (ABwE [2]) measurement tool that can make a measurement within a second. We are now extending this to a WAN measurement and detection system (IEPM-LITE) aimed at more quickly detecting and troubleshooting network performance problems and also to be more friendly on lower performance
paths. IEPM-LITE uses ping, forward traceroutes, and ABwE sensors to monitor, in close to real-time, Round Trip Times (RTT), changes in available bandwidth and routes to and from target hosts. This paper discusses the experiences, techniques and algorithms used to detect and report on significant traceroute and bandwidth changes. The ultimate aim is to develop a lightweight WAN network performance monitoring system that can detect, in near real time, significant changes and generate alerts.


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A Wavelet-Based Framework for Proactive Detection of Network Misconfigurations

Antonio Magnaghi (Fujitsu Laboratories of America), Takeo Hamada (Fujitsu Laboratories of America), Tsuneo Katsuyama (Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.)

Abstract:




An increasing number of misconfigurations and malicious behaviors threaten the normal operation conditions of data networks. Thus, field engineers are constantly presented with the challenge of isolating new misconfigurations and anomalies. In this paper, we present a group of real-world problems reported by a set of six commercial networks we surveyed. Successively, we focus on a well-defined family of misconfigurations. Our analysis identifies common properties such anomalous behaviors share. Misconfigured TCP flows experience packet losses and RTObased
(Retransmission Time-Out) events during the opening phase of the TCP connection (“Early RTO Events”). This introduces precise correlations in misconfigured traffic that we utilize as a “signature” in order to isolate the presence of anomalies. We propose a wavelet-based algorithm that is capable of revealing such a family of anomalies from the analysis of MIB data aggregating healthy and anomalous flows. Simulation and the use of real datasets from a commercial network allow us to quantitatively assess the effectiveness of our detection procedure. Numerical results show that our algorithm can effectively isolate the presence of an anomalous traffic component that is a minimal percentage of the overall link throughput. Therefore, our approach
provides a general and highly sensitive misconfiguration detection instrument.


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Path Diagnosis with IPMP

Matthew Luckie (University of Waikato / NLANR MNA), Tony McGregor (University of Waikato / NLANR MNA)

Abstract:




The ability to measure and identify performance fault locations on an Internet path between two hosts is an important first step towards diagnosing and correcting a fault or avoiding fault locations entirely. The ability to identify fault locations on both the forward and reverse paths from a single point would be very powerful for both operators and users. Rather than describing a tool for path diagnosis per se, this paper describes how one could apply a simple measurement
protocol to diagnose faults.


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Distributed DNS Troubleshooting

Vasileios Pappas (UCLA), Patrik Fältström (Cisco), Daniel Massey (ISI), Lixia Zhang (UCLA)

Abstract:




In this paper we present a troubleshooting tool designed to identify a number of DNS configuration errors. These errors range from commonly seen misconfigurations that are well known among DNS operators, such as lame delegations, to less known ones, such as cyclic zone dependencies. Left unnoticed, these misconfigurations can seriously affect the availability of the DNS infrastructure.  Instead of explicitly enumerating all possible configuration errors,
we first identify two essential properties that characterize a correct DNS configuration, and detect misconfigurations as violations of these properties. We also utilize multiple monitoring points to
identify configuration errors that are difficult or impossible to pin down with a single vantage point. Furthermore, equipped with a comprehensive graphical user interface, our tool provides network
operators with a tangible view of their DNS zones’ configuration and the errors that may affect their availability.


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Is Your Caching Resolver Polluting the Internet?

Duane Wessels (CAIDA and The Measurement Factory)

Abstract:




Previous research has shown that most of the DNS queries reaching the root of the hierarchy are bogus [1]. This behavior derives from two constraints on the system: (1) queries that cannot be satisfied locally percolate up to the root of the DNS; (2) some caching nameservers are behind packet filters or firewalls that allow outgoing queries but block incoming replies. These resolvers assume the network failure is temporary and retransmit their queries, often aggressively. 

DNS pollution may not be causing any perceivable performance problems. The root servers seem well equipped to handle the load. Since DNS messages are small, the pollution does not contribute significantly to the total traffic generated by most organizations. Nonetheless, this paper provides a few reasons why network operators should take the time to investigate and fix these problems.


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Mohonk: Mobine Honeypots to Trace Unwanted Traffic Early

Balachander Krishnamurthy (AT&T Labs--Research)

Abstract:




Honeypots have been traditionally used to advertise dark address space and gather information about originators of traffic to such addresses. With simple thresholding mechanisms this technique has shown itself to be fairly effective in identifying suspicious IP addresses. Honeypots are however unsuitable to locate the precise entry point of unwanted traffic. Tracing back to the origination of such traffic is hard due to the delay and difficulty of maintaining state along the
path of such traffic. We propose a novel mobile honeypot mechanism that allows unwanted traffic to be detected significantly closer to the origin. The mobility in our scheme stems from additional information that is made available to the upstream ASes as well as the changes in the set of
dark address space advertised. Sharing information with a network of friendly ASes has the potential to identify and significantly lower unwanted traffic on such links.


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Identifying IPv6 Network Problems in a Dual-Stack World

Kenjiro Cho (Sony Computer Science Labs, Inc.), Matthew Luckie (University of Waikato),    Bradley Huffaker (CAIDA)

Abstract:




One of the major hurdles limiting IPv6 adoption is the existence of poorly managed experimental IPv6 sites that negatively affect the perceived quality of the IPv6 Internet. To assist network operators in improving IPv6 networks, we are exploring methods to identify wide-area IPv6 network problems.  Our approach makes use of parallel IPv4 and IPv6 connectivity to dual-stacked nodes.

We identify the existence of an IPv6 path problem by comparing IPv6 delay measurements to IPv4 delay measurements.  Our test results indicate that the majority of IPv6 paths have delay characteristics comparable to those of IPv4, although a small number of paths exhibit a much
larger delay with IPv6. Thus, we hope to improve the quality of the IPv6 Internet by identifying the worst set of problems. 

Our methodology is simple. We create a list of systems with IPv6 and IPv4 addresses in actual use by monitoring DNS messages. We then measure delay to each address in order to select a few systems per site based on their IPv6:IPv4 response-time ratios. Finally, we run traceroute with Path MTU discovery to the selected systems and then visualize the results for comparative path analysis. This paper presents the tools used to support this study, and the results of our measurements conducted from two locations in Japan and one in Spain.


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Troubleshooting on Intra-Domain Routing Instability

Zhang Shu (National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan), Youki Kadobayashi (Nara Institute of Science and Technology)

Abstract:




Routing instability is a problem directly affecting the reliability of the Internet. While a great deal of effort has been committed to inter-domain routing instability, studies on intra-domain routing have been quite limited. Most network operators still do not have sufficient knowledge on this problem and often complain that: (i) They do not know to what extent the intra-domain routing instability can occur on their networks because this is difficult to detect, and (ii) the causes of this instability are difficult to find. In this paper, we first present the results of some passive measurements we did on intra-domain routing instability. We show the statistical results of OSPF routing information (for both IPv4 and IPv6) we collected on the WIDE Internet and APAN Tokyo-XP network. Through the statistics, we demonstrate how seriously routing instability can occur on a service network. We then propose an approach to help network operators isolate the causes of this. We emphasize the importance of gathering useful data for troubleshooting in event-driven fashion and propose using SNMP or telnet for this. We then explain what kind of data should be collected for the purposes of troubleshooting and how to use this data to isolate the problem.


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Fixing BGP, One AS at a Time

Jaideep Chandrashekar (University of Minnesota), Zhi-Li Zhang (University of Minnesota), Haldane Peterson (University of Minnesota)

Abstract:




Debugging inter-domain routing problems on the Internet is notoriously hard. This is partly because BGP updates carry no information about the events that trigger them, and also because operation is highly distributed and complex, lacking a central point of control or authority. These factors have impeded the development of tools that can help in the diagnosis and troubleshooting of routing problems. Consequently, the dynamic behavior of BGP is not well understood, even though it forms a critical component of the Internet infrastructure.

In this paper, we argue that these problems can be effectively addressed by incorporating a diagnostic capability into the interdomain routing system. Such a capability would enable operators to effectively pinpoint the cause (and location) of routing problems and take timely steps to correct them. We present arguments to show that this capability is best realized by localized, AS-specific entities called BGP Auditors. We then explore the high level design of a distributed, diagnostic framework and briefly discuss the relevant issues.


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Locating BGP Missing Routes Using Multiple Perspectives

Di-Fa Chang (USC/Information Sciences Institute), Ramesh Govindan (USC/Information Sciences  Institute), John Heidemann (USC/Information Sciences Institute)

Abstract:




There have been many studies on measuring and interpreting interdomain routing dynamics. Most of them, however, are based on the approach of off-line and passive post-processing BGP routing updates. We propose a new methodology that uses real-time and active monitoring to troubleshoot various BGP routing anomalies. This paper focuses on a specific BGP routing problem — missing routes that occur when some ASes can reach a prefix while others can’t. The idea is to periodically monitor the BGP routing status at multiple vantage points, like Route Views, and when a possible missing route event is detected issue traceroute queries from various looking glasses to learn of the packet-forwarding path status. By comparing previous and current packet-forwarding paths, we can have an idea of where the missing route event takes place. This paper examines the plausibility of this methodology and discusses preliminary experimental results.


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IP Forwarding Anamolies and Improving their Detection Using Multiple Data Sources

Matthew Roughan (School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Adelaide), Tim Griffin (Intel Research Cambridge), Z. Morley Mao (University of Michigan), Albert Greenberg (AT&T Research), Brian Freeman (AT&T Labs)

Abstract:




IP forwarding anomalies, triggered by equipment failures, implementation bugs, or configuration errors, can significantly disrupt and degrade network service. Robust and reliable detection of such anomalies is essential to rapid problem diagnosis, problem mitigation, and repair. We propose a simple, robust method that integrates routing and traffic data streams to reliably detect forwarding anomalies, and report on the evaluation of the method in a tier-1 ISP backbone. First,
we transform each data stream separately, to produce informative alarm indicators. A forwarding anomaly is then signalled only if the indicators for both streams indicate anomalous behavior concurrently.  The overall method is scalable, automated and self-training. We find this technique effectively identifies forwarding anomalies, while avoiding the high false alarms rate that would otherwise result if either stream were used unilaterally.


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A Measurement Framework for Pinpointing Routing Changes

Renata Teixeira (UC San Diego), Jennifer Rexford (AT&T Labs -- Research)

Abstract:




Changes in the end-to-end path between two hosts can lead to sudden changes in the round-trip time and available bandwidth, or even the complete loss of connectivity. Determining the reason for the routing change is crucial for diagnosing and fixing the problem, and for holding a particular domain accountable for the disruption.  Active measurement tools like traceroute can infer the current path between two end-points, but not where and why the path changed. Analyzing BGP data from multiple vantage points seems like a promising way to infer the root cause of routing changes. In this paper, we explain the inherent limitations of using BGP data alone and argue for a distributed approach to troubleshooting routing problems. We propose a solution where each AS continuously maintains a view of routing changes in its own network, without requiring additional support from the underlying routers. Then, we describe how to query the measurement servers along the AS-level forwarding path from the source to the destination to uncover the
location and the reason for the routing change.


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Last Modified: February 11, 2004