TOMACS’15 Paper: Cluster-Based Spatiotemporal Background Traffic

Cluster-Based Spatiotemporal Background Traffic Generation for Network Simulation, Ting Li and Jason Liu. ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation (TOMACS), 25(1), Article No. 4, January 2015. [paper]

To reduce the computational complexity of large-scale network simulation, one needs to distinguish foreground traffic generated by the target applications one intends to study from background traffic that represents the bulk of the network traffic generated by other applications. Background traffic competes with foreground traffic for network resources and consequently plays an important role in determining the behavior of network applications. Existing background traffic models either operate only at coarse time granularity or focus only on individual links. There is little insight on how to meaningfully apply realistic background traffic over the entire network. In this article, we propose a method for generating background traffic with spatial and temporal characteristics observed from real traffic traces. We apply data clustering techniques to describe the behavior of end hosts as a function of multidimensional attributes and group them into distinct classes, and then map the classes to simulated routers so that we can generate traffic in accordance with the cluster-level statistics. The proposed traffic generator makes no assumption on the target network topology. It is also capable of scaling the generated traffic so that the traffic intensity can be varied accordingly in order to test applications under different and yet realistic network conditions. Experiments show that our method is able to generate traffic that maintains the same spatial and temporal characteristics as in the observed traffic traces.
author = {Li, Ting and Liu, Jason},
title = {Cluster-Based Spatiotemporal Background Traffic Generation for Network Simulation},
journal = {ACM Trans. Model. Comput. Simul.},
issue_date = {January 2015},
volume = {25},
number = {1},
month = nov,
year = {2014},
issn = {1049-3301},
pages = {4:1–4:25},
articleno = {4},
numpages = {25},
url = {},
doi = {10.1145/2667222},
acmid = {2667222},
publisher = {ACM},
address = {New York, NY, USA},