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USENIX 2004 Annual Technical Conference, General Track — Abstract

Pp. 141–154 of the Proceedings

A Network Positioning System for the Internet

T.S. Eugene Ng, Rice University; Hui Zhang, Carnegie Mellon University


Network positioning has recently been demonstrated to be a viable concept to represent the network distance relationships among Internet end hosts. Several subsequent studies have examined the potential benefits of using network position in applications, and proposed alternative network positioning algorithms. In this paper, we study the problem of designing and building a network positioning system (NPS). We identify several key system-building issues such as the consistency, adaptivity and stability of host network positions over time. We propose a hierarchical network positioning architecture that maintains consistency while enabling decentralization, a set of adaptive decentralized algorithms to compute and maintain accurate, stable network positions, and finally present a prototype system deployed on PlanetLab nodes that can be used by a variety of applications. We believe our system is a viable first step to provide a network positioning capability in the Internet.
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