Two Samples Are Enough: Opportunistic Flow-level Latency Estimation Using Netflow

Myungjin Lee, Nick Duffield, Ramana Rao Kompella

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The inherent support in routers (SNMP counters or NetFlow) is not sufficient to diagnose performance problems in IP networks, especially for flow-specific problems and hence, the aggregate behavior within a router appears normal. To address this problem, in this paper, we propose a Consistent NetFlow (CNF) architecture for measuring per-flow performance measurements within routers. CNF utilizes NetFlow architecture that already reports the first and last timestamps per-flow, and hash-based sampling for ensuring that two routers record same flows. We devise a novel Multiflow estimator that approximates the intermediate delay samples from other background flows to improve the per-flow latency estimates significantly compared to the naive estimator that only uses actual flow samples. In our experiments using real backbone traces and realistic delay models, we show that Multiflow estimator is accurate with a median relative error of less than 20% for flows of size greater than 100 packets. We also show that prior approach based on trajectory sampling performs about 2-3× worse.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINFOCOM, 2010 Proceedings IEEE
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ, USA
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)978-1-4244-5836-3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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