Retroactive Packet Sampling for Traffic Receipts

Is it possible to design a packet-sampling algorithm that prevents the network node that performs the sampling from treating the sampled packets preferentially? We study this problem in the context of designing a "network transparency" system. In this system, networks emit receipts for a small sample of the packets they observe, and a monitor collects these receipts to estimate each network's loss and delay performance. Sampling is a good building block for this system, because it enables a solution that is flexible and combines low resource cost with quantifiable accuracy. The challenge is cheating resistance: when a network's performance is assessed based on the conditions experienced by a small traffic sample, the network has a strong incentive to treat the sampled packets better than the rest. We contribute a sampling algorithm that is provably robust to such prioritization attacks, enables network performance estimation with quantifiable accuracy, and requires minimal resources. We confirm our analysis using real traffic traces.

Published in:
Proceedings of the ACM on Measurement and Analysis of Computing Systems (POMACS), 3, 1
Presented at:
ACM SIGMETRICS Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, June 24-28, 2019

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 Record created 2019-05-29, last modified 2020-10-29

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