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Master Thesis Year : 2018

Service traceroute: Tracing Paths of Application Flows


Traceroute is often used to help diagnose when users experience issues with Internet applications or services. Unfortunately , probes issued by classic traceroute tools differ from application traffic and hence can be treated differently by middleboxes within the network. This paper proposes a new traceroute tool, called Service traceroute. Service tracer-oute leverages the idea from paratrace, which passively listens to application traffic to then issue traceroute probes that pretend to be part of the application flow. We extend this idea to work for modern Internet services with support for automatically identifying application flows, for tracing of multiple concurrent flows as well as for UDP flows. We implement command-line and library versions of Service tracer-oute, which we release as open source. This paper also presents a calibration and an evaluation of Service traceroute when tracing paths traversed by Web downloads from the top-1000 Alexa websites and by video sessions from Twitch and Youtube. The goal of the calibration is to find the best parameters of Service traceroute for each application. Our evaluation shows that Service traceroute has no negative side effect on the vast majority of downloads, but that in some rare cases it can cause application flows to abort or increase flow completion times. In addition, the evaluation shows that Service traceroute obtains different paths in at least 30% of paths when compared with a standard traceroute. Using the same source and destination ports as the target application flow to analyze for standard traceroute's probes, Service traceroute still obtains different paths in at least 7% of analyzed paths.
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Dates and versions

hal-01888618 , version 1 (05-10-2018)


  • HAL Id : hal-01888618 , version 1


Ivan Morandi. Service traceroute: Tracing Paths of Application Flows. Networking and Internet Architecture [cs.NI]. 2018. ⟨hal-01888618⟩


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