Network Topology Inference with Partial Information

Brett Holbert, Srikar Tati, Simone Silvestri, Thomas F. La Porta, Ananthram Swami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Full knowledge of the routing topology of the Internet is useful for a multitude of network management tasks. However, the full topology is often not known and is instead estimated using topology inference algorithms. Many of these algorithms use Traceroute to probe paths and then use the collected information to infer the topology. We perform real experiments and show that, in practice, routers may severely disrupt the operation of Traceroute and cause it to only provide partial information. We propose iTop, an algorithm for inferring the network topology when only partial information is available. iTop constructs a virtual topology, which overestimates the number of network components, and then repeatedly merges links in this topology to resolve it toward the structure of the true network. We perform extensive simulations to compare iTop to state-of-The-Art inference algorithms. Results show that iTop significantly outperforms previous approaches and its inferred topologies are within 5% of the original networks for all considered metrics. Additionally, we show that the topologies inferred by iTop significantly improve the performance of fault localization algorithms when compared with other approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7140827
Pages (from-to)406-419
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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