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Toward an Atlas of the Physical Internet

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The availability of accurate and timely maps of the Internet would be a compelling starting point for diverse research topics such as assessing infrastructure vulnerabilities, understanding routing behavior, and analyzing application performance. However, despite the many and varied efforts over the years, there remains no central repository of accurate Internet maps. In this talk, I will describe the challenges in assembling maps of Internet topology based on standard data sources. I will also describes Internet Atlas, a new repository and visualization portal of the physical interconnection structure of the Internet that is under construction at the University of Wisconsin. The repository is populated using web-based information extraction to identify primary source data such as maps and other repositories of service provider network information. The repository currently contains over 8K PoP locations and nearly 13K links for over 275 networks (including all tier 1 providers) around the world. The openly available web portal is based on the widely-used ArcGIS geographic information system, which enables visualization and diverse spatial analyses of the data. To demonstrate the utility of the repository, I will describe two case studies: a first-of-it’s kind analysis of physical link distances and an analysis of natural disaster threats to Internet infrastructure.

Bio: Paul Barford is a professor of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He was a visiting professor at the University of Cambridge and an EPSRC Visiting Fellow in 2011. His research interests are in Internet measurement, large data analysis, Internet security, and sustainable networking.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar series.

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