Inferring traffic burstiness by sampling the buffer occupancy

Michel Mandjes, Remco van de Meent

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Common practice to determine the required bandwidth capacity for a network link is to measure the 5 minute average link load, and then add a safety margin to cater for the effect of burstiness on small time-scales. Because of the substantial measurement efforts required to determine the burstiness, network managers often rely on rules of thumb to find the safety margin, e.g. 'mean plus 50%'. In this paper we propose a novel method to accurately determine the burstiness of traffic on small time-scales, without requiring measurements on such small time-scales. Our method is based on coarse-grained polling of the occupancy of a buffer in front of the link, from which the burstiness on small timescales is inferred. We provide the theoretical foundations of our approach, and a validation through both simulation using synthetic traffic as well as real network traffic taken from various operational networks. It turns out that using our approach, it is possible to accurately determine burstiness on small time-scales (for instance 10 ms), by sampling the buffer occupancy (for instance) every second.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNETWORKING 2005
Subtitle of host publication4th International IFIP-TC6 Networking Conference, Waterloo, Canada, May 2-6, 2005. Proceedings
EditorsR. Boutaba, K.C. Almeroth, R. Puigjaner, S. Shen, J.P. Black
Place of PublicationBerlin
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-540-32017-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-540-25809-4
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Event4th International IFIP-TC6 Networking Conference, NETWORKING 2005 - Waterloo, Canada
Duration: 2 May 20056 May 2005
Conference number: 4

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference4th International IFIP-TC6 Networking Conference, NETWORKING 2005
Abbreviated titleNETWORKING


  • Network design and capacity planning
  • queueing network models
  • IR-63468
  • METIS-225554
  • EWI-7069


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