Skip to Main Content
Obfuscated and encrypted protocols hinder traffic classification by classical techniques such as port analysis or deep packet inspection. Therefore, there is growing interest for classification algorithms based on statistical analysis of the length of the first packets of flows. Most classifiers proposed in literature are based on machine learning techniques and consider each flow independently of previous source activity (per-flow analysis). In this paper, we propose to use specific per-source information to improve classification accuracy: the sequence of starting times of flows generated by single sources may be analyzed along time to estimate peculiar statistical parameters, in our case the exponent α of the power law f-α that approximates the PSD of their counting process. In our method, this measurement is used to train a classifier in addition to the lengths of the first packets of the flows. In our experiments, considering this additional per-source information yielded the same accuracy as using only per-flow data, but observing fewer packets in each flow and thus allowing a quicker response. For the proposed classifier, we report performance evaluation results obtained on sets of Internet traffic traces collected in three sites.