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In the past few years, we have witnessed a flourish of online social network sites (OSNs). In this kind of websites, the users are not only information consumers, but also actively upload contents of their own to the OSNs. Being sharply different from the conventional sites, OSNs have attracted many studies recently. These studies, however, mainly focus on the social behaviors within OSNs, e.g., the user-user interaction, and the distribution of the time users spend on certain OSNs, etc. There are much fewer studies on the characteristics of the traffic patterns of OSNs upon the Internet infrastructure, even though it is important for the ISPs and the OSNs alike. One major difficulty is that it is not easy to obtain data from the private ISP backbone routers. In this paper, we collect data from two backbone routers of China Telecom and present the traffic patterns of several OSNs from the angle of the network layer. As well, we also compare the OSN traffic with three types of traditional websites like forums, search engines and news websites. We find that the traffic pattern in network layer is quite intuitively similar as what we can see in the application layer: users are the most active in OSNs, and are slightly less active in forums, and they are the least active in News websites. Besides that, we also can see that the traffic pattern in search engines is quite different from the other three.
Date of Conference: 5-9 June 2011