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This paper proposes a purely passive method for inferring a congestion map of a network. The congestion map is computed using the congestion markings carried in existing traffic, and is continuously updated as traffic is received. Consequently, congestion changes can be tracked in a real-time fashion with zero traffic overhead. Unlike active congestion reporting methods, our novel passive method is more robust during periods of congestion because there are no congestion report messages that could be lost and existing congestion is never aggravated. Our solution has several applications ranging from informing IP fast re-route algorithms and traffic engineering schemes to assisting in inter-domain path selection.
Date of Conference: 17-20 Oct. 2011