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A Study of Internet Round-trip Delay

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Technical Report

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University of Maryland College Park United States

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We present the results of a study in Internet round-trip delay. The links chosen include links to frequently accessed commercial hosts as well as well-known academic and foreign hosts. Each link was studied for a 48-hour period. We attempt to answer the following questions 1 how rapidly and in what manner does the delay change--in this study, we focus on the medium-grain secondsminutes and coarse-grain time scales tens of minuteshours 2 what does the frequency distribution of delay look like and how rapidly does it change 3 what is a good metric to characterize the delay for the purpose of adaptation. Our conclusions are a there is large temporal and spatial variation in round-trip time RTT b RTT distribution is usually unimodal and asymmetric and has a long tail on the right hand side c RTT observations in most time periods are tightly clustered around the mode d the mode is a good characteristic value for RTT distributions e RTT distributions change slowly f persistent changes in RTT occur slowly, sharp changes are undone very shortly g jitter in RTT observations is small and h inherent RTT occurs frequently.


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