"Topology Discovery in Heterogeneous IP Networks"

by Yuri Breitbart, Minos Garofalakis, Cliff Martin, Rajeev Rastogi, S. Seshadri, and Avi Silberschatz.
Proceedings of IEEE INFOCOM'2000, Tel-Aviv, Israel, March 2000, pp. 265-274.


Knowledge of the up-to-date physical topology of an IP network is crucial to a number of critical network management tasks, including reactive and proactive resource management, event correlation, and root-cause analysis. Given the dynamic nature of today's IP networks, keeping track of topology information manually is a daunting (if not impossible) task. Thus, effective algorithms for automatically discovering physical network topology are necessary. Earlier work has typically concentrated on either (a) discovering logical (i.e., layer-3) topology, which implies that the connectivity of all layer-2 elements (e.g., switches and bridges) is ignored, or (b) proprietary solutions targeting specific product families. In this paper, we present novel algorithms for discovering physical topology in heterogeneous (i.e., multi-vendor) IP networks. Our algorithms rely on standard SNMP MIB information that is widely supported by modern IP network elements and require no modifications to the operating system software running on elements or hosts. We have implemented the algorithms presented in this paper in the context of a topology discovery tool that has been tested on Lucent's own research network. The experimental results clearly validate our approach, demonstrating that our tool can consistently discover the accurate physical network topology in time that is roughly quadratic in the number of network elements.

[ camera-ready paper (pdf) (ps.gz) | journal version (pdf) (in IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking) | Rajeev's talk slides (ppt.gz) ]

Copyright © 2000, IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.