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A Tale of the Tails: Power-laws in Internet Measurements
University of Calgary, Canada.
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Database and information techniques. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
NICTA, Eveleigh, New South Wales, Australia.
University of Calgary, Canada.
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2013 (English)In: IEEE Network, ISSN 0890-8044, Vol. 27, no 1, 59-64 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Power-laws are ubiquitous in the Internet and its applications. In this survey article, we provide a review of such properties in Internet measurements. First, we give definitions of power-law distributions, such as Pareto and Zipf, while also reviewing heavy tails and long tails, and discussing a well-known model for understanding power-law behaviour in computer networks. Second, we present several examples of Internet workload properties exhibiting power-law behaviour. Finally, we explore several implications of power-law in computer networks. Using examples from past and present, we review how researchers have studied and exploited power-law properties. We observe that despite the challenges posed, power-laws have been effectively leveraged by researchers to improve the design and performance of Internet-based systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) , 2013. Vol. 27, no 1, 59-64 p.
Keyword [en]
Power law, Internet measurements
National Category
Computer Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-80322DOI: 10.1109/MNET.2013.6423193ISI: 000314681500010OAI: diva2:546494
Available from: 2012-08-23 Created: 2012-08-23 Last updated: 2014-11-26

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