Estimating TCP Packet Loss Ratio from Sampled ACK Packets

Yasuhiro YAMASAKI  Hideyuki SHIMONISHI  Tutomu MURASE  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E91-B   No.2   pp.418-427
Publication Date: 2008/02/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1093/ietcom/e91-b.2.418
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Network
TCP,  packet loss ratio,  sampled packets,  measurement,  

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The advent of various quality-sensitive applications has greatly changed the requirements for IP network management and made the monitoring of individual traffic flows more important. Since the processing costs of per-flow quality monitoring are high, especially in high-speed backbone links, packet sampling techniques have been attracting considerable attention. Existing sampling techniques, such as those used in Sampled NetFlow and sFlow, however, focus on the monitoring of traffic volume, and there has been little discussion of the monitoring of such quality indexes as packet loss ratio. In this paper we propose a method for estimating, from sampled packets, packet loss ratios in individual TCP sessions. It detects packet loss events by monitoring duplicate ACK events raised by each TCP receiver. Because sampling reveals only a portion of the actual packet loss, the actual packet loss ratio is estimated statistically. Simulation results show that the proposed method can estimate the TCP packet loss ratio accurately from a 10% sampling of packets.