USENIX Technical Program - Abstract - USENIX Annual
Conference, General Session - June 2000
Mapping and Visualizing the Internet
Bill Cheswick, Bell Laboratories; Hal Burch, Carnegie Mellon
University; Steve Branigan, Bell Laboratories
We have been collecting and recording routing paths from a test host to
each of over 90,000 registered networks on the Internet since August
1998. The resulting database contains interesting routing and
reachability information, and is available to the public for research
purposes. The daily scans cover approximately a tenth of the networks on
the Internet, with a full scan run roughly once a month. We have also
been collecting Lucent's intranet data, and applied these tools to
understanding its size and connectivity. We have also detected the loss
of power to routers in Yugoslavia as the result of NATO bombing.
A simulated spring-force algorithm lays out the graphs that results from
these databases. This algorithm is well known, but has never been
applied to such a large problem. The Internet graph, with around 88,000
nodes and 100,000 edges, is larger than those previously considered
tractable by the data visualization community. The resulting Internet
layouts are pleasant, though rather cluttered. On smaller networks, like
Lucent's intranet, the layouts present the data in a useful way. For the
Internet data, we have also tried plotting a minimum distance spanning
tree; by throwing away edges, the remaining graph can be made more
Once a layout is chosen, it can be colored in various ways to show
network-relevant data, such as IP address, domain information, location,
ISPs, and result of scan (completed, filtered, loop, etc).
This paper expands and updates the description of the project given in
an IEEE Computer article .
- View the full text of this paper in
- If you need the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it
- To become a USENIX Member, please see our Membership Information.
- Current USENIX Members may change their password.