Research Page

Here you can find Links to some of my Published research. More Work in progress and a mirror of this can be found on my personal page

Documents on this page are in Adobe PDF format, you will need a viewer capable of rendering these in order to make use of them.

MSc Thesis

I completed my MSc Thesis in Computer Science, from Rhodes University in January 2001.

Title Bandwidth management and monitoring for IP network traffic : an investigation

Bandwidth management is a topic which is often discussed, but on which relatively little work has been done with regard to compiling a comprehensive set of techniques and methods for managing traffic on a network. What work has been done has concentrated on higher end networks, rather than the low bandwidth links which are commonly available in South Africa and other areas outside the United States. With more organisations increasingly making use of the Internet on a daily basis, the demand for bandwidth is outstripping the ability of providers to upgrade their infrastructure. This resource is therefore in need of management. In addition, for Internet access to become economically viable for widespread use by schools, NGOs and other academic institutions, the associated costs need to be controlled. Bandwidth management not only impacts on direct cost control, but encompasses the process of engineering a network and network resources in order to ensure the provision of as optimal a service as possible. Included in this is the provision of user education. Software has been developed for the implementation of traffic quotas, dynamic firewalling and visualisation. The research investigates various methods for monitoring and management of IP traffic with particular applicability to low bandwidth links. Several forms of visualisation for the analysis of historical and near-real time traffic data are also discussed, including the use of three-dimensional landscapes. A number of band-width management practices are proposed, and the advantages of their combination, and complementary use are highlighted. By implementing these suggested policies, a holistic approach can be taken to the issue of bandwidth management on Internet links.

A PDF copy is available here (1.8MB)
The official University copy can be found here on the Rhodes University Library Server

Some examples from my Thesis work

3d-profile (378K)
This is a 3D false colour height field transform showing a months worth of Data. Axes are 'day of month' (horizontal axis), Available bandwidth (vertical axis), and time of day, starting at midnight form the back on the depth axis

The two input files used to generate this can be seen below:
sept_1_chf_blur60 (4K) sept_1_chf_colour_blur60 (6K)

Related work

Reclaiming one's bandwidth: Dynamic filtering of traffic based on packet payload content

This a paper I presented at the SACLA 2000 conference, and which formed a part of my Masters thesis. The abstract is:

Dynamic filtering of IP traffic based on contents of packet payloads provides a means for monitoring and controlling a number of Internet services which prove difficult to manage by traditional means. Constituents of the portion of Internet traffic not attributable to traditional services can be identified and quantified, even if applications transfer data on a highly dynamic range of ports. An initial implementation of a dynamic filtering system under FreeBSD is also evaluated and strengths and weaknesses identified.

The paper can be downloaded here in PDF format.(50K)

Visualisation methods for Historical and real-time IP traffic monitoring

This a paper I presented at the STANAC/SATCAM 2000 conference, and which formed a part of my Masters thesis. The images above are detailed in this work. The abstract is:

Abstract: Various methods of graphical representation of IP traffic for real time monitoring and long term trend analysis. Initial outputs have proved promising for identifying long term trends as well as for quick assessment of the constitution of a network’s traffic load.

The paper can be downloaded here in PDF format.(210K)
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