Network Topology and City Accessibility of the Commercial Internet

Essay by jimmytheballUniversity, Bachelor'sB, December 2004

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

David C. Wheeler and Morton E. O'Kelly of Ohio State University conducted an experiment designed to measure internet performance and assess both telecommunication access and success. Furthermore, the two observed which U.S. cities are the most efficient in both criteria.

        The Internet was originally designed to connect researchers at several national supercomputers and provide a fast medium to share information. The original project was named The National Science Foundation or NSFNET. This backbone was completed in 1988. As the need for global telecommunications and commercial traffic grew, NSFNET gave way to the Commercial Internet Exchange (CIX) and ultimately, Network Access Points (NAP) and Metropolitan Area Ethernet (MAE). From the mid to late 90s' the Internet grew exponentially as its need for businesses purposes and private use increased. The Internet's backbones NAP and MAE serve as networks where Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can connect to exchange information. To date, this is the type of Internet used by businesses and the public.

        Many attempts have been made to measure the Internet's performance. Studies such as the Matrix Information and Directory Service (MIDS) have been created to determine a network's latency, or time between nodes. Other studies and experiments such as Mapnet have attempted to map positions of the Internet. These studies and experiments however provide neither real analytical analysis capabilities nor practical application to the Internet infrastructure.

        Wheeler and O'Kelly differ from previous approaches by researching the efficiency of the Internet. The study was divided into two categories--network connectivity and city accessibility. To study this, the two created a database of 31 Internet backbone providers that primarily serve the United States. Using these 31 Internet providers they applied three established formulas for network analysis--the gamma index, a T-matrix, and a D-matrix. According to the article, the gamma matrix is used to calculate...