Characterizing the Internet hierarchy from multiple vantage points

Lakshminarayanan Subramanian, Sharad Agarwal, Jennifer Rexford, Randy H. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The delivery of IP traffic through the Internet depends on the complex interactions between thousands of autonomous systems (ASes) that exchange routing information using the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). This paper investigates the topological structure of the Internet in terms of customer-provider and peer-peer relationships between ASes, as manifested in BGP routing policies. We describe a technique for inferring AS relationships by exploiting partial views of the AS graph available from different vantage points. Next we apply the technique to a collection of ten BGP routing tables to infer the relationships between neighboring ASes. Based on these results, we analyze the hierarchical structure of the Internet and propose a five-level classification of ASes. Our characterization differs from previous studies by focusing on the commercial relationship between ASes rather than simply the connectivity between the nodes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
Pages (from-to)618-627
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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