DiffProbe: Detecting ISP Service Discrimination

WINNER: Open Internet Research Award

We propose an active probing method, called Differential Probing or DiffProbe, to detect whether an access ISP is deploying forwarding mechanisms such as priority scheduling, variations of WFQ, or WRED to discriminate against some of its customer flows. DiffProbe aims to detect if the ISP is doing one or both of delay discrimination and loss discrimination. The basic idea in DiffProbe is to compare the delays and packet losses experienced by two flows: an Application flow A and a Probing flow P. The paper describes the statistical methods that DiffProbe uses, a novel method for distinguishing between Strict Priority and WFQ-variant packet scheduling, simulation and emulation experiments, and a few real world tests at major access ISPs.

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