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Towards a two-tier internet coordinate system to mitigate the impact of triangle inequality violations

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  • Mohamed Ali Kaafar
  • Bamba Gueye
  • Francois Cantin
  • Guy Leduc
  • Laurent Mathy


Routing policies or path inflation can give rise to violations of the Triangle Inequality with respect to delay (RTTs) in the Internet. In network coordinate systems, such Triangle Inequality Violations (TIVs) will introduce inaccuracy, as nodes in this particular case could not be embedded into any metric space. In this paper, we consider these TIVs as an inherent and natural property of the Internet; rather than trying to remove them, we consider characterizing them and mitigating their impact on distributed coordinate systems.
In a first step, we study TIVs existing in the Internet, using different metrics in order to quantify various levels of TIVs’ severity. Our results show that path lengths do have an effect on the impact of these TIVs. In particular, the shorter the link between any two nodes is, the less severe TIVs involved in are.
In a second step, we do leverage our study to reduce the impact of TIVs on coordinate systems. We focus on the particular case of the Vivaldi coordinate system and we explore how TIVs may impact its accuracy and stability. In particular, we observed correlation between the (in)stability and high effective error of nodes’ coordinates with respect to their involvement in TIVs situations. We finally propose a Two-Tier architecture opposed to a flat structure of Vivaldi that do mitigate the effect of TIVs on the distances predictions.