GroupInternet Traffic Management

Internet Traffic Management

In the area of traffic management we conduct research to enhance the performance and utilization of the networks that the Internet builds on. Important topics are traffic engineering, traffic characterization, performance optimization, network management and network monitoring.

Internet traffic management is a research area within the Communication Networks and Systems Laboratory.


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Traffic engineering

The objective of traffic engineering in IP-networks is to avoid congestion in the network and to make better use of available resources by adapting the routing to the current traffic situation. Today traffic is usually routed on the shortest path through a network. This is the case even if the shortest path is overloaded and there exist alternative paths that are underutilised. We investigate how optimisation techniques can be applied to IP-networks in order to better utilise network resources and to avoid congestion by balancing load over several paths.

The research includes investigation of:

  • Methods for setting links-weights in the legacy intra-domain routing protocols OSPF and IS-IS
  • New routing mechanisms based on optimisation techniques
  • Robustness of traffic engineering techniques and how they manage to handle Internet traffic dynamics

Traffic characteristics

Traffic engineering presuppose good knowledge about Internet traffic behaviour as well as methods and tools for network performance measurements. Many traffic engineerings methods need as input a traffic matrix describing the demand between each pair of nodes in the network.

Our research includes investigation of:

  • methods for traffic matrix estimation and network tomography
  • predictability and temporal properties of network traffic
Publications list


  • G. Leduc, H. Abrahamsson, S. Balon, S. Bessler, M. D'Arienzo, O. Delcourt, J. Domingo-Pascual, S. Cerav-Erbas, I. Gojmerac, X. Masip, A. Pescaph, B. Quoitin, S.F. Romano, E. Salvatori, F. Skivée, H.T. Tran, S. Uhlig, and H. Ümit. An open source traffic engineering toolbox , Computer Communications, 29(5):593-610, March 2006.
  • Anders Gunnar. Identifying Critical Traffic Demands in an IP Backbone. In: SNCNW 2006, 26-27 Oct 2006, Luleå, Sweden.
  • Mikael Johansson and Anders Gunnar. Data-driven traffic engineering: techniques, experiences and challenges In: Broadnets 2006, 1-5 October 2006, San Jose, California.


  • Anders Gunnar, Henrik Abrahamsson and Mattias Söderqvist. Performance of Traffic Engineering in Operational IP-Networks - An Experimental Study, IPOM 2005, to appear.
  • M. Brunner, A. Galis, L. Cheng, J. Andres Colas, B. Ahlgren, A. Gunnar, H. Abrahamsson, R. Szabo, S. Csaba, J. Nielsen, A. Gonzalez Prieto, R.Stadler, G. Molnar, Towards Ambient Networks Management, Second International Workshop on Mobility Aware Technologies and Applications (MATA 2005), Montreal, Canada, October 17-19, 2005.
  • Mattias Söderqvist and Anders Gunnar. Performance of Traffic Engineering using Estimated Traffic Matrices. In Proceedings of Radio Sciences and Communication RVK'05, Linköping, Sweden, June 2005.
  • Mattias Söderqvist, Search Heuristics for Load Balancing in IP-networks , SICS Technical Report, March 2005.


  • Henrik Abrahamsson and Anders Gunnar, Traffic Engineering in Ambient Networks: Challenges and Approaches , In the Second Swedish National Computer Networking Workshop (SNCNW), Karlstad, 23-24 November, 2004.
  • J. Nielsen, A. Galis, H. Abrahamsson, B. Ahlgren, M. Brunner, L. Cheng, J. Andres Colas, S. Csaba, A. Gonzalez Prieto, A. Gunnar, G. Molnar, R. Szabo, Management Architectures and Approaches for Ambient Networks , WWRF12 Meeting, Toronto, Canada, November 4-5, 2004.
  • Anders Gunnar, Mikael Johansson, Thomas Telkamp, Traffic Matrix Estimation on a Large IP Backbone - A Comparison on Real Data, Internet Measurement Conference 2004, Sicily, Italy, October 2004.
  • M. Brunner, A. Galis, L. Cheng, J. Andres Colas, B. Ahlgren, A. Gunnar, H. Abrahamsson, R. Szabo, S. Csaba, J. Nielsen, A. Gonzalez Prieto, R.Stadler, G. Molnar, Ambient Networks Management Challenges and Approaches, First International Workshop on Mobility Aware Technologies and Applications (MATA 2004), Florianpolis, Brazil, October 20-22, 2004.
  • Anders Gunnar, Mikael Johansson, Thomas Telkamp, Traffic Matrix Estimation for a Global IP Network, 17th Nordic Teletraffic Seminar, Oslo, Norway, August 2004.
  • Henrik Abrahamsson and Bengt Ahlgren, Temporal Characteristics of Large IP Traffic Flows, SICS Technical report T2003-27, May 2004.

1999 - 2004

  • Henrik Abrahamsson, Bengt Ahlgren, Juan Alonso, Anders Andersson and Per Kreuger. A Multi Path Routing Algorithm for IP Networks Based on Flow Optimisation. In proceedings of QofIS'02 , Zürich, Switzerland, October 2002. Conference proceedings are published in the Lecture Notes in Computer Science Series 2511 , © Springer-Verlag.
  • Cecilia Borg, Existence, Identification and Stability of Elephant flows in IP Traffic, Master thesis, SICS Technical Report T2002-13, August 2002.
  • Juan Alonso, Henrik Abrahamsson, Bengt Ahlgren, Anders Andersson and Per Kreuger. Objective Functions for Balance in Traffic Engineering , SICS Technical Report T2002-05, May 2002.
  • Henrik Abrahamsson and Bengt Ahlgren. Using empirical distributions to characterize web client traffic and to generate synthetic traffic. In Proceedings of IEEE Globecom: Global Internet, San Francisco, USA, November 2000.
  • Henrik Abrahamsson. Traffic measurement and analysis. MSc thesis, SICS Technical Report T99:05, September 1999.