Characterizing the Internet Hierarchy from Multiple Vantage Points
Abstract: 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 analysis differs from previous characterization studies by focusing on the commercial relationships between ASes rather than simply the connectivity between the nodes.