Year of Publication

2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Engineering

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Kenneth L. Calvert

Abstract

Homes are involved in a significant fraction of Internet traffic. However, meaningful and comprehensive information on the structure and use of home networks is still hard to obtain. The two main challenges in collecting such information are the lack of measurement infrastructure in the home network environment and individuals’ concerns about information privacy.

To tackle these challenges, the dissertation introduces Home Network Flow Logger (HNFL) to bring lightweight privacy-preserving passive measurement to home networks. The core of HNFL is a Linux kernel module that runs on resource-constrained commodity home routers to collect network traffic data from raw packets. Unlike prior passive measurement tools, HNFL is shown to work without harming either data accuracy or router performance.

This dissertation also includes a months-long field study to collect passive measurement data from home network gateways where network traffic is not mixed by NAT (Network Address Translation) in a non-intrusive way. The comprehensive data collected from over fifty households are analyzed to learn the characteristics of home networks such as number and distribution of connected devices, traffic distribution among internal devices, network availability, downlink/uplink bandwidth, data usage patterns, and application traffic distribution.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2016.382

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