Title: Adaptive sampling for network management
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00094661/00001
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Title: Adaptive sampling for network management
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Hernandez, Edwin A.
Chidester, Matthew C.
George, Alan D.
Publisher: High-performance Computing and Simulation Research Laboratory, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2000
Copyright Date: 2000
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Bibliographic ID: UF00094661
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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2000, HCS Research Lab All Rights Reserved

Adaptive Sampling for Network Management

Edwin A. Hernandez, Matthew C. Chidester, and Alan D. George

High-performance Computing and Simulation (HCS) Research Laboratory
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Florida
P.O.Box 116200, Gainesville, FL 32611-6200

Abstract -High-performance networks require sophisticated management systems to identify sources of bottlenecks
and detect faults. At the same time, the impact of network queries on the latency and bandwidth available to the
applications must be minimized. Adaptive techniques can be used to control and reduce the rate of sampling of
network information, reducing the amount of processed data and lessening the overhead on the network. Two
adaptive sampling methods are proposed in this paper based on linear prediction and fuzzy logic. The performance
of these techniques is compared with conventional sampling methods by c h. I,, ii simulative experiments using
Internet and videoconference ;,,,ni,. patterns. The adaptive techniques are ',..,i li.. ,i Imoreflexible in their ability
to dynamically adjust with fluctuations in network behavior, and in some cases they are able to reduce the sample
count by as much as a factor of two while maintaining the same accuracy as the best conventional sampling
interval. The results illustrate that adaptive sampling provides the potential for better monitoring, control, and
management ofhigh-performance networks with higher accuracy, lower overhead, or both.

KEY WORDS: Adaptive sampling; fuzzy logic; linear prediction; network management; SNMP.


In network management, accurate measures of network status are needed to aid in planning, troubleshooting, and

monitoring. For example, it may be necessary to monitor the bandwidth consumption of several hundred links in a

distributed system to pinpoint bottlenecks. If the monitoring is too aggressive, it may create artificial bottlenecks.

With too passive a scheme, the network monitor may miss important events. Network query rates must strike a

balance between accurate performance characterization and low bandwidth consumption to avoid changing the

behavior of the network while still providing a clear picture of the behavior. This balance is often achieved through

sampling. Sampling techniques are used to study the behavior of a population of elements based on a representative

subset. In general, the samples are taken periodically at some fixed interval or in some random distribution. Such

sampling reduces bandwidth and storage requirements for the monitored data.

In a high-performance network, sampling overhead must have a minimal impact on the low-latency application

transactions while high network throughputs require frequent sampling to capture transient behavior. For example,

many distributed applications (e.g. parallel discrete-event simulation, database systems, etc.) may require frequent

synchronization, large data transfers, or both. Network management queries could delay critical data on a single

link and thus reduce the efficiency of the entire application.

Under some traffic loads, simple periodic sampling may be poorly suited to the monitoring task. For example,

during periods of idle activity or low network loads, a long sampling interval provides sufficient accuracy at a

minimal overhead. However, bursts of high activity require shorter sample intervals to accurately measure network

status at the expense of increased sample traffic overhead. To address this issue, adaptive sampling techniques can

be employed to dynamically adjust the sampling interval and optimize accuracy and overhead.

Adaptive sampling monitors network behavior by dynamically adjusting the sampling time interval for each

parameter monitored. When levels of high activity are detected, a shorter sampling interval is employed to measure

the behavior of the network with greater accuracy. When less activity is detected, the sampling interval is

lengthened to reduce sampling overhead. The adaptive algorithms introduced in this paper are used to select the

most representative samples of the population by polling and monitoring key fluctuations in the variables being

measured. Consequently, adaptive sampling techniques allow the management to take place in a less-intrusive

fashion by avoiding unnecessary queries.

This paper introduces two techniques for adaptive sampling. The first technique is based on Linear Prediction

(LP) [1,2]. The LP sampler uses previous samples to estimate or predict a future measurement. The LP logic can be

used in conjunction with a set of rules defining the sampling rate adjustments to make when the prediction is


The second technique for adaptive sampling makes use of fuzzy logic. Fuzzy logic mimics the decision

processes employed by the human brain [3]. For example, a network administrator may reason that when network

load is low, the sample interval can be increased. The fuzzy logic model relies on previous experiences for defining

the fuzzy set of parameters and boundaries for the fuzzy variables.

In order to gauge the performance of the adaptive techniques, they are compared with systematic sampling. This

technique uses a deterministic interval of time to query the agents. Other non-adaptive sampling techniques include

random sampling where samples are taken at intervals of time determined by a random distribution, and stratified

random sampling where a sample is taken at a random point within a deterministic time interval [4,5].

This paper introduces the concept of adaptive network sampling and provides experimental results with the

various sampling techniques comparing them in terms of accuracy and performance using Internet and

videoconference traffic. In Section 2, the sampling techniques used in this study are defined. Section 3 describes

the experiments and measurement techniques used to compare the performance of the sampling disciplines are

described. The performance results are shown in Section 4. Related research is described in Section 5, while

conclusions and directions for future research are provided in Section 6.


In network management, status information regarding load, latency, queue occupancy, and other parameters is

frequently available in devices such as routers, switches, and network interfaces. Such information is often accessed

through the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) [6-9]. In SNMP, a Network Management Station

(NMS) queries the network devices, or agents, to periodically assess the status of the network devices or links.

The period of the sampling determines the accuracy of the measured data. Transient activity may not be

accurately detected when the sampling interval is large, while small intervals consume more bandwidth on the

network and require greater storage capacity at the NMS. For example, a burst of high activity lasting only seconds

is likely to go undetected with a sampling interval of several minutes. In an effort to balance accuracy with

sampling overhead, several sampling disciplines have been applied to network managers.

2.1. Conventional Sampling

Traditionally, network management has made use of simple, non-adaptive sampling techniques. Such

techniques use a fixed rule to determine when to sample data in each agent. The sampling rule can be deterministic,

such as in periodic sampling, or it can involve a random component. Introducing randomness has been shown to

improve accuracy in situations where the monitored data is uniform in nature [4]. There are three conventional

methods used by network management systems for sampling of agents:

a) Systematic sampling, or periodic sampling, deterministically samples data at a fixed time interval. Fig.

l(a) shows systematic sampling with a period of T seconds.

b) Random sampling employs a random distribution function to determine when each sample should be

taken. The distribution may be uniform, exponential, Poisson, etc. As shown in Fig. l(b), random

sampling may take a varying number of samples in a given time interval.

c) Stratified random sampling combines the fixed-time interval used in systematic sampling with random

sampling by taking a single sample at a random point during a given time interval. Fig. l(c) shows

stratified random sampling with a time interval of T.

I 7 Y7 77 7 7 Z7 ,7 ;v 7 | ; 7i, 77 i,7 i 7 ,
T 2T 3T 4T 5T T 2T 3T 4T 5T T 2T 3T 4T 5T

(a) Systematic sampling (b) Random sampling (c) Stratified random sampling

Fig. 1. Conventional sampling methods.

Since network traffic is frequently periodic, the rate for any of these non-adaptive sampling techniques is

typically set based on the expected average network load, the traffic distribution, or simply to a value that will yield

an acceptably small amount of overhead. If the actual traffic differs from the expected pattern, the measurements

may prove inaccurate or may take an excessive number of samples.

2.2. Adaptive Sampling

Adaptive sampling dynamically adjusts the sampling rate based on the observed sampled data. A key element

in adaptive sampling is the prediction of future behavior based on the observed samples. The two adaptive sampling

techniques presented in this paper differ by the technique used to predict the future behavior of the system. The

Linear Prediction (LP) method attempts to predict the value of the next sample. If the prediction is accurate, the

sampling rate can be reduced. Inaccurate predictions indicate a change in the network behavior and require an

increased sampling rate to determine the new pattern. By contrast, the Fuzzy Logic Controller (FLC) adjusts the

sampling rate based on experiences in past situations with similar sample data. A rule structure is defined that the

FLC can follow to determine the most appropriate action to take given a certain input condition.

2.2.1. Linear Prediction (LP) Method

The LP method proposed for adaptive sampling is based on the Linear Prediction Coefficient (LPC) technique

used by Jacobson and Karels in the congestion control protocol for the Transport Control Protocol (TCP) to predict

the Round Trip Time (RTT) of a packet [10]. LPC employs a low-pass filter to predict future data values. This

technique filters out transient behavior, using the average value of the non-transient data as the prediction for the

next value. This predicted time value was used to adjust the transmission window base on the RTT of previous

packets. The low-pass filter is of the form:

x, =(1-a)xM+axR (2.1)

In this equation, x, is the predicted value for the next sample, M is the most recently measured value, and R

represents the average of the previous two samples. The coefficient a ranges between zero and one and is selected

experimentally depending on the network load, where higher values of a reduce the impact of transient values on

the average value.

A similar LP-based technique is used in this paper to control the sampling time. The main difference between

the approach described in this paper and the one used by Jacobson and Karels is that here a variable number of

previous samples are used to calculate the predicted value. Instead of using only the previous two samples, a

window of N samples is used for the prediction. Moreover, the a coefficient for tuning to a specific network load is

no longer employed.

Eq. (2.2) below defines the LP logic for a sampler of order N. As in Eq. (2.1), the value x, represents the

predicted value for the next sample. The vector x holds the value of the previous N samples, where x[N] is the most

recent sample and x[l] is the oldest sample. Sample refers to the value of the current sample. Immediately prior to

taking the next sample, the values in the vector x are shifted such that x[l] is discarded and replaced with x[2], x[2]

is replaced with x[3], and so forth with the value of Sample replacing x[N]. Eq (2.2) is designed to work with non-

decreasing SNMP byte counters, and therefore the difference between any two values in x will always be non-

negative. A second vector, t, records the time that each sample is taken and is shifted in the same manner as x, with

the time at which Sample was taken replacing t[N]. Since the period between samples is not necessarily constant,

the next value is predicted based on the average rate of change in the previous N samples.

S= N+ T x[i +1] -x[i]+ Turren x -x] (22
N-1 t[i + 1] t[i] N-1 (t[N]-t[1]

The prediction is then used as shown in Fig. 2. The predicted output, xp, which has been derived from the

previous N samples, is then compared with the actual value of Sample. A set of rules is applied to adjust the current

sampling interval, ATcurrent = t[N] t[N-1], to a new value, ATNext, which is used to schedule the next management

query. The rules used to adjust the sampling interval compare the rate of change in the predicted sample value, x,

x[N], to the actual rate of change, Sample x[N]. This rate, m, is given by Eq. (2.3).


Rules -
Sample _- vector x LP logic
(N samples) (order N)

Fig. 2. LP-based adaptive sampling.

x, -x[N]
m = -P- (2.3)
Sample x[N]

The rate of change provided by Eq. (2.3) will take on a value near unity when the predicted behavior is close to

the actual behavior. The range of values that satisfy this condition is defined as mmm < 1 < mm,. If m is below mm,,,

the measured parameter is changing faster than the prediction. Such behavior indicates more activity than predicted,

so the sampling interval should be decreased to yield more accurate data values on which to base future predictions.

Conversely, if m is above mmax, the measured value is changing more slowly than the prediction so the sampling

interval can be increased. Note that m can be undefined if the current value of Sample is unchanged from that of the

previous sample, x[N]. Since this condition is indicative of an idle network, the sampling interval is increased


Table I. LP rules for adjusting sample interval.

Calculated m Value Next Sample Interval

m < mmn ATNext = m X ATurrent

mmn < m < mmax TNext ATCurrent

mma < m ATt = ATcurrent + 1 sec

m undefined ATNt = 2 x ATcurrent

Table I lists the specific rules for generating AText given the current value of m. Based on the results of

experiments described later, mmm and mmax are set to 0.9 and 1.1 respectively. These values were selected because

they provided good performance over a range of traffic types. An additional constraint can be used to limit the

range of possible values for ATet. For example, in this paper, the sampling interval is restricted to be between 1

and 10 seconds regardless of the output of the LP logic. The lower bound is applied to limit the sampling to a rate

the manager and agents can realistically service, while the upper bound ensures there is some minimum set of

samples on which to base future predictions.

2.2.2. Fuzzy Logic Controller (FLC) Method

Rather than attempting to predict the exact values of future samples, fuzzy logic applies "rules of thumb" to the

observed behavior to adjust the future sampling rate in a reasonable fashion. Fuzzy logic has shown promising

results in non-linear systems, especially those that are difficult to model or where an exact model is impossible. The

FLC mimics human reasoning by applying a set of rules based on one or more premises and a single implication.

For example, if the premises "network load is very high" and "the sampling interval is somewhat low" are found to

be true, the implication "reduce the sampling interval by a medium amount" might be taken. In this section, an FLC

is used to adaptively control the sampling rate of the network monitor.

The proposed method for adaptive sampling using fuzzy logic is shown in Fig. 3. The inputs of the FLC are the

current sampling interval, ATcurrent, and the difference between the last two sample values, AX. The FLC output,

Fo,, corresponds to the amount of time to increment or decrement the current sampling interval, ATcurrent. This

adjustment yields a new value for the next sampling interval, ATxet. The following subsections describe the FLC,

including the definition of the membership functions, the fuzzy rules, and the defuzzification process.


Fig. 3. Adaptive sampling based on fuzzy logic.

2.2.3. FLC Membership Functions

Unlike traditional digital systems, fuzzy logic differentiates between several levels such as "high," "medium,"

and lo\\" when making decisions. The numerical ranges assigned to each of the levels are defined in a membership

function. The FLC makes use of a set of membership functions such as those illustrated in Fig. 4 to determine a

suitable output value given the state of the input values. In this case, there are two membership functions for the

inputs and one for the output. For the two input membership functions, AX and ATcurrent, the horizontal axis

corresponds to the value of the input. A given value of the input is interpreted as being in one or more fuzzy states.

For the AX input, the fuzzy states are No-( I1,,i.i,. (NC), ( hIo, i.-\l/Jit (CS), ( i.,, i.. -Low (CL), C /i,, ,.. ,...,lI1

(CM), and (C/'. .. -High (CH). The ATcurrent input falls into the categories of Small (S), Small-Medium (SM),

Medium (M), Medium-Large (ML), and Large (L).

The output of the FLC is also defined in terms of fuzzy variables. In Fig. 4, the output of the FLC, Fo,,, falls

into one of five fuzzy states: Decrease-High (DH), Decrease-Low (DL), No-( /h,, .- (NC), Increase-Low (IL), and

Increase-High (IH).

1 1 1


0 P/6 P/3 P/2 2P/3 5P/6 P 0 M/6 M/3 M/2 2M/3 5M/6 M -L -2L/3 -L/3 0 L/3 2L/3 L

(a) AX (b) ATrrent (c) Fo,
Fig. 4. Membership functions used by the FLC.

In Fig. 4, the labels at the top of each peak in the graph represent the fuzzy states for the given input or output

variable. The y-axis shows the fractional membership in each state for a given value along the x-axis. The x-axis

value corresponds to the numerical value of the input or output variable. The membership function for input AX

describes the amount of change in measured throughput (in terms of SNMP byte-count) between successive samples

and ranges from 0 to P bytes. Similarly, the membership function for input ATcurre,,t denotes the current sampling

interval and ranges from 0 to K seconds. Finally, the membership function for output F,, indicates the amount of

increase or decrease to be applied to the sampling interval and ranges from -L to +L seconds.

Table II. Parameter values selected for the membership functions in the FLC.
Type of Traffic P (bytes) K (sec) L (sec)
Internet 0.4 x Ste,, 12 2.0
Videoconference 4.0 x S,, 12 0.5

The appropriate selection of the membership parameters P, K, and L requires some understanding of the traffic

behavior. When determining the values for these FLC parameters, it is desirable to select values that lead to a

relatively uniform spread in frequency of occurrence of inputs across the states of the membership function. For

instance, with parameter P, the goal is select the value that distributes the input data in a relatively uniform fashion

across all five of the stages, from NC to CH. Based on several tuning experiments with the Internet and

videoconference traffic models described in the next section, the values selected for this controller were determined

as shown in Table II. In this table, the variables SInern and Sv,deo refer to the peak throughputs (i.e. the maximum

change in SNMP transmitted byte-count measured over a span of one second) in the Internet and videoconference

data, respectively. These values are multiplied by a scaling factor to produce the desired value for parameter P. For

Internet traffic, a small scaling factor is selected, which allows the FLC to respond to smaller changes in network

behavior. Coupled with a larger value of L, the FLC can make large adjustments in the sampling interval in

response to small changes in network behavior. The videoconference traffic employs a larger scaling factor and

smaller value of L since the periodic nature of the traffic requires less drastic adjustments to sample rate. Although

beyond the scope of this paper, the use of an FLC in a network with arbitrary traffic would require a training period

during which the optimal spread of these three parameters across the fuzzy states in the membership functions could

be ascertained.

2.2.4. FLCRules

In addition to the membership functions for the inputs, the FLC needs a fuzzy set of rules to map the input

values to an output response. The twenty-five statements shown in Table III represent a proposed set of fuzzy rules

for the FLC. Each row in this table provides two premises along with a single implication. In the table, the first and

second columns are correlated using the logic operator AND, which is analogous to the intersection in set theory.

For example, the fuzzy logic expression shown in the first row of the table indicates that given no measured changes

in the input, AX, and a small sampling interval, ATcrrent, then Fo, should cause the sampling interval to be increased

by a high amount.

Table III. Rules for the fuzzy controller.

Rule AX ATcurrent Fo,_
1 No-Change (NC) Small (S) Increase-High (IH)
2 No-Change (NC) Small-Medium (SM) Increase-High (IH)
3 No-Change (NC) Medium (M) Increase-Low (IL)
4 No-Change (NC) Medium-Large (ML) Increase-Low (IL)
5 No-Change (NC) Large (L) No-Change (C)
6 Change-Slight (CS) Small (S) Increase-High (IH)
7 Change-Slight (CS) Small-lMedium (SM) Increase-Low (IL)
8 Change-Slight (CS) Aledium (M) No-Change (NC)
9 Change-Slight (CS) Aledium-Large (ML) Decrease-Low (DL)
10 Change-Slight (CS) Large (L) Decrease-Low (DL)
11 Change-Low (CL) Small (S) Increase-Low (IL)
12 Change-Low (CL) Small-Medium (S/M) No-Change (NC)
13 Change-Low (CL) Medium (M) Decrease-Low (DL)
14 Change-Low (CL) Medium-Large (ML) Decrease-High (DH)
15 Change-Low (CL) Large (L) No-Change (AC)
16 Change-Medium (CM) Small (S) Decrease-Low (DL)
17 Change-Medium (CM) Small-Medium (SM) Decrease-Low (DL)
18 Change-Medium (CM1) Medium (M) Decrease-High (DH)
19 Change-Medium (CM) Medium-Large (ML) Decrease-High (DH)
20 Change-Medium (CM) Large (L) Decrease-High (DH)
21 Change-High (CH) Small (S) Decrease-Low (DL)
22 Change-High (CH) Small-Medium (SM) Decrease-High (DH)
23 Change-High (CH) Medium (M/) Decrease-High (DH)
24 Change-High (CH) Medium-Large (ML) Decrease-High (DH)
25 Change-High (CH) Large (L) Decrease-High (DH)

The "fuzziness" of the FLC stems from the fact that a given input value may correspond to multiple fuzzy

states. For example, referring to Fig. 4(a), if AX has a value between P/3 and P/2 then it would be a partial member

in the CS state and a partial member in the CL state. Such fuzziness makes it hard to determine a fixed expression

for the output value from Table III. In order to find the non-fuzzy output, the defuzzification process takes place.

This process is composed of an inference method that makes use of the rules and membership functions to produce

the control output. The correlation-product method is used here for defuzzification with the FLC [3].

2.2.5. FLC Defuzzification Process

Consider the example in Fig. 5 using the correlation-product method for defuzzification. The figure

assumes the input values of AXo and ATo for AX and ATcurre,,,, respectively. The membership functions indicate two

degrees of membership for each input: a value of a in the CS state and P in the NC state for the input AXo, and a

value of 8 in the ML state and e in the M state for To. There are three steps in the defuzzification process using the

correlation product method. The first step is to find the set of all rules that correspond to the input membership

states by considering all permutations of the states. In this example, the rules 3, 4, 8, and 9 from Table III apply.

The second step is to choose the minimum value of the degree of membership of the inputs among the matching

rules. For instance, rule 3 involves the fuzzy states NC and M in the membership functions AX and ATcurret,

respectively. The degree of membership for AXo is P and for ATo is e. Since e < P, then e is the minimum input

value for rule 3. The third step scales the shape of the membership function for the Fo,, value of each rule by the

minimum input value determined in the previous step. In the example below, rule 3 defines the IL state for Fo,,, so

the IL shape is scaled down by e. This process is repeated for all the rule graphs and the resulting scaled shapes are

combined. The center of mass of the combined graph is calculated using Eq. (2.4) [3,11]. The resulting outcome, z,

corresponds to the numerical value used for Fo,.


a -----------


0 P/6 P/3 P/2 2P/3 5P/6 P

0 M/6 M/3 M/2 2M/3 5M/6 M

-L -2L/3 -L/3 0 L/3 2L3 L

rule #3


0 L/3 2L/3

rule #4


rule #8


-L/3 0 L/3

rule #9

0 L/3 2L/3 -2L/3 -L/3 0

Fo1 Union of matching inference rules and resulting outcome
(center of mass defuzzification)

a ---L -----Ux 0T L+V L + Lo L
j -a+(0)E+-P+-e
z= 3 3 3
n \a+E+P+E

-2L/3 -L/3 0 L/3 2L3

Fig. 5. Correlation-product inference method and defuzzification process.

'u, Xv,
z= =1 (2.4)


For each of the n scaled shapes in the combined graph, the center of mass equation uses Uj and V, to represent

the values for the peak of the shape on the x-axis and y-axis, respectively. For example, Fig. 5 shows the

combination of the scaled rule graphs where the Uj values are L/3, L/3, 0, and -L/3, and the V, values are e, fP, e, and

a, from rules 3, 4, 8, and 9, respectively. The result of this equation represents the numerical (i.e. non-fuzzy) output

for membership function Fou,. Future sampling queries are rescheduled based upon this scalar result as shown in

Fig. 3.


This section describes a set of simulative experiments to compare the adaptive and systematic sampling

techniques for network management. The computing testbed that generated the traffic in the simulation is described

in this section, as well as the metric used to compare the sampled data sets.

3.1. Traffic Models and Sampler Simulation

Two traffic traces of network activity are used as data models for the experiments. The two were selected to

represent the opposite ends of the spectrum of potential traffic that might be encountered in a high-performance

network, one characterized by bursty, periodic traffic and the other by streaming, periodic traffic.

The first trace is a two-hour sample taken from the outgoing 100 Mb/s Fast Ethernet port on a Fore Systems

PowerHub 7000 router providing Internet connectivity to a laboratory with dozens of computers during a busy part

of the day. This Internet trace is representative of random, bursty TCP/IP network data and includes traffic from

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and Telnet activity. This type of data should

be ideally suited to adaptive sampling because the sample rate can be adjusted to compensate for the level of loading

on the network at any given time. Thus, the goal with adaptive sampling for this type of traffic is to reduce the

sample count while maintaining the accuracy achieved by the equivalent systematic sampler. Or, conversely, the

goal is to increase the accuracy while maintaining the same sample count as the equivalent systematic sampler.

A second trace was captured from a port of a Fore Systems ASX-200BX Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)

switch that was connected directly to a Fore Systems AVA-300 ATM audio/video decoder. This connection hosts a

continuously running videoconference feed transferring variable-bit-rate compressed video and uncompressed audio

at 30 frames/second over a dedicated 155 Mb/s ATM link. The resulting videoconference trace is representative of a

highly periodic pattern of network traffic. The periodic nature of this data may not be better suited to adaptive

sampling techniques than the systematic sampler. However, the adaptive sampling algorithm can dynamically select

a sampling interval that accurately measures the data. By contrast, a systematic technique requires the proper

interval to be correctly selected a priori by the network administrator, which is not easily realized.

Each trace was taken by measuring the cumulative number of bytes received over a two-hour period using

SNMP queries. The resolution of the measurements was 0.1 seconds, yielding a total of 72,000 samples. The

adaptive and systematic sampling methods were then simulated and evaluated by resampling the data in each trace.

For example, a systematic sampling with T = 1 sec would select every tenth element from the original data, yielding

a new trace with 7,200 samples. During the simulation, all sampling intervals were rounded to the nearest 0.1

seconds so that they correspond to a single measurement from the original trace. For simplicity, the throughput

measurements gathered by the systematic and adaptive samplers with these traces are all normalized to the peak

value stored in the baseline data model (i.e. either Internet or videoconference) used in the experiment.

3.2. Metric for Comparison

In order to compare the performance of the adaptive sampling techniques with the systematic baseline, a

measure of accuracy is needed. The sum of squared error metric [2] for comparing two N-sample sets, as shown in

Eq. (3.1), is used in Section 4.3 to compare the accuracy of the different techniques. This expression makes a point-

by-point comparison between the reference and sampled signals using the normalized magnitude of the

instantaneous throughput. The reference signal, fR(n), is a systematic sampling of the original trace of Internet or

videoconference data with a period of T, = 1 sec. The comparison signal, fc(n), is the output from one of the

adaptive or systematic sampling methods applied to the original trace. Since Eq. (3.1) requires sets with an equal

number of samples, both the reference and the comparison traces are resampled to 72,000 samples. Linear

interpolation is used to produce the added points.

Error = f (f n)- f (n))2 (3.1)


This section presents results and analyses from experiments conducted to ascertain the performance of the

systematic and adaptive sampling algorithms as applied to the Internet and videoconference traces. In the next two

subsections, a qualitative comparison of the signals produced by several systematic and adaptive sampling

measurements is provided. Then, a quantitative assessment of the adaptive sampling techniques is conducted by

comparing the adaptive techniques to an equivalent systematic baseline in terms of sample count and mean-squared

error relative to the reference trace.

4.1. Systematic Sampling Measurements

In this section, the effect of sampling rate is qualitatively illustrated using traditional, systematic sampling

techniques. Fig. 6 and Fig. 7 show the normalized throughput sampled using fixed sampling intervals (T,) from one

to ten seconds on the Internet and videoconference traces, respectively. The shapes for Internet and videoconference

traffic at T, = 1 sec shown in Fig. 6(a) and Fig. 7(a) are used as the reference value in the comparisons of the

different sampling disciplines.

Both figures demonstrate a "smoothing" effect at larger sampling intervals. This effect results from the fact

that the samples actually measure a cumulative SNMP byte-count rather than a throughput. Therefore, at higher

values of Ts, the measured byte-count is averaged over a longer interval of time. The result is that large throughput

spikes are averaged with periods of low activity. This effect both reduces the magnitude of the throughput spikes as

well as filters much of the variation from the actual traffic pattern.


04 - - --

1 0 2 - - - --- -

0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Time (Seconds)

(a) T,= 1 sec (7200 samples)


0 6 - - - - - - -

S04 - - -


0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Time (Seconds)


08 -i--l--- U- --


0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Time (Seconds)

(b) T,= 2 sec (3600 samples)



o 06 - - - - - - - - - - -

04 - -

1 02 1 - --

0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Time (Seconds)

(c) T, = 5 sec (1440 samples) (d) T,= 10 sec (720 samples)

Fig. 6. Measured traffic patterns of Internet data using systematic sampling.




0 ---------------------------------------
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Time (Seconds)

(a) T,= 1 sec (7200 samples)

06 -- --

04 - - - - - - - -


0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Time (Seconds)


0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Time (Seconds)

(b) T,= 2 sec (3600 samples)


E 02-

0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Time (Seconds)
0 4 - - - - -

0 - - - - -

Time (Seconds)

(c) T, = 5 sec (1440 samples) (d) T,= 10 sec (720 samples)

Fig. 7. Measured traffic patterns ofvideoconference data using systematic sampling.

The measurements conducted at T, = 10 sec for the Internet data in Fig. 6 indicate a maximum throughput of

only about 55% of the peak value at the reference. Fig. 7 illustrates a similar situation with videoconference traffic.

For example, in the trace sampled at T, = 5, the highly fluctuating behavior found at the reference is completely lost.

In fact, the variation observed in Fig. 7(c) is only approximately 25%, whereas the reference indicates a variation of

50-70% of the maximum peak throughput.

Since high-performance management services require precise throughput estimations, an inappropriate selection

of the sampling time would lead to inaccurate observations. The following section will show how adaptive

sampling can be used to maintain accurate measurements for Internet and videoconference traffic.

4.2. Adaptive Sampling Measurements

The results of applying the adaptive sampling techniques to the Internet trace using second-, third-, and fourth-

order LP samplers and the FLC sampler are shown in Fig. 8. The second-order LP sampler was able to reduce the

sample count to about 51% of the reference with almost no discernable change in the peak magnitude or variation of

throughput behavior. As the order of the LP sampler is increased, the number of samples are further reduced with


only a small visible loss in peak magnitude and variation. The FLC approach yields the fewest number of samples

at 29% of the reference. The FLC shows more variation than the higher-order LP samplers but with marginally

lower peaks.

Fig. 9 shows the results of applying the adaptive sampling techniques to the periodic videoconference trace.

The LP techniques reduce the number of samples to approximately 65% of the reference but at a slight reduction in

signal variation. The FLC achieves shows slightly less variation at 43% of the reference sample count. However,

the accuracy of the adaptive sampling techniques on the videoconference data is not nearly as good as it is with the

Internet data.

Although a qualitative comparison of the adaptive sampling techniques shows the ability of the adaptive

sampling techniques to reduce sample count while retaining a certain degree of accuracy, an accurate picture of the

performance is difficult to ascertain. For example, a simple systematic sampler with T, = 2 sec is also able to reduce

the number of samples by 50% while still retaining much of the characteristics in the reference signal. Therefore, it

is necessary to quantify the accuracy of the adaptive and systematic sampling techniques.

001 -,---- .. ..------, I -- I --
08 - - -
S 06 -
04 -
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Time (Seconds)
(a) Second-order LP (3728 samples)

oo i L . ..---------

S - -


= 06
O 04

o 02
0 2
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Time (Seconds)
(b) Third-order LP (3028 samples)

z 0

6 - - - - - -

0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Time (Seconds) Time (Seconds)
(c) Fourth-order LP (2641 samples) (d) FLC (2095 samples)

Fig. 8. Measured traffic patterns of Internet data using adaptive sampling.





0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Time (Seconds)

(a) Second-order LP (4769 samples)


2 06

04 ----- --- -

0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Time (Seconds)

(c) Fourth-order LP (4621 samples)




o 02

0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Time (Seconds)

(b) Third-order LP (4651 samples)


2 06


z 02

0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Time (Seconds)

(d) FLC (3095 samples)

Fig. 9. Measured traffic patterns ofvideoconference data using adaptive sampling.

4.3. Quantitative Analysis of Adaptive Samplers

It is difficult to quantitatively compare the performance of the adaptive sampling techniques to an equivalent

systematic approach when the measurements differ in both the number of samples and the squared-error relative to

the reference. In general, traces with more samples show a lower error. Therefore, two forms of experiments were

conducted to compare the adaptive and systematic sampling methods, first with a fixed number of samples and then

with a fixed error. In both cases, a single run of the adaptive sampling techniques was used. As demonstrated in the

previous section, each technique yielded a different number of samples with a different relative error when

compared to the reference. In the fixed sample-count comparison, a systematic sampling interval was selected for

each adaptive sampling result such that it would contain the same number of samples. The relative error from each

adaptive sampler was then calculated and compared to its equivalent systematic sampler. For the constant-error

comparison, a chart of sample count versus relative error was made for a range of systematic sample intervals.

Using this chart, the minimum number of systematically distributed samples necessary to achieve a certain relative

error was determined.

5000 - U Adaptive Sampler U Systematic Sampler]-
4000 - - - - - - -- -- -

3000 - - -

Second-order Third-order Fourth-order FLC
Adaptive techniques

S Adaptive Sampler U Systematic Sampler

400 - - - - - - - - - - -
LE 300

100 - - -
Second-order Third-order Fourth-order FLC
Adaptive techniques

(a) Sample count with constant error (b) Error with constant sample count

Fig. 10. Sample count and error variation with Internet traffic.

Fig. 10 shows the results of the experiments conducted with Internet traffic. In Fig. 10(a), the amount of

sampling error is held constant and then the sample count is measured for each of the adaptive samplers and

compared to a systematic sampler with the same number of samples. In Fig. 10(b), the sample count is held constant

and the error is measured for each case. As the results indicate, each of the four adaptive samplers outperforms its

corresponding systematic sampler. The greatest improvement is seen with the FLC sampler. The FLC sampler

achieves nearly twice the performance of its equivalent systematic sampler, which can be interpreted either as

decreasing the sample count by a factor of two for a given level of accuracy or as increasing the accuracy by a factor

of two for a given number of samples. In contrast, the second-order LP sampler is only marginally better in

performance than its systematic counterpart. As previously hypothesized, traffic of a bursty, periodic nature is

found to be well suited for the capabilities of adaptive sampling, since these samplers are able to dynamically adjust

their sampling rate with periods of increased and decreased activity on the network.

rtive Sampler U Systematic Sampler -

700 -
S0Adaptive Sampler U Systematic Sampler
600 -
500 -
400 - - - - - - - - - - -
S300 - - - - - -
S300 -

10020 - -

1 -
Second-order Third-order Fourth-order FLC Second-order Third-order Fourth-order FLC
Adaptive techniques Adaptive techniques

(a) Sample count with constant error (b) Error with constant sample count

Fig. 11. Sample count and error variation with videoconference traffic.

7- [i

5000 -
U 4500-
. 4000
E 3500
a 3000-
, 2000-
Z 1000



Fig. 11 shows the results of the same experiments with the videoconference traffic. As before, Fig. 11(a)

displays the measurements of sample count for a fixed level of accuracy and Fig. ll(b) displays the measurements

of accuracy for a fixed number of samples. The results in these experiments with videoconference traffic are

markedly different from those with the Internet traffic. The LP samplers show slightly higher error or slightly larger

sample counts than their systematic counterparts. The FLC sampler achieves slightly lower sample counts and

slightly smaller error rates. Given the nature of the traffic being sampled, these results are also promising. When

dealing with traffic of a periodic nature, as is the case with the videoconference, systematic sampling is effective

provided that the appropriate sampling interval can be identified and employed. Thus, the primary goal of using an

adaptive sampler for periodic traffic is to match the performance of the best systematic sampling rate. This

performance is achieved and even surpassed in results from the experiments with videoconference data by using the

FLC sampler, and the LP samplers show only a marginal degradation in performance. An advantage of adaptive

sampling is that this optimal rate can be dynamically adjusted if the frequency or type of periodic traffic changes.

Taken together, the results of the experiments with Internet and videoconference traffic confirm that adaptive

sampling can play an important role in decreasing the load on the network and the network manager, increasing the

accuracy of the measurements, or both. While these two traffic models do not of course encompass the entire

universe of possible traffic patterns, they are reasonably representative of the boundaries of that universe in terms of

bursty, periodic traffic versus streaming, periodic traffic. Thus, these results illustrate that adaptive sampling

provides the potential for better monitoring, control, and management of high-performance networks.


Several researchers have studied sampling techniques in networks. Claffy et al. studied three non-adaptive

sampling methodologies: systematic (i.e. periodic), random, and stratified random sampling [4]. Their results

indicated that stratified random sampling has better accuracy when the three methods are used to capture the same

number of samples. Cozzani and Giordano made use of conventional sampling methods and studied their effects in

quality of service measurements for ATM networks [5]. Drobisz proposed a network capture device for Gigabit

Ethernet, adapting CPU utilization based on traffic burst anticipation by increasing CPU usage when a bursty period

of traffic was expected [12].

Fuzzy and LP adaptations have been used in network applications for congestion, admission, and flow control.

Jacobson and Karels studied flow-control protocols based on filters for the congestion control algorithm for TCP

[10]. Kalampoukas et al. applied filter-based techniques for window adaptation in TCP [13]. These methods

control protocol parameters based upon network traffic behavior. The adaptive sampling techniques presented

herein employ a similar approach, but by contrast the purpose is for more efficiency in sampling of network

management data with the goal of reducing sample count and/or increasing accuracy in a dynamic traffic


Fuzzy-logic controllers have also been studied for ATM networks. Bonde and Ghosh [14] and Catania et al. [15]

proposed queue managing and congestion control based on fuzzy sets. Cheng and Chang suggested a fuzzy

architecture for both congestion and call admission control in ATM networks [11], and discovered that congestion

control, using fuzzy logic, performed better than the leaky bucket algorithm inherent to ATM. The FLC-based

sampling technique proposed herein uses an adaptation of the methods applied in these studies on control of ATM

networks. Whereas these other studies used fuzzy logic to control parameters in the ATM network, our FLC-based

adaptive sampling applies fuzzy logic to the monitoring of network traffic in any environment. Givan and Chong

applied Markov and Bernoulli processes to model network traffic behavior and to create learning algorithms to

predict future traffic measurements in a switch-based application [16]. By contrast, the adaptive techniques

presented herein assume minimal knowledge of the traffic model, instead applying linear prediction and fuzzy-logic

to adapt to any traffic pattern.


This paper has presented two techniques to adaptively monitor network behavior. One approach is based on

using linear prediction to dynamically alter the sample rate based on the accuracy of the predictions, where

inaccurate predictions indicate a change in the network's behavior and result in a smaller sampling interval. The

second approach models the cognitive process of a human network manager by using fuzzy logic. When certain

pre-determined conditions are met, such as an increase in network traffic, corresponding actions are taken such as a

decrease in sampling interval.

These adaptive techniques are shown to perform well on random, bursty data such as conventional Internet

traffic. All approaches are able to reduce the sample count while maintaining the same degree of accuracy as the

best systematic sampling interval. Equivalently, all approaches are able to increase accuracy while maintaining the

same sample count. The higher-order LP samplers perform better than the lower-order ones, while the FLC sampler

shows the greatest reduction in sample count. The reduced sample count is an important factor for network

management in high-performance networks. Accurate measurements are required to find bottlenecks, while at the

same time the impact on the network must be minimized to allow applications to take advantage of the low latency

and high throughputs such networks provide.

For periodic data such as that found in a videoconference environment, the adaptive sampling approaches

perform comparably to the best systematic approach in terms of accuracy and sample count. In particular,

systematic sampling marginally outperforms the LP samplers while the FLC approach shows a slight improvement

over systematic sampling. However, perhaps more importantly, the adaptive techniques have the ability to adjust to

changing traffic loads, and therefore in an environment with dynamic traffic patterns, such as with data

communications, multimedia and integrated services, adaptive sampling techniques hold the potential to outperform

systematic sampling with its pre-selected and fixed sampling interval.

In general, the evidence suggests that the fuzzy-logic adaptive technique provides more flexibility and better

performance than the LP methods. The main disadvantages of the FLC are the selection of the boundaries of the

membership functions and the computational overhead required to implement it. Future work is needed to study

methods to optimally tune the parameters of the adaptive samplers. One possible area of concentration is the

development of an autonomous adaptive manager using fuzzy logic that dynamically adapts the parameters for its

membership functions while the monitoring process is underway. Furthermore, the FLC could maintain a history of

past samples as in the LP approach, at the cost of even more storage and computational overhead, but could

potentially yield better results. In addition, other approaches for the design of adaptive samplers and management

systems are worthy of investigation, such as samplers based on neural-network or neuro-fuzzy controllers.


This research was sponsored in part by the National Security Agency. A portion of this work was made possible by

a Fulbright Foreign Graduate Student Fellowship from the Institute of International Education (IIE).


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