Measuring and analyzing available bandwidth on the internet

Min Liu*, Zhongcheng Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Available bandwidth (avail-bw for short) is a crucial metric in capacity provisioning, routing and QoS verification. However, existing tools failed to estimate it accurately and could not measure bandwidth beyond the source node's maximum sending rate. In this paper, we redefine the avail-bw based on link idle ratio. Then we analyze the effect of the routing of cross traffic packets on avail-bw measurement and present a novel approach, Idlerate, to measure end-to-end avail-bw for one path. Idlerate is fundamentally different in the basic idea from previous methods and sends small single packet randomly instead of sending packet pair/train back-to-back. Unlike methodologies based on packet dispersion, which are limited by the maximum sending rate of the sender, Idlerate could work on network whose capacity is far beyond the maximum sending rate of the sender. We have evaluated its accuracy and efficiency in simulations and compared its performance with current bandwidth estimation tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-31
Number of pages5
JournalChinese Journal of Electronics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Available bandwidth
  • Bottleneck bandwidth
  • Capacity
  • Network measurements


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