BRITE: Universal Topology Generation from a User's Perspective
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Effective engineering of the Internet is predicated upon a detailed understanding of issues such as the large-scale structure of its underlying physical topology, the manner in which it evolves over time, and the way in which its constituent components contribute to its overall function. Unfortunately, developing a deep understanding of these issues has proven to be a challenging task, since it in turn involves solving difficult problems such as mapping the actual topology, characterizing it, and developing models that capture its emergent behavior. Consequently, even though there are a number of topology models, it is an open question as to how representative the topologies they generate are of the actual Internet. Our goal is to produce a topology generation framework which improves the state of the art and is based on design principles which include representativeness, inclusiveness, and interoperability. Representativeness leads to synthetic topologies that accurately reflect many aspects of the actual Internet topology (e.g. hierarchical structure, degree distribution, etc.). Inclusiveness combines the strengths of as many generation models as possible in a single generation tool. Interoperability provides interfaces to widely-used simulation and visualization applications such as ns and SSF. We call such a tool a universal topology generator. In this paper we discuss the design, implementation and usage of the BRITE universal topology generation tool that we have built. We also describe the BRITE Analysis Engine, BRIANA, which is an independent piece of software designed and built upon BRITE design goals of flexibility and extensibility. The purpose of BRIANA is to act as a repository of analysis routines along with a user–friendly interface that allows its use on different topology formats.