Packet traffic features of IPv6 and IPv4 protocol traffic


Abstract: Nowadays, the IPv6 protocol is in a transition phase in operational networks. The ratio of its traffic volume is increasing day by day. The many provided facilities for IPv6 connection increasethe total IPv6 traffic load. IPv6-over-IPv4 tunnels, pilot programsto provide IPv6 connections, IPv6/IPv4 dual stack operating systems,and free IPv6 tunnel brokers cause the IPv6 protocol to expand quickly. For efficient resource utilization, the characteristics of network traffic should be determined accurately. Many traffic characterization studies regarding IPv4 have demonstrated that most of the network traffic is self-similar. Self-similarity causes significant impacts on network performance. With the increasing volume of IPv6 traffic, the characteristics of IPv6 traffic and differences between IPv4 traffic in terms of characterization should be explicitly revealed. In this study, we investigate the characteristics of IPv6 packet traffic and the differences between IPv6 and IPv4 packet traffic in terms of spectral density, autocorrelation, distribution, and self-similarity of packet interarrival time and packet size. The results obviously show that IPv6 traffic exhibits totally different properties in comparison to that of IPv4. Distribution fittings prove that packet interarrival time and packet size have different distributions in the 2 traffic types. While beta distribution models the empirical cumulative distribution of IPv4 packet size, log-logistic distribution gives more efficient results for IPv6 packet size. Furthermore, a significant difference is observed in self-similarity degrees. IPv6 protocol traffic gives greater self-similarity than that of IPv4. Results show that IPv6 traffic would cause greater performance degradations in computer networks in comparison to IPv4 due to high self-similarity.

Keywords: IPv6/IPv4 protocol, self-similarity, distributions, traffic analysis

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