A study of self-similar traffic generation for ATM networks
This thesis discusses the efficient and accurate generation of self-similar traffic for ATM networks. ATM networks have been developed to carry multiple service categories. Since the traffic on a number of existing networks is bursty, much research focuses on how to capture the characteristics of traffic to reduce the impact of burstiness. Conventional traffic models do not represent the characteristics of burstiness well, but self-similar traffic models provide a closer approximation. Self-similar traffic models have two fundamental properties, long-range dependence and infinite variance, which have been found in a large number of measurements of real traffic. Therefore, generation of self-similar traffic is vital for the accurate simulation of ATM networks. The main starting point for self-similar traffic generation is the production of fractional Brownian motion (FBM) or fractional Gaussian noise (FGN). In this thesis six algorithms are brought together so that their efficiency and accuracy can be assessed. It is shown that the discrete FGN (dPGN) algorithm and the Weierstrass-Mandelbrot (WM) function are the best in terms of accuracy while the random midpoint displacement (RMD) algorithm, successive random addition (SRA) algorithm, and the WM function are superior in terms of efficiency. Three hybrid approaches are suggested to overcome the inefficiency or inaccuracy of the six algorithms. The combination of the dFGN and RMD algorithm was found to be the best in that it can generate accurate samples efficiently and on-the-fly. After generating FBM sample traces, a further transformation needs to be conducted with either the marginal distribution model or the storage model to produce self-similar traffic. The storage model is a better transformation because it provides a more rigorous mathematical derivation and interpretation of physical meaning. The suitability of using selected Hurst estimators, the rescaled adjusted range (R/S) statistic, the variance-time (VT) plot, and Whittle's approximate maximum likelihood estimator (MLE), is also covered. Whittle's MLE is the better estimator, the R/S statistic can only be used as a reference, and the VT plot might misrepresent the actual Hurst value. An improved method for the generation of self-similar traces and their conversion to traffic has been proposed. This, combined with the identification of reliable methods for the estimators of the Hurst parameter, significantly advances the use of self-similar traffic models in ATM network simulation.