Traffic refers to the flow of communications that is exchanged over a network. The traffic flowing on a network changes in terms of its characteristics and structure to reflect trends in network usage, social trends and the like. Furthermore, there have recently been increased levels of diverse types of traffic with a wide variety of quality requirements being circulated on high-speed integrated networks. To operate an efficient high-quality network, it is absolutely essential to ascertain the traffic conditions and to employ techniques that allow traffic to circulate suitably based on this information. But as integrated networks become faster and more complex, it becomes harder to operate them by responding to each individual request in a harmonious flow of traffic. With the overall aim of establishing technology to facilitate traffic control even in such difficult circumstances so that high-quality efficient traffic flow can be provided for both the network and its users, we are researching and developing traffic engineering technology while establishing technologies that support controllability, including traffic measurement and analysis technology and network performance monitoring technology adapted for various scenarios.
Three typical research themes relating to this technology are shown below.
Research theme 1
Even in a well-designed network, quality will be degraded because of overload in equipment as a result of traffic increase or traffic concentration. It is therefore important to use equipment effectively by controlling the volume and flow patterns of traffic. Here, we are researching traffic control techniques that facilitate efficient high-quality operation by changing diverse communication requests into forms that are suitable for improving the user quality and the network transfer performance.。
Research theme 2
To control traffic efficiently, it must be possible to distinguish traffic with different characteristics. However, in NGNs and the Internet, most services are distributed with sharing the same network equipment, so identifying traffic is a major issue in itself. Here, we are researching traffic measurement and analysis techniques for extracting the required information from mixed traffic.
Research theme 3
Real services are implemented based on cooperation between the network, servers and terminals. Complex mechanisms implemented on multiple layers in this way make it difficult to predict the behavior of traffic. It is therefore expected that problems will be discovered pro-actively by performing simulations based on actual network information. Using this information, we aim to check whether or not the traffic is behaving as expected, and to implement checks to investigate any measures that should be taken.
Traffic engineering technology
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