Modelling data and voice traffic over IP networks using continuous-time Markov models

  • A.D. Shaikh

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Common approaches to IP-traffic modelling have featured the use of stochastic models, based on the Markov property, which can be classified into black box and white box models based on the approach used for modelling traffic. White box models, are simple to understand, transparent and have a physical meaning attributed to each of the associated parameters. To exploit this key advantage, this thesis explores the use of simple classic continuous-time Markov models based on a white box approach, to model, not only the network traffic statistics but also the source behaviour with respect to the network and application. The thesis is divided into two parts: The first part focuses on the use of simple Markov and Semi-Markov traffic models, starting from the simplest two-state model moving upwards to n-state models with Poisson and non-Poisson statistics. The thesis then introduces the convenient to use, mathematically derived, Gaussian Markov models which are used to model the measured network IP traffic statistics. As one of the most significant contributions, the thesis establishes the significance of the second-order density statistics as it reveals that, in contrast to first-order density, they carry much more unique information on traffic sources and behaviour. The thesis then exploits the use of Gaussian Markov models to model these unique features and finally shows how the use of simple classic Markov models coupled with use of second-order density statistics provides an excellent tool for capturing maximum traffic detail, which in itself is the essence of good traffic modelling. The second part of the thesis, studies the ON-OFF characteristics of VoIP traffic with reference to accurate measurements of the ON and OFF periods, made from a large multi-lingual database of over 100 hours worth of VoIP call recordings. The impact of the language, prosodic structure and speech rate of the speaker on the statistics of the ON-OFF periods is analysed and relevant conclusions are presented. Finally, an ON-OFF VoIP source model with log-normal transitions is contributed as an ideal candidate to model VoIP traffic and the results of this model are compared with those of previously published work.
    Date of Award2009
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorMarc A Eberhard (Supervisor)


    • Markov models
    • semi-Markov models
    • internet traffic modelling
    • Gaussian distribution
    • joint density
    • on-off model
    • voice over IP

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