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Steve Uhlig's Publications

Pitfalls in HTTP Traffic Measurements and Analysis
Citation key SAMFU-PHTMA-12
Author Schneider, Fabian and Ager, Bernhard and Maier, Gregor and Feldmann, Anja and Uhlig, Steve
Title of Book Proceedings of Passive and Active Measurements Conference (PAM '12)
Year 2012
Location Vienna, Austria
Month March
Abstract Being responsible for more than half of the total traffic volume in the Internet, HTTP is a popular subject for traffic analysis. From our experiences with HTTP traffic analysis we identified a number of pitfalls which can render a carefully executed study flawed. Often these pitfalls can be avoided easily. Based on passive traffic measurements of 20.000 European residential broadband customers, we quantify the potential error of three issues: Non-consideration of persistent or pipelined HTTP requests, mismatches between the Content-Type header field and the actual content, and mismatches between the Content-Length header and the actual transmitted volume. We find that 60 \% (30 \%) of all HTTP requests (bytes) are persistent (i.e., not the first in a TCP connection) and 4 \% are pipelined. Moreover, we observe a Content-Type mismatch for 35 \% of the total HTTP volume. In terms of Content-Length accuracy our data shows a factor of at least 3.2 more bytes reported in the HTTP header than actually transferred.
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