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Ethernet Topology Discovery without Network Assistance

Richard Black, Austin Donnelly, and Cédric Fournet


This work addresses the problem of Layer 2 topology discovery. Current techniques concentrate on using SNMP to query information from Ethernet switches. In contrast, we present a technique that infers the Ethernet (Layer 2) topology without assistance from the network elements by injecting suitable probe packets from the end-systems and observing where they are delivered. We describe the algorithm, formally characterize its correctness and completeness, and present our implementation and experimental results. Performance results show that although originally aimed at the home and small office the techniques scale to much larger networks.


Publication typeInproceedings
Published inProceedings of 12th IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols (ICNP'04)
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
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