NetProfiler Project

The NetProfiler project leverages end hosts, such as desktops, laptops, and home PCs, to monitor the health of the network and diagnose network problems. The goal is both to provide end users with insight into the nature of network problems that they encounter and to provide network operators such as consumer ISPs and enterprise IT departments visibility into the end-user experience. We are interested in health of wide-area networks (e.g., the Internet) as well as more specific domains such as wireless LANs.

NetProfiler operates by using software sensors to passively monitor existing end-to-end communication (web, email, etc.) at a distributed set of end hosts, and sharing these observations securely with peers to identify and alert users about network problems. A theme that underlies much of our work is minimal or no dependence on special support from the network infrastructure. Thus our solutions are amenable to deployment by end users just like any other peer-to-peer application, without the need to involve their domain or network administrators.

Our current research focus is in two areas:

  1. Email health: We have developed MailScope, a system to monitor and share email delay information, and to use it to alert users when significant email delays are expected. We have also developed SureMail, a system to augment the current email system with a notification overlay in order to alert users when there is silent email loss.
  2. Wireless diagnostics: We have developed WiFiProfiler, a system that enables wireless clients to diagnose problems cooperatively, by exchanging network health information with their peers (e.g., nearby wireless clients).


MSR Researchers

Sharad Agarwal
Ranveer Chandra
Venkat Padmanabhan
Ming Zhang


Dilip Antony Joseph, UC Berkeley
Sriram Ramabhadran, UC San Diego
Sreedhar Veeravalli, IIT Guwahati


WebProfiler: Cooperative Diagnosis of Web Failures
S. Agarwal, N. Liogkas, P. Mohan, and V. N. Padmanabhan
Microsoft Research Technical Report MSR-TR-2008-45
October 2008

A Study of End-to-End Web Access Failures
V. N. Padmanabhan, S. Ramabhadran, S. Agarwal, and J. Padhye
CoNEXT 2006, Lisbon, Portugal
December 2006
(This paper supersedes Microsoft Research Technical Report MSR-TR-2005-29, March 2005)

WiFiProfiler: Cooperative Diagnosis in Wireless LANs
R. Chandra, V. N. Padmanabhan, and M. Zhang
ACM/USENIX MobiSys, Uppsala, Sweden

SureMail: Notification Overlay for Email Reliability
S. Agarwal, V. N. Padmanabhan, and D. A. Joseph
ACM HotNets, College Park, MD, USA
November 2005

Client-based Characterization and Analysis of End-to-End Internet Faults
V. N. Padmanabhan, S. Ramabhadran, and J. Padhye
Microsoft Research Technical Report MSR-TR-2005-29
March 2005

NetProfiler: Profiling Wide-Area Networks Using Peer Cooperation
V. N. Padmanabhan, S. Ramabhadran, and J. Padhye
Proceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on Peer-to-Peer Systems (IPTPS), Ithaca, NY, USA
February 2005


SureMail: Notification Overlay for Email Reliability, HotNets-IV presentation, November 2005

NetProfiler: Profiling Wide-Area Networks Using Peer Cooperation, IPTPS presentation, February 2005

Related Projects

NETI@Home (Georgia Tech)
PlanetSeer (Princeton)

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