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Mean round-trip times in the ARPANET.
W. Naylor, H. Opderbeck. March 1974.

 
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Network Working Group W. Naylor Request for Comment: 619 H. Opderbeck NIC 21990 UCLA-NMC March 7, 1974 Mean Round-Trip Times in the ARPANET In one of our current measurement projects we are interested in the average values of important network parameters. For this purpose we collect data on the network activity over seven consecutive days. This data collection is only interrupted by down-time or maintenance of either the net or our collecting facility (the "late" Sigma-7 or, in future, the 360/91 at CCN). The insight gained from the analysis of this data has been reported in Network Measurement Group Note 18 (NIC 20793): L. Kleinrock and W. Naylor "On Measured Behavior of the ARPA Network" This paper will be presented at the NCC '74 in Chicago. In this RFC we want to report the mean round-trip times (or delays) that were observed during these week-long measurements since we think these figures are of general interest to the ARPA community. Let us first define the term "round trip time" as it is used by the statistics gathering program in the IMPs. When a message is sent from a source HOST to a destination HOST, the following events, among others, can be distinguished (T(i) is the time of event i): T(1): The message is passed from the user program to the NCP in the source HOST T(2): The proper entry is made in the pending packet table (PPT) for single packet messages or the pending leader table (PLT) for multiple packet messages after the first packet is received by the source IMP T(3): The first packet of the message is put on the proper output queue in the source IMP (at this time the input of the second packet is initiated) T(4): The message is put on the HOST-output queue in the destination IMP (at this time the reassembly of the message is complete) T(5): The RFNM is sent from the destination IMP to the source IMP Naylor & Opderbeck [Page 1]
RFC 619 Mean Round-Trip Times in the ARPANET March 1974 T(6): The RFNM arrives at the source IMP T(7): The RFNM is accepted by the source HOST The time intervals T(i)-T(i-1) are mainly due to the following delays and waiting times: T(2)-T(1): -HOST processing delay -HOST-IMP transmission delay for the 32-bit leader -Waiting time for a message number to become free (only four messages can simultaneously be transmitted between any pair of source IMP - destination IMP) -Waiting time for a buffer to become free (there must be more than three buffers on the "free buffer list") -HOST-IMP transmission delay for the first packet -Waiting time for an entry in the PPT or PLT to become available (there are eight entries in the PPT and twelve in the PLT table) T(3)-T(2): -Waiting time for a store-and-forward (S/F) buffer to become free (the maximum number of S/F-buffers is 20). -Waiting time for a logical ACK-channel to become free (there are 8 logical ACK-channels for each physical channel). -For multiple packet messages, waiting time until the ALLOCATE is received (unless an allocation from a previous multiple-packet message still exists; such an allocation is returned in the RFNM and expires after 125 msec) T(4)-T(3): -Queuing delay, transmission delay, and propagation delay in all the IMPs and lines in the path from source IMP to destination IMP -Possibly retransmission delay due to transmission errors or lack of buffer space (for multiple packet messages the delays for the individual packets overlap) T(5)-T(4): -Queuing delay in the destination IMP -IMP-HOST transmission delay for the first packet -For multiple-packet messages, waiting time for reassembly buffers to become free to piggy-back an ALLOCATE on the RFNM (if this waiting time exceeds one second then the RFNM is sent without the ALLOCATE) T(6)-T(5): -Queuing delay, transmission delay, and propagation delay for the RFNM in all the IMPs and lines in the path from destination IMP to source IMP Naylor & Opderbeck [Page 2]
RFC 619 Mean Round-Trip Times in the ARPANET March 1974 T(7)-T(6): -Queuing delay for the RFNM in the source IMP -IMP-HOST transmission delay for the RFNM IMP processing delays are not included in this table since they are usually very small. Also, some of the abovementioned waiting times reduce to zero in many cases, e.g. the waiting time for a message number to become available and the waiting time for a buffer to become free. If the source and destination HOSTs are attached to the same IMP, this table can be simplified as follows: T(2)-T(1): as before T(3)-T(2): for multiple packet messages: waiting time until reassembly space becomes available (there are up to 66 reassembly buffers) T(4)-T(3): for multiple packet messages: HOST-IMP transmission delay for packets 2,3,... T(5)-T(4): as before T(6)-T(5): 0 T(7)-T(6): as before Up to now we have neglected the possibility that a single packet message is rejected at the destination IMP because of lack of reassembly space. If this occurs, the single packet message is treated as a request for buffer space allocation and the time interval T(3)-T(2) increased by the waiting time until the corresponding "ALLOCATE" is received. The round trip time (RTT) is now defined as the time interval T(6)-T(2). Note that the RTT for multiple packet messages does include the waiting time until the ALLOCATE is received. It does, however, not include the source HOST processing delay (i.e. delays in the NCP), the HOST-IMP transmission delay, and the waiting time until a message number becomes available. Note also, that the RFNM is sent after the first packet of a multiple packet message has been received by the destination HOST. Let us now turn to the presentation of the average round trip times as they were measured during continuous seven-day periods in August and December '73. In August, an average number of 2935 messages/minute were entering the ARPANET. The overall mean round trip delay for all these messages was 93 milliseconds (msec). The corresponding numbers for December were 2226 messages/minute and 200 msec. An obvious question that immediately arises is: why did the average round trip delay more than double while the rate of incoming messages decreased? The answer to this question can be found in the large round trip delays for the status reports that are sent from each IMP to the NCC. Each IMP sends, on the average, 2.29 status reports per minute to the NCC. Since there Naylor & Opderbeck [Page 3]
RFC 619 Mean Round-Trip Times in the ARPANET March 1974 were 45 sites connected to the net in December, a total of 103.05 status reports per minute were sent to the NCC. Thus 4.63 percent of all messages that entered the net were status reports. The average round trip delay for all these status reports in December was 1.66 sec. This number is five to ten times larger than the average round-trip delay for status reports we observed in August. It is not yet clear what change in the collection of status reports caused this increase. One reason appears to be that the number of these reports was doubled between August and December. Since the large round-trip delays of these status reports distort the overall picture somewhat, we are going to present the December data - wherever appropriate - with and without the effect of these delays. (We should point out here that the traffic/delay picture is distorted by the accumulated statistics messages which were collected to produce this data. We have, however, ignored this effect since these measurement messages represent less than 0.3% of the total traffic.) The overall mean round trip delay without the status reports in December is 132 msec. This value is still more than 35 msec larger than the corresponding value for August. However, before we shall attempt to explain this difference we will first present the measured data. Table 1 shows the mean round trip delay as a function of the number of hops over the minimum-hop path. This minimum number of hops was calculated from the (static) topology of the net as it existed in August and December of last year. The actual number of hops over which any given message travels may, of course, be larger due to network congestion, line failures or IMP failures. In fact, for August we observed a minimum mean path length of 3.24 while the actual measured mean path length was 3.30; in December we observed 4.02 and 4.40, respectively. (See Network Measurement Group Note #18 for an explanation of the computation of actual mean path length.) As expected we observe a sharp increase of the mean round trip delay as the minimum number of hops is increased. Note, however, that the mean round trip delay is not a strictly increasing function of the minimum number of hops. Table 2 gives the mean round trip delay for messages from a given site. The December data is presented with and without the large delays incurred by the sending of status reports to the NCC. Table 3 shows the mean round trip delay for messages to a given site. The largest round trip delays, in December, were incurred by messages sent to the NCC-TIP since these messages include all the status reports. Table 4, finally, gives for each site the mean round trip delays to those three destination IMP/TIP's to which the most messages were sent during the seven-day measurement period in December. Let us first say few words about the traffic distribution which is dealt with in more Naylor & Opderbeck [Page 4]
RFC 619 Mean Round-Trip Times in the ARPANET March 1974 detail in Network Measurement Group Note #18. There are several sites which like to use their IMP as a kind of local multiplexer (UTAH, MIT, HARV, CMU, USCT, CCAT, XROX, HAWT, MIT2). For these sites the most favorite destination site is the source IMP itself. For several other sites the most favorite destination site is just one hop away (BBN, AMES, AMST, NCCT, RUTT). Nobody will be surprised that for many sites ISI (ILL, MTRT, ETAT, SDAT, ARPT, RMLT, LONT) or SRI (UCSB, RADT, NBST) is the most favorite site. There are several other sites (SDC, LL, CASE, DOCT, BELV, ABRD, FNWT, LBL, NSAT, TYMT, MOFF, WPAT) which were rather inactive in terms of generating traffic during the seven-day measurement period in December. Most of their messages were status reports sent to the NCC. (Those IMPs, for which the frequency of messages to the NCC-TIP is less than 2.2 messages per minute, were down for some time during the measurement period). Let us now attempt to give a few explanations for the overall increase in the mean round trip delay between August and December. These explanations may also help to understand the differences in the mean round trip delays for any given source IMP-destination IMP pair as observed in Table 4. 1. Frequency of routing messages. Routing messages are the major source of queuing delay in a very lightly loaded net. In August, a routing message was sent every 640 msec. Since a routing message is 1160 bits long, 3.625 percent of the bandwidth of a 50 kbs circuit was used for the sending of routing messages. For randomly arriving packets this corresponds to a mean queuing delay of 0.42 msec per hop. Between August and December the frequency of sending routing messages was made dependent on line speed and line utilization. As a result, routing messages are now sent on a 50 kbs circuit with zero load every 128 msec. This corresponds to a line utilization of 18.125 percent and a mean queuing delay of 2.10 msec. The queuing delay due to routing messages in a very lightly loaded net in December was therefore five times as large as it was in August. 2. Traffic matrix. The overall mean round trip delay depends on the traffic matrix. If most of the messages are sent over distances of 0 or 1 hop the overall round trip delay will be small. The heavy traffic between AMES and AMST over a high-speed circuit in August contributed to the small overall mean round trip delay. 3. Network topology. The mean round trip delay depends on the number of hops between source-IMP and destination-IMP and therefore on the network topology. Disregarding line or IMP failures, the mean number of hops for a message in August and December was, respectively, 3.24 and 4.02. Naylor & Opderbeck [Page 5]
RFC 619 Mean Round-Trip Times in the ARPANET March 1974 4. Averaging. The network load, given in number or messages per minute, represents an average over a seven-day period. Even though this number may be small, considerable queuing delays could have been incurred during bursts of traffic. 5. Host delays. The round trip delay includes the transmission delay of the first packet from the destination-IMP to the destination- HOST; therefore, the mean round trip delay may be influenced by HOST delays that are independent of the network load. Naylor & Opderbeck [Page 6]
RFC 619 Mean Round-Trip Times in the ARPANET March 1974 Table 1 Mean Round Trip Delay as a Function of the Number of Hops #MESSAGES/MINUTE #SITE PAIRS MEAN ROUND TRIP DELAY HOPS AUG DEC AUG DEC AUG DEC DEC WITH W/OUT STAT STAT RPTS RPTS O 646.9 378.3 39 45 27 44 41 1 487.6 288.7 86 100 25 65 50 2 191.0 143.1 118 138 70 119 80 3 380.7 226.9 148 168 95 131 112 4 218.5 274.1 176 196 102 167 119 5 276.3 185.6 204 228 109 217 134 6 183.8 136.3 210 258 175 355 167 7 333.6 212.7 218 256 178 301 240 8 156.7 161.1 160 234 222 365 241 9 59.0 160.3 102 208 270 308 218 10 0.6 29.9 40 124 331 939 410 11 1.0 18.9 20 46 344 998 699 12 - 10.2 - 20 - 992 655 13 - 0.01 - 4 - 809 809 Naylor & Opderbeck [Page 7]
RFC 619 Mean Round-Trip Times in the ARPANET March 1974 Table 2 Mean Round Trip Delays for Messages from a Given Site #MESSAGES/MINUTE MEAN ROUND TRIP DELAY SITE AUGUST DECEMBER AUGUST DECEMBER DECEMBER WITH WITHOUT STATUS STATUS REPORTS REPORTS 1 UCLA 50.7 40.3 130 282 165 2 SRI 377.3 147.9 45 189 174 3 UCSB 80.2 70.3 120 221 161 4 UTAH 27.0 46.2 136 247 169 5 BBN 120.4 128.3 110 133 133 6 MIT 120.6 96.9 126 160 150 7 RAND 29.3 34.2 127 323 208 8 SDC 1.7 2.4 521 2068 131 9 HARV 50.3 96.0 105 88 72 10 LL 4.4 6.7 201 602 187 11 STAN 49.7 39.7 173 300 191 12 ILL 26.8 53.4 158 216 165 13 CASE 57.6 2.5 138 1592 335 14 CMU 61.1 59.5 153 220 170 15 AMES 242.4 114.1 43 120 81 16 AMST 304.0 163.0 39 94 67 17 MTRT 89.5 60.0 126 199 142 18 RADT 27.7 29.1 145 273 160 19 NBST 98.4 48.2 118 213 152 20 ETAT 24.1 20.6 119 280 119 21 LLL - 6.8 - 721 169 22 ISI 372.0 304.4 110 147 142 23 USCT 298.1 210.3 60 92 70 24 GWCT 10.5 14.1 144 381 102 25 DOCT 5.5 7.0 236 791 171 26 SDAT 14.7 22.9 164 322 177 27 BELV 1.3 2.4 243 1469 466 28 ARPT 57.9 64.3 84 150 93 29 ABRD 1.3 2.4 183 1402 554 30 BBNT 40.8 10.0 75 372 124 31 CCAT 177.7 86.7 83 147 115 32 XROX 56.8 71.7 79 136 78 33 FNWT 2.3 3.5 347 1466 174 34 LBL 1.2 2.7 384 1653 621 35 UCSD 11.9 19.3 237 413 205 36 HAWT 27.5 5.2 654 569 476 37 RMLT 10.4 13.0 122 387 97 40 NCCT - 59.3 - 110 97 41 NSAT 0.6 3.4 1022 1870 1056 42 LONT - 20.8 - 998 848 43 TYMT - 3.7 - 1352 157 Naylor & Opderbeck [Page 8]
RFC 619 Mean Round-Trip Times in the ARPANET March 1974 44 MIT2 - 5.6 - 720 100 45 MOFF - 2.4 - 1982 447 46 RUTT - 22.4 - 271 153 47 WPAT - 2.7 - 1399 380 Naylor & Opderbeck [Page 9]
RFC 619 Mean Round-Trip Times in the ARPANET March 1974 Table 3 Mean Round Trip Delay for Messages to a Given Site #MESSAGES/MINUTE MEAN ROUND TRIP DELAY SITE AUGUST DECEMBER AUGUST DECEMBER 1 UCLA 57.1 43.5 134 209 2 SRI 382.3 149.4 45 158 3 UCSB 61.1 59.1 117 138 4 UTAH 28.1 50.4 128 159 5 BBN 160.8 149.2 185 110 6 MIT 150.4 107.1 116 130 7 RAND 22.6 25.0 95 161 8 SDC 1.7 0.8 149 174 9 HARV 59.3 98.3 101 70 10 LL 4.6 5.2 195 202 11 STAN 65.3 40.6 135 162 12 ILL 29.1 69.8 156 149 13 CASE 52.6 4.0 127 262 14 CMU 74.8 68.9 135 165 15 AMES 210.3 117.2 40 75 16 AMST 316.7 135.0 38 86 17 MTRT 77.7 51.7 130 151 18 RADT 23.4 23.9 142 202 19 NBST 92.2 39.5 125 169 20 ETAT 25.4 22.8 110 111 21 LLL - 3.7 - 185 22 ISI 361.9 299.2 107 130 23 USCT 298.1 190.6 60 68 24 GWCT 10.5 7.3 144 122 25 DOCT 5.5 4.2 236 187 26 SDAT 13.3 19.7 149 177 27 BELV 0.9 0.9 196 285 28 ARPT 55.4 58.3 78 95 29 ABRD 1.3 0.7 183 271 30 BBNT 40.8 6.4 75 159 31 CCAT 177.7 76.3 83 119 32 XROX 56.8 75.3 79 69 33 FNWT 2.3 1.4 347 165 34 LBL 1.2 0.9 384 305 35 UCSD 11.9 24.0 237 157 36 HAWT 27.5 5.0 654 458 37 RMLT 10.4 11.0 122 97 40 NCCT - 140.1 - 1263 41 NSAT 0.6 1.6 1022 918 42 LONT - 17.3 - 855 43 TYMT - 1.6 - 160 44 MIT2 - 3.9 - 83 45 MOFF - 0.2 - 219 46 RUTT - 14.7 - 153 47 WPAT - 0.5 - 282 Naylor & Opderbeck [Page 10]
RFC 619 Mean Round-Trip Times in the ARPANET March 1974 Table 4 Mean Round Trip Delay to the Three Most Favorite Sites #MESSAGES/MINUTE MEAN ROUND TRIP DELAY FROM SITE TO SITE AUGUST DECEMBER AUGUST DECEMBER 1 UCLA 1 RAND 10.8 9.4 57 92 26 SDAT 5.6 5.9 157 191 22 ISI 3.1 3.1 99 146 2 SRI 12 RADT 16.6 19.5 142 163 17 MTRT 21.9 18.7 140 161 2 SRI 266.1 17.5 14 69 3 UCSB 2 SRI 8.1 17.8 72 68 22 ISI 18.1 17.0 75 86 14 CMU 16.6 11.8 140 152 4 UTAH 4 UTAH 3.5 13.5 136 27 22 ISI 3.7 4.8 131 165 5 BBN 4.2 4.1 168 204 5 BBN 40 NCCT - 81.4 - 105 5 BBN 12.5 19.7 102 37 9 HARV 0.5 9.2 22 37 6 MIT 6 MIT 40.6 24.0 81 85 23 USCT 9.8 13.9 150 173 9 HARV 1.7 12.0 63 88 7 RAND 1 UCLA 12.5 10.4 54 96 16 AMST 0.8 2.6 99 190 40 NCCT - 2.5 - 1941 8 SDC 40 NCCT - 2.2 - 2217 1 UCLA 0.2 0.2 110 136 8 SDC 0.01 0.01 93 13 9 HARV 9 HARV 7.6 50.5 49 21 2 MIT 1.6 11.9 62 85 5 BBN 1.6 9.5 56 37 10 LL 40 NCCT - 2.2 - 1420 10 LL 1.5 1.8 238 135 24 GWCT 0.04 0.6 146 80 11 STAN 14 CMU 3.0 7.0 215 207 4 UTAH 0.2 5.5 117 117 6 MIT 6.5 5.0 186 225 Naylor & Opderbeck [Page 11]
RFC 619 Mean Round-Trip Times in the ARPANET March 1974 12 ILL 22 ISI 13.3 20.3 146 142 15 AMES 0.8 14.6 109 135 35 UCSD 6.7 6.5 192 269 13 CASE 40 NCCT - 2.2 - 1744 1 UCLA 0.2 0.2 296 400 2 SRI 7.1 0.01 163 316 14 CMU 14 CMU 13.8 23.4 129 94 3 UCSB 13.8 9.2 153 166 11 STAN 3.2 5.1 193 209 15 AMES 16 AMST 205.0 65.8 15 34 12 ILL 1.2 19.6 115 120 31 CCAT 3.2 4.6 174 230 16 AMST 15 AMES 176.8 74.3 13 28 22 ISI 63.6 33.2 50 69 32 XROX 13.3 17.4 41 60 17 MTRT 22 ISI 26.3 27.5 115 118 2 SRI 23.8 20.3 137 155 5 BBN 3.5 4.2 179 133 18 RADT 2 SRI 17.7 21.7 139 156 1 UCLA 0.4 2.3 265 181 40 NCCT - 2.3 - 1618 19 NBST 2 SRI 14.1 12.1 132 163 22 ISI 29.6 11.8 100 117 5 BBN 21.6 9.6 71 97 20 ETAT 22 ISI 11.9 11.3 106 107 24 GWCT 5.0 5.9 99 107 40 NCCT - 2.2 - 1602 21 LLL 5 BBN - 2.9 - 183 40 NCCT - 2.2 - 1847 4 UTAH - 0.5 - 71 22 ISI 28 ARPT 26.0 38.3 106 104 23 USCT 69.0 32.7 80 92 16 AMST 62.0 28.5 53 87 23 USCT 23 USCT 160.9 119.2 19 23 22 ISI 69.2 34.1 78 91 6 MIT 12.9 19.6 135 150 Naylor & Opderbeck [Page 12]
RFC 619 Mean Round-Trip Times in the ARPANET March 1974 24 GWCT 20 ETAT 6.6 10.8 93 91 40 NCCT - 2.1 - 1978 10 LL 0.03 0.5 359 115 25 DOCT 40 NCCT - 2.3 - 2091 22 ISI 1.0 1.6 220 118 15 AMES 1.9 1.2 167 198 26 SDAT 22 ISI 2.9 8.7 154 138 1 UCLA 5.9 6.0 169 209 2 SRI 1.0 4.4 182 184 27 BELV 40 NCCT - 2.2 - 1553 1 UCLA 0.1 0.2 405 517 22 ISI - 0.01 - 325 28 ARPT 22 ISI 27.4 41.6 106 101 28 ARPT 19.2 13.7 20 35 2 SRI 3.3 3.3 139 157 29 ABRD 40 NCCT - 2.2 - 1461 1 UCLA 0.2 0.2 439 562 9 HARV - 0.01 - 112 30 BBNT 5 BBN 24.2 5.1 36 64 40 NCCT - 2.1 - 1327 22 ISI 4.2 1.1 170 217 31 CCAT 31 CCAT 81.9 28.2 15 31 22 ISI 31.3 23.3 156 171 5 BBN 7.8 7.3 45 42 32 XROX 32 XROX 20.2 36.4 19 15 16 AMST 10.5 13.3 69 93 14 CMU 2.5 3.0 193 251 33 FNWT 40 NCCT - 2.2 - 2210 9 HARV 0.01 0.3 208 194 7 RAND 0.3 0.3 96 171 34 LBL 40 NCCT - 2.4 - 1814 41 NSAT - 0.2 - 1674 1 UCLA 0.1 0.2 295 478 35 UCSD 12 ILL 6.0 7.5 220 260 16 AMST 1.7 4.9 120 172 40 NCCT - 2.0 - 2183 Naylor & Opderbeck [Page 13]
RFC 619 Mean Round-Trip Times in the ARPANET March 1974 36 HAWT 36 HAWT 0.04 1.6 17 26 22 ISI 5.1 1.0 600 623 15 AMES 2.5 0.8 551 590 37 RMLT 22 ISI 7.5 9.0 68 67 40 NCCT - 2.2 - 1918 28 ARPT - 1.0 - 63 40 NCCT 5 BBN - 41.2 - 33 40 NCCT - 6.6 - 433 22 ISI - 3.2 - 151 41 NSAT 40 NCCT - 2.2 - 2308 2 SRI 0.01 0.4 1046 1002 3 UCSB 0.01 0.2 1169 1018 42 LONT 22 ISI - 6.1 - 837 2 SRI - 3.7 - 884 4 UTAH - 2.2 - 921 43 TYMT 40 NCCT - 2.6 - 1859 2 SRI - 0.5 - 79 3 UCSB - 0.2 - 74 44 MIT2 44 MIT2 - 2.8 - 18 40 NCCT - 2.3 - 1664 1 UCLA - 0.2 - 589 46 MOFF 40 NCCT - 2.2 - 2091 1 UCLA - 0.2 - 447 46 RUTT 9 HARV - 4.3 - 38 5 BBN - 3.5 - 93 22 ISI - 2.9 - 172 47 WPAT 40 NCCT - 2.2 - 1643 3 UCSB - 0.2 - 301 1 UCLA - 0.2 - 671 [ This RFC was put into machine readable form for entry ] [ into the online RFC archives by Alex McKenzie with ] [ support from GTE, formerly BBN Corp. 12/99 ] Naylor & Opderbeck [Page 14]

   

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