Computer Networks Research

Question One

Internet Population:

Provide a discussion of the difficulties in measuring the Internet Population, including the possible definitions of ‘population’ in this context, how these might be measured and their respective strengths and weaknesses. You do not need to estimate the population but you might find it useful to illustrate your discussion with published statistics.


Internet Population

            The internet population can be defined as the amount of users or data that are around the whole internet and consequently is inclusive of the Web Traffic that are reported to be related to the www as well as the population that is due to the other users that include Peer to Peer Networks and E-mail. There are different types of measuring the internet population and these includes census based, panel based, as well as survey based. The similar metrics are likely to be different dramatically in the different variety of measurements as a result of the wide variations in the methodologies. The discrepancies that exist among the various measurement companies are reported to be causing a very increased deal of friction, particularly since the various numbers are actually used in setting the advertising rates [1]

There are various companies that attempted to actually measure the usage of the internet. These companies include, Click Z, Office of the CIA, Nielsen Ratings,,,,,, as well as the Computer Industry Almanac. [1] However, these companies are reported to be incorporating the custom techniques of polling, web server logging, electronic tallying of the server traffic, the focus group sampling as well as several others means of measurements that will be discussed later in this paper.

The internet population has been boosted by the invention of the social media sites.  The social network platform is by the day drawing more attention especially from researchers from both the academic and industrial sector as they apparently become more intrigued by their cost and wide reaching ability. Ever since they came into existence, social network platform sites have drawn millions of subscribers and many of these users religiously follow these sites and are part of their daily activity. These social sites, that have now reached double figures in number, offer a diverse range of practices with the subscribers’ needs creating the foundation for the interest target of the developers. The major technological characteristics and specifications are in most cases similar but the culture and orientation of any particular one widely varies and is divergent based on the target subscriber base. [2]

The essence of the social media is to create a common platform of interaction for the people who connect and in the process, pass an advertised message to the site visitor. The diversity runs along the sexual, religious, racial or national identity lines and may vary in the content and media used to facilitate connectivity [1]. The purpose of this paper is to analyze how this popular means of interaction has impacted on the social life of individuals or groups with an aim based on evaluating how it has revolutionalized our lives and affected how we communicate with one another. [2]

Panel based measurement

The panel based measurement is reported to be an audience measurement that tracks the various habits of the users of internet through the development and recruitment of a panel that is actually a representative of the whole population of the various Web users, and consequently installing particular software on the computers of the panelists for tracking purposes. The participants are accorded various benefits for accepting to serve at the panel such as the server based virus protection. Information is subsequently compiled regarding the participants and the households within the panel in order to come up with a demographic profile and consequently guarantee sufficient representation of all the different segments [3].

Various companies project the particular usage as well as the habits of the internet population within the United States based on the various data that is collected from all the panelists. Consequently, the diversity and size of the panel are very crucial for the projection of the statistically precise numbers. The most renowned companies incorporating the panel based measurement include NetRatings//Nielsen as well as comScore Inc. The panel based method of measuring the internet population has several advantages. First, the panel participants have the ability of providing the demographic data. The panel is likely to be better suited in order to eliminate the duplicative traffic both at work and home. The panels are adopted by various large national agencies and advertisers, basically for the demographics. Finally, the panels are actually very good for the measurement of the large sites with the national audiences [3].

On the other hand, the panel based method of measuring the internet population has various disadvantages. First, the diversity and size of the panel is very imperative for the accurate numbers. The data is likely to be very volatile from one particular month to the other as a result of the number of the different panelist involved in the survey. The panels are also likely to report very limited at work activity as a result of the number of the at work panelists. The panels on the other hand are likely to measure the smaller or simply the geographically narrow sites inadequately. Finally, the panels are likely to fail in tracking the traffic from the various new mobile devices [3].

Census or the Server Based Audience Measurement

            The various companies that analyses web sites are reported to provide the measurement directly from the server of a website or the pages that are served from the website. The television log files data that is analyzed by the companies, which actually track the traffic of the website using two different methods. One method is reported to involve placement of a given Java script tag on the various pages of the particular website to actually send the very traffic activity data back to the firm doing the website analysis. The firm subsequently produces different reports on traffic and activity. Further, another method is reported to be allowing the Web master to actually upload the log files from the particular website. The data then goes to the software program subsequently producing summary reports. The server based method of measuring the internet population is reported to track approximately 100 percent of the traffic within the website and is likely to be inclusive of some of the misleading activity that include duplication, internal traffic, as well as robots. Filters is subsequently set up in order to ensure that misleading activity is removed, however this would require constant updating and maintenance as a result of the regular new creation of the robots and spiders. [3]

Another problem of the accurate measurement is reported to be possibility of the inflated traffic data as a result of the deletion of the user cookie. The small text files that are referred to as cookies are reported to be stored on the computer of the users to actually gather data that subsequently identifies the user. Users of the internet are reported to delete the cookies regularly or simply reject them from being part of the settings of their Web browser. This simply means that in view of the fact that cookies are used in the identification of the unique users; the deletion of cookies is likely to make a particular user to be subsequently counted several times, and therefore making the overall traffic within the website to be inflated. The deletion of cookies could be offset by the users who reject cookies or simply the multiple users who have access to the same similar computer. [1]

The server based audience method of measuring internet population has several advantages. First, it is reported to track almost 100 percent of the activity within the website that is recorded at the level of the server including the military, foreign and work-based activity as well as the mobile devices. The server log files also provides a very detailed user behavior actions that include top pages as well as section ad subsequently the user pathing through the site. The good option for the sites is also not covered by the panels. Finally, the ad delivery as well as measurement is server based. Nonetheless, the served based method of measuring internet population also has several disadvantages. First, the deletion of the user cookie is likely to inflate the overall numbers of the traffic. The new robots and spiders are likely to create very misleading activity incase they are not accurately filtered. One of the users who access the internet from various computers is likely to create duplication. Finally, this method does not actually provide data on the audience demography. [1]

Question Two               

IP Address Exhaustion:  Although the problem of IPv4 address depletion is due to the design of the original Internet, there have been a number of factors that aggravated this crisis. Provide a critical assessment of the IPv4 address exhaustion crisis where you identify these additional factors and explain how these factors affected the IPv4 address exhaustion crisis. You need to draw heavily on published evidence and opinion.


            It has been increasingly recognized by several authorities that the overall demand for the Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) addresses globally will actually outstrip the actual availability to the new entities that are seeking connection to the internet or simply the existing networks that are in the verge of expanding. Debate has been going on concerning its occurrence in the year 2010 or the year 2011. Even with the new alleviation approaches, this date is approximated to extend to the year 2013. Address exhaustion is likely to have very significant impact on the American competitiveness as well as the whole economy. The various technologies that are likely to benefit from the internet connection include intelligent highway systems as well as vehicular technology. Further, it includes the distributed generation of the renewable energy and the rechargeable batteries for the Cell Phones and PCs. The motor vehicle proactive and maintenance service as well as event data recording for the motor vehicles also benefits. Finally, the public key infrastructure certificate management and issuing components also benefits. [4]

As significant to the American competitiveness are the applications that have not actually emerged. With the IPv4, there can be a possibility of actually networking billions of devices to a common infrastructure with center of research, development and the monetizing within the United States. However, these and several other applications are likely to be at an increased risk when the country run out of the IPv4 addresses. In addition to the various IEEE technical publications on this particular topic, NANOG, internet survey, as well as the IPv6 Forum have several position papers that describes the exhaustion of the IPv4 and consequently the impact it is likely to have on the technological development. [4]

One of the reasons for the unavailability of the IP address includes the new applications. An example is the 3G mobile network that has the ability of actually consuming several billions of addresses. At the present consumption rate, there is likely to be absolutely no network for allocation by the year 2013. However, the running out of the addresses should never be interpreted to actually mean that the IPv4 based internet is likely to stop working suddenly. Nevertheless, it simply means that there is likely to be difficulty, if not complete impossibility to actually attribute the new IP addresses to the expanding or new enterprises. Such a particular limitation is likely to have an adverse impact on the innovation and commerce. [5]

It is significant to actually view whether the IPv4 address shortage is actually an opportunity or a problem. It could be argued that it could be in the interest of the United States to ensure that the space of the address is filled up. The U.S. enterprises and the U.S. government are reported to be holding a very vast majority of the IPv4 addresses that have been allocated, indeed it can be accurately be argued that these are the major consumers of the addresses leading to their shortage. However, several countries such as Korea, China, Japan, as well as several others European countries have gone ahead to implement the IPv6. The increased hoarding of the IPv4 addresses and the subsequent postponement of the deployment of IPv6 simply indicates that the U.S. is likely to become an island in the next generation internet globally. This simply means that the servers in the U.S. are likely not to be easy reached when outside the U.S. Furthermore, the U.S. clients are likely not to reach the modern and new services that are offered overseas. Moreover, worse is the fact that with the IPv6 deployment access and experience, it could be expected that wealth creation and innovation will be taking place elsewhere and not in the U.S.[4]

Question Three      

IPv6 Deployment: Based on the common IPv6 transition strategies provide an analysis of the likely deployment path of IPv6 i.e. which strategies are most likely to actually happen, and why, and the likely timescales involved.


IPv6 is reported to take the proven IPv4 protocol subsequently extending the address space from the 32 bits to the 128 bits. This simply means that we go from the approximately 2 billion usable IPv4 addresses to over 3.4 billion IPv6 addresses. Additionally, IPv6 is inclusive of CIDR as has been described above, as very fundamental premise. There are several other features, but in the next ten years since the IETF that was published in the IPv6 specification, however most of these have actually been back reported to the IPv4. The very large address space that is coupled with the classes routing eliminating the need for NAT. Removing the actual for NAT to subsequently attach the hosts to the internet is reported to enable the internet end to end applications as well as end to end security mechanisms. The CIDR consequently reduces the structural addresses waste through allowing for the appropriate network sizes as opposed to the too small insanely big, and too big network allocations from the IPv4. [4]

The significant strategies that are used in the deployment of the IPv6 at the very edge of the network is reported to involve the carrying of IPv6 traffic over the particular IPv4 network, and subsequently allowing the very isolated IPv6 domains to actually converse with each other previous to the full transition to the particular native IPv6 backbone. There is a possibility of running the IPv4 and the IPv6 so as to allow the hosts to communicate in one particular protocol in order to subsequently communicate very transparently with the other hosts who are running several other protocols. All the techniques applied are reported to allow the networks to be subsequently upgraded and the IPv6 deployed smoothly with very minimal disruption of the IPv4 services. There are key strategies that have been adopted in order to deploy the IPv6. These strategies include: deployment of IPv6 over IPv4, deployment of IPv6 over the dedicated data links, deployment of the IPv6 over the MPLS backbones, as well as deployment of the IPv6 using the dual stack backbones. [4]

Deploying IPv6 over IPv4 tunnels is one of the strategies. These tunnels are reported to encapsulate the actual IPv6 traffic that exists within the IPv4 packets, and are basically incorporated for the communication existing between the isolated IPv6 connections to the remote IPv6 networks over IPv4 backbone. [6] The various techniques are inclusive of the use of the tunnels that are manually configured, the generic routing encapsulation (GRE) tunnels, the semiautomatic tunnel mechanisms that include the tunnel broker services, as well as the fully automatic tunnel mechanisms that includes IPv4 compatible and the 6 to 4. Deploying the IPv6 over the dedicated data links is another strategy. This particular strategy is reported to enable the isolated IPv6 domains to subsequently communicate through the use of the Layer 2 infrastructure as for the IPv4, but with the IPv6 using the separate Frame Relay or the ATM PVCs, the separate optical links, as well as the dense Wave Division Multiplexing (Dwdm). [4]

Deployment of the IPv6 over the MPLS backbones is also a strategy for the IPv6 deployment. This particular technique allows a given isolated IPv6 domains to facilitate communication with the other, but simply over a given MPLS IPv4 backbone.  There are multiple techniques that have been made available at the different points within the networks, but each of the of these techniques is reported to require little changes that should be made on the backbone infrastructure or simply the reconfiguration of the of the overall core routers since forwarding is actually based on the labels as opposed to the IP header. [6] Finally, deployment of the IPV6 through the use of dual-stack backbones is also a strategy for the deployment of the IPv6. This particular technique is reported to allow the IPv4 and the IPv6 applications to actually coexist within a dual IP layer routing backbone. All the routers existing within the network should actually be upgraded to actually be dual stack with the IPv4 communication through the use of the IPV4 protocol stack as well as the IPv6 communication through the use of the IPv6 stack. [4]


  1. Adams, A., Biu, T., Friedman, T., Horowitz, J., Towsley, D., Careers, R., Duffield, N. G., (2000). The use of end-to-end multicast measurements for characterizing internal network behavior. IEEE Communications Magazine 38(5): 152-159.
  2. Liu, H., Maes, P., & Davenport, G. 2006, Unraveling the taste fabric of social networks. International Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems, 2 (1), 42-71.
  3. Amer, P. D. and Cassel, L. N. (1989). Measurement of sampled real-time network measurements. In proc. 14th IEEC Conference on Local Computer Networks 62-68. IEEE Press, New York.
  4. IEEE-USA. (2009). Next Generation Internet: IPv4 Address Exhaustion, Mitigation Strategies and Implications for the U.S. White Paper.
  5. Smith, Lucie; Lipner, Ian (3 February 2011). “Free Pool of IPv4 Address Space Depleted”. Number Resource Organization.
  6. Haythornthwaite, C. 2005, Social networks and Internet connectivity effects. Information, Communication, & Society, 8 (2), 125-147.




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