Good News about Heavy Tails

Joachim Charzinski


Heavy-tailed distributions have been widely found in traffic characteristics like connection volumes or connection durations in today's data networks. The purpose of this paper is to show that these heavy-tailed distributions, besides the well-known undesirable features like producing self-similar, long-range dependent traffic, also exhibit desirable features in some cases. Two such cases are presented here: (1)~the detection of flows in network traffic, making it possible to determine the right point in time to establish a shortcut connection for a flow. (2)~the dimensioning of dial-in access servers where the blocking probability is actually reduced when the holding time variance increases.


Traffic Engineering, Network Dimensioning, Traffic Characteristics, Real User Networks, Heavy Tail, High Variance, Residual Lifetime, Access Server Dimensioning