• MBA-Assisted Research Studies (MARS) are short-duration experiments initiated due to a research team’s interest in the MBA measurement infrastructure as a resource on which to advance specific projects.
  • Candidate experiments feature technical topics pertinent to both the MBA Collaborative and the FCC.
  • Examples of MARS activities include but are not limited to:
    1. Making available the MBA measurements infrastructure and assistance from FCC technical staff, for a targeted duration, for specific research experiments that are distinct from the routine tests in use in the MBA program’s regular reporting schedule
    2. Collecting and providing (for limited, pre-specified durations ) more detailed data than is available through the routinely run MBA tests.
  • Before a MARS project can begin, the following steps are required:
    1. The research team develops a project proposal describing the experiment they wish to run, and the associated intended use of the MBA infrastructure, for review with the FCC.
    2. The Researcher Code of Conduct developed for this purpose is shared with the research team for signing.
    3. A joint assessment as to the technical feasibility of supporting the project on the MBA infrastructure is made by the FCC, and the research team, as a preliminary gating function.
    4. The proposed research is presented to the Collaborative as an initial introduction to the project.
    5. Any new code involved is beta tested for stability, security and functionality.
  • Deployment follows if the experiment is proven to run with no adverse impact to the networks underlying the MBA measurement infrastructure.
  • Scheduling of research experiments is based on research time-tables, available MBA resources and existing program commitments.
  • Further detail on the process associated with MARS activity is contained in the associated Researcher Code of Conduct.
  • Relevant data and other information, once available, is linked to this site.
  • The premises and conclusions of such studies are solely those of the research team, (ie not necessarily endorsed by the FCC). However, when conducted successfully, besides benefiting the researchers involved, projects in this category are likely to provide valuable insights to the FCC, as well as the MBA Collaborative, through an improved understanding of advanced technical issues in network measurements and architectures.

MARS Projects, 2013-2017

Note: some of the projects listed here may have multiple associated publications, others may have none; we attempt to provide a link to at least one published paper or presentation/reference, but the set of references provided on this page does not aim to be exhaustive. When possible we also provide a link to the associated data.

1. Locating Last Mile Performance Bottlenecks

  • Dr. Sri Sundaresan and Professor Nick Feamster, Georgia Institute of Technology/Princeton University
    • 2013: https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/7022416629.pdf
    • 2016: “Home Network or Access Link? Locating Last-mile Downstream Throughput Bottlenecks”, Drs. Srikanth Sundaresan/Nick Feamster/Renata Teixeira (Georgia Institute of Technology/ICSI Berkeley/Princeton University/INRIA, France)

2. Calibrating geolocation algorithms for use in the Time Series Latency Probe (TSLP) and other projects,
Drs. kc Claffy/Brad Huffaker, Cooperative for Applied Internet Data Analysis(CAIDA), UCSD.

3. Highly Granular Packet Loss Data collection.
This is packet loss data aggregated by the minute instead of the hour as normally done in the Fixed Broadband Measurements. This was undertaken at the request of a team consisting of researchers from MIT CSAIL (Drs. David Clark, Steve Bauer) and CAIDA/UCSD (Drs. kc Claffy, Amogh Dhamdhere)

4. NAT Revelio: Detecting NAT 444 in the ISP
This is a project led by Drs. Amogh Dhamdhere and kc. Claffy at the Cooperative for Applied Internet Data Analysis(CAIDA), University of California, San Diego (UCSD), partnering with Simula Research, Norway and the University of Carlos III, Madrid, Spain. As indicated in the title, it investigates one of the means of stretching now exhausted IPv4 address space in the evolving Internet. These experiments were done in two phases. The publication links are below.