Dasu -- A platform for measurement experimentation and broadband characterization
The short story
Dasu is a measurement experimentation platform for the Internet's edge. It supports both controlled network experimentation and broadband characterization, building on public interest on on the later to gain the adoption necessary for the former.
Do you ever wonder what your ISP service is really like? Are you getting your money's worth? How do DNS public services perform compared with those of your own ISP - in the long run?
Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) set complex policies based on time of day, service level or application; others are known to over-subscribe their networks, actively shape traffic or even discourage heavy hitters. To you, the end user, these policies translate into noticeable time-of-day variations on bandwidth availability, limited performance for specific applications, or simply overall degradation of the quality of service received. As a consumer you want to be sure that you are getting the service that you're paying for and are informed of any network management practices that impact your performance. The main goal of Dasu is to efficiently capture these variations by constantly monitoring and measuring the level of service provided by your ISP, so that you can make informed decisions about your choice of service provider.
Dasu does this by constantly analyzing your performance and results from limited light-weight measurement experiments to, among other things, detect problems and infer the presence of practices that negatively impact network performance.
The Dasu plugin, which seamlessly installs into the Vuze/Azureus BitTorrent client, can be downloaded >>>here<<<.
Join our many users and install dasu today!
Dasu standalone is here!
Beta Standalone Version
- Microsoft Windows: Installer
- Mac OS X v10.5+: dmg
In the news
- 4/5/2011: Ars Technica wrote about our analysis of BitTorrent usage during the recent Japanese earthquake and Internet shutdowns in Egypt and Libya.
For the technical crowd
Most previous work aimed at characterizing ISP performance perceived by end users focuses on performing one-time active measurements from user-triggered benchmarking tools - this only allows them to capture snapshots of the network properties they measure. A key drawback of these techniques is that they are unable to capture service variations or characterize sporadic events because of the transient nature of such occurrences. Furthermore, many of these tools only focus on specific types of metrics or services: upload/download limits, DNS performance, HTTP caches.
Ideally, ISP characterization should be performed (i) at scale, to capture the diversity of available providers and their services; (ii) continuously, to capture dynamic changes due to network management policies (e.g. traffic shaping or oversubscribed networks) and unscheduled events (e.g. service interruptions); and (iii) from end users, to guarantee accurate characterization of service.
While there has been much progress toward this, existing approaches exhibit an apparently unavoidable trade-off between coverage, continuous monitoring and capturing user-perceived performance. We argue that network-intensive applications running on end systems (such as BitTorrent) avoid these tradeoffs, offering an ideal platform for ISP characterization.
By passively monitoring user-generated traffic within BitTorrent, Dasu is able to capture the end user's view in a scalable manner. By combining passive monitoring with dynamically extensive, on demand, active measurements, Dasu can achieve the effectiveness of hardware-based solutions (e.g. SamKnows/FCC), without their associated costs, while retaining the control, flexibility, and low-barrier to adoption of software-based models.
Dasu is the Japanese general word for 'putting something out there' or 'showing something'. It is mainly used to signify 'showing secrets'.
- Mario A. Sánchez, John S. Otto, Zachary S. Bischof, David R. Choffnes, Fabián E. Bustamante, Balachander Krishnamurthy and Walter Willinger. Dasu: Pushing Experiments to the Internet's Edge, In Proc. of the USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI), April 2013.
- Mario A. Sánchez, John S. Otto, Zachary S. Bischof, and Fabián E. Bustamante. Trying Broadband Characterization at Home. In Proc. of the Passive and Active Measurement Conference (PAM), March 2013.
- Zachary S. Bischof, John S. Otto, and Fabián E. Bustamante. Up, Down and Around the Stack: ISP Characterization from Network Intensive Applications. In Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Measurements Up the STack (W-MUST), August 2012. Also in ACM SIGCOMM CCR Special Issue, Volume 42 Issue 4, October 2012.
- Zachary S. Bischof, John S. Otto, Mario A. Sánchez, John P. Rula, David R. Choffnes, and Fabián E. Bustamante . Crowdsourcing ISP Characterization to the Network Edge. In Proc. ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Measurements Up the STack (W-MUST), August 2011.
- Mario A. Sánchez, David R. Choffnes and Fabián E. Bustamante. Heuristics for passively detecting interference from peers in P2P systems. Tech. Report NWU-EECS-09-23, Northwestern University, May 2009.
- Mario A. Sánchez, John S. Otto, Zachary S. Bischof, David R. Choffnes, Fabián E. Bustamante, and Walter Willinger. Experiments at the Internet's Edge with Dasu. Demonstration at USENIX NSDI, April 2013.
- Zachary S. Bischof, Mario A. Sánchez, John S. Otto, John P. Rula, and Fabián E. Bustamante. Characterizing Broadband Services with Dasu. Demonstration at USENIX NSDI, April 2013.
- Mario A. Sánchez, John S. Otto, Zachary S. Bischof, and Fabián E. Bustamante. Dasu - ISP Characterization from the Edge: A BitTorrent Implementation. Demo in Proc. of ACM SIGCOMM, August 2011.
- Dasu's Vuze plugin page
- Disclaimer: By downloading and installing this plugin, you agree to the terms of this disclaimer.
- License: This software is released under the GPL. The source code can be found in the jar.
- BitTorrent site
Frequently asked questions
- Does this work with my operating system? In short, yes. Dasu relies only on Vuze, so it should work anywhere that Vuze works. If you encounter a problem, please let us know!
Take a test-drive of the Dasu interface >>>here<<<.
Watch a screencast showing how to install and use Dasu: