Impact of hot-potato routing changes in IP networks

Renata Teixeira, Aman Shaikh, Timothy G. Griffin, Jennifer L. Rexford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Despite the architectural separation between intradomain and interdomain routing in the Internet, intradomain protocols do influence the path-selection process in the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). When choosing between multiple equally-good BGP routes, a router selects the one with the closest egress point, based on the intradomain path cost. Under such hot-potato routing, an intradomain event can trigger BGP routing changes. To characterize the influence of hot-potato routing, we propose a technique for associating BGP routing changes with events visible in the intradomain protocol, and apply our algorithm to a tier-1 ISP backbone network. We show that (i) BGP updates can lag 60 seconds or more behind the intradomain event; (ii) the number of BGP path changes triggered by hot-potato routing has a nearly uniform distribution across destination prefixes; and (iii) the fraction of BGP messages triggered by intradomain changes varies significantly across time and router locations. We show that hot-potato routing changes lead to longer delays in forwarding-plane convergence, shifts in the flow of traffic to neighboring domains, extra externally-visible BGP update messages, and inaccuracies in Internet performance measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1295-1307
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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