Ip2geo locating internet hosts geographically
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IP2Geo: Locating Internet Hosts Geographically. Venkat Padmanabhan Microsoft Research Joint work with L. Subramanian (UC Berkeley). IP-Geography Mapping. Goal: Infer the geographic location of an Internet host given its IP address. Why is this interesting?

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Ip2geo locating internet hosts geographically l.jpg

IP2Geo: Locating Internet Hosts Geographically

Venkat Padmanabhan

Microsoft Research

Joint work with L. Subramanian (UC Berkeley)

Ip geography mapping l.jpg
IP-Geography Mapping

  • Goal: Infer the geographic location of an Internet host given its IP address.

  • Why is this interesting?

    • enables location-aware applications

    • example applications:

      • Territorial Rights Management

      • Targeted Advertising

      • Network Diagnostics

  • Why is this hard?

    • IP address does not inherently indicate location

    • proxies hide client identity, limit visibility into ISPs

  • Desirable features of a solution

    • easily deployable, accuracy, confidence indicator

Ip2geo l.jpg

Multi-pronged approach that exploits various “properties” of the Internet

  • GeoTrack

    • Extract location hints from router names

  • GeoPing

    • Exploit (coarse) correlation between network delay and geographic distance

  • GeoCluster

    • Identify geographic clusters

Geoping l.jpg

  • Nearest Neighbor in Delay Space(NNDS)

    • delay vector: delay measurements from a host to a fixed set of landmarks

    • delay map: database of delay vectors and locations for a set of known hosts

      (50,45,20,35) ↔ Indianapolis, IN

      (10,20,40,60) ↔ Seattle, WA


    • target location corresponds to best match in delay map

    • optimal dimensionality of delay vector is 7-9

    • akin to NNSS algorithm in RADAR (Bahl &Padmanabhan)

  • Applicability

    • location determination for proximity-based routing (e.g., CoopNet)

Delay map construction l.jpg
Delay Map Construction

Landmark #1

50 ms

Landmark #4

35 ms

45 ms

20 ms

Landmark #2

Landmark #3

Delay Vector = (50,45,20,35) ↔ Indianapolis, IN

Geocluster l.jpg

  • Basic Idea: identify geographic clusters

    • partial IP-location database

      • construct a database of the form (IPaddr, likely location)

      • partial in coverage and potentially inaccurate

      • sources: HotMail registration/login logs, TVGuide query logs

    • cluster identification

      • use prefix info. from BGPtables to identify topological clusters

      • assign each cluster a location based on IP-location database

      • do sub-clustering when no consensus on a cluster’s location

    • location of target IP address is that of best matching cluster

  • Applicability

    • location-based services (passive, accurate)

    • privacy concerns with anonymized and aggregated logs?

Constructing ip location database l.jpg
Constructing IP-Location Database

Registration logs

Login logs

User A ↔ San Francisco, CA

User B ↔ Berkeley, CA

User C ↔ Little Rock, AK

User D ↔ San Francisco, CA

User E ↔ New York, NY

User F ↔ Clinton, AK

User A ↔

User B ↔

User C ↔

User D ↔

User E ↔

User F ↔ ↔ San Francisco, CA ↔ Berkeley, CA ↔ Little Rock, AK ↔ San Francisco, CA ↔ New York, NY ↔ Clinton, AK



Slide8 l.jpg

Geographic sub-clusters in a cluster

No consensus in location estimate for entire cluster

Slide9 l.jpg

Geographic sub-clusters in a cluster

Consensus in location within sub-clusters

Slide10 l.jpg

Geographically Dispersed Cluster

Sub-clustering does not help (e.g., AOL)

Slide11 l.jpg


Median Error: GeoTrack :102 km, GeoPing: 382 km, GeoCluster: 28 km

Conclusions l.jpg

  • IP2Geo encompasses a diverse set of techniques

    • GeoTrack: DNS names

    • GeoPing: network delay

    • GeoCluster: geographic clusters

  • Median error 20-400 km

    • GeoCluster also provides confidence indicator

  • Each technique best suited for a different purpose

    • GeoTrack: locating routers, tracing geographic path

    • GeoPing: location determination for proximity-based routing (e.g., CoopNet)

    • GeoCluster: best suited for location-based services

  • Publications at SIGCOMM 2001 & USENIX 2002

  • Patent filed in May 2001

Issues l.jpg

  • Metro-level accuracy interesting?

  • Privacy issues, especially with using registration and login logs?

    • are anonymization and aggregation sufficient to allay concerns?