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Video Game Traffic Profile. Glenn Harper Joseph Sanchez Everett Espinoza Anthony Baros. Video Gaming: A Burgeoning Industry. As of 2002, Video Gaming was a $30 Billion per year industry. Game sales rival CD, DVD, and Box Office sales. Example: Sony Playstation 2

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video game traffic profile

Video Game Traffic Profile

Glenn Harper

Joseph Sanchez

Everett Espinoza

Anthony Baros

video gaming a burgeoning industry
Video Gaming: A Burgeoning Industry
  • As of 2002, Video Gaming was a $30 Billion per year industry.
  • Game sales rival CD, DVD, and Box Office sales.
  • Example: Sony Playstation 2
  • 25 million consoles sold, 2.6 million connected (with separate adapter).
online gaming the next big thing
Online Gaming: The Next Big Thing
  • SCEA study has noted that the peak time for online play is between 5 and 11 pm
  • Nielsen (Television ratings) has noted a drop in the number of viewers among males 18-24 during the same time period.
  • The rise of online gaming and video gaming has had a huge impact on entertainment landscape.
previous work
Previous Work
  • Many previous studies have been done to measure Web or Multimedia traffic
  • Game traffic should be different: Low latency, small packet size, bursty traffic
a challenge to the existing infrastructure of the internet
A Challenge to the Existing Infrastructure of the Internet
  • Large amount of users requires a relatively high bandwidth, massively scalable method of connecting to servers.
  • How do gaming developers and system administrators meet this need?
profiling traffic from online gaming
Profiling Traffic from Online Gaming

Three focuses for our project:

  • What type of traffic is used to connect between clients and servers?
  • How many gamers are connecting, and how does the number change throughout the day?
  • What is the geographic distribution of online gamers?
possible benefits of this study
Possible benefits of this study
  • Good data will allow the design of networks to better accommodate network gaming traffic “turbulence”
  • Provide data for more realistic network simulations
type of traffic
Type of Traffic
  • Hypothesis: mostly UDP, with TCP connection to tell server when clients join and disconnect.
  • Tested using network connection monitoring tool while observing an online game.
number of gamers
Number of Gamers
  • Hypothesis: Absolute number unknown, but peak should be between 5 and 11 pm, as per the SCEA study.
  • Test by looking at the number of gamers on “closest” servers at various times during the day.
geographic distribution
Geographic Distribution
  • Hypothesis: Should see a normal distribution on a map of the Southwestern USA.
  • Means should be at cities (Albuquerque, Phoenix, San Antonio, Denver, etc.)
  • Test by taking IPs of servers with low lag, then plug those IPs into a location finder.
initially set up server but no one connected
Initially set up server, but no one connected.
  • Initially set up server, but no one connected.

Took different approach:

  • Looked at servers with latency < 50, and servers located in southwest
  • Assumed these would be servers connecting to us.
testing results for span of two weeks for
Testing results for span of two weeks for
  • Number of Players
  • Number of Active servers
  • Types of network connections occuring during gaming
  • Locations of various servers
results for individual days of the week
Results for individual days of the week:
  • Number of players
  • Number of active servers
mechanism for determining types of gaming connections
Mechanism for determining types of gaming connections:

Used Netmon 1.1, which records the following:

  • Remote Address
  • Local address
  • Port number used
  • Type of protocol used
This software allowed us to determine the various types of connections utilized throughout game play
types of connections determined
Types of connections determined:
  • There are TCP Connections to central Steam server. These connections perform basic control functions
  • Majority connection types are UDP, which contain the bulk of the data. UDP connection is the basic server-client connection.
geographic distribution31
Geographic Distribution was used to find out the organization which a IP address belonged to and thus the location of the server’s city

sample data
Sample Data:

OrgName: Game Daemons, Inc.


Address: P.O. Box 702

City: Midway

StateProv: UT

PostalCode: 84909

Country: US

NetRange: -

OrgName: Cyberbasin Internet Services

OrgID: CIS-218

Address: 407 N Big Spring

City: Midland

StateProv: TX

PostalCode: 79702

Country: US

NetRange: -

  • Network games different than typical Internet applications
    • Very Interactive
    • Traffic flow profile consists mainly of small bursts of UDP packets
    • For Counter-strike game, we see burstier data rate depending upon action
    • Packet sizes for server depend upon action