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Hosted Measurements

Hosted measurements are the core purpose of measurement.network, which started from a frustration with available infrastructure for measurements in a research context.

We provide a full process that helps you in getting your measurements done in a reliable and ethical way, without making unexpected non-friends in your local IT department.

For that, we provide dedicated IP resources and virtual machines from which you can conduct your measurements. Furthermore, we take care of probe attribution, monitoring, blocklisting, and ensure that your measurement setup is self-contained, i.e., uses only components you can also read the logs of (like, for example, recursive DNS servers).

Hosted Measurements Process

0. Building a measurement tool

The first step of any measurement project is, of course, finding a research question and implementing a tool-chain to do these measurements. This is of course something we cannot really help you with, and happens before we get involved. 🙂

1. Submitting a Proposal

When you know what you want to do you should submit your measurements for review.

Such a submission should include:

  • A brief abstract of the goals and context of the measurements
  • Which and how much data is being collected
  • How many systems will be scanned/measured
  • The hardware/network/bandwidth requirements for the measurements
  • Why the proposed measurement is the ideal way of answering the research question
  • A design overview/documentation of the measurement tool, and details on how to test it
  • The measurement tool itself
  • A marked checkbox acknowledging that the project is non-profit/academic in nature

2. Review & Iterations

We will collect a set of reviewers from our team that is qualified in your specific area of work. We will then iterate over your plan in terms of design, ethics, and implementation to make sure no unintended side-effects occur (there is also something one can miss, but more eyes help), and the implementation is actually effective at measuring what it is supposed to measure.

The goal there is not to either accept or reject a submission; Instead, the general idea is to accept and support all reasonable proposals, and help authors to get their measurements into a good state before launching them onto the Internet.

Naturally, this process does not free you from having to deal with your institutions IRB; They might find issues we miss and the other way around.

3. Measurement Infrastructure

When everyone converged on a feasible measurement tool-chain, we will provision systems for your measurements.

This will include:

  • An IPv4 and IPv6 network
  • Dedicated DNS resolvers just used by you
  • A central log collection host collecting all system logs
  • A dedicated monitoring system checking the correct operation of your measurements and collecting performance statistics of your machines
  • 1-N systems to actually run your measurements

4. Hosting Open Data & Publication

When your measurements are complete, we can store a snapshot of your data and measurement systems. If you sign up for artifact evaluation at the venue where your research gets published, we can also provide access to copies of the actual measurement systems to the reviewers.