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The authors investigate the problem of identifying individual link metrics in a communication network from accumulated end-to-end metrics over selected measurement paths, under the assumption that link metrics are additive and constant during the measurement, and measurement paths cannot contain cycles. They know from linear algebra that all link metrics can be uniquely identified when the number of linearly independent measurement paths equals n, the number of links. It is, however, inefficient to collect measurements from all possible paths, whose number can grow exponentially in n, as the number of useful measurements (from linearly independent paths) is at most n.
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