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Packet-dispersion based measurement tools insert pairs of probe packets with a known separation into the network for transmission over a unicast path or a multicast tree. Samples of the separation between the probe pairs at the destination(s) are observed. Heuristic techniques are then used by these tools to estimate the path characteristics from the observations. In this paper the authors present a queueing theoretic setting for packet-dispersion based probing. Analogous to network tomography, they develop techniques to estimate the parameters of the arrival process to the individual links from the samples of the output separations, i.e., from the end-to-end measurements.
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