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Efficient and cost-effective measurement of network characteristics is pivotal for distributed systems deployed on the Internet. The network characteristics are utilized by Internet-based distributed systems to provide better service to the user and enhance performance for the application. This paper provides a detailed analysis of existing techniques for the measurement of the four important network characteristics which include latency, bandwidth, path detection and loss rate. The paper describes key concepts related to network measurements, including techniques for clock synchronization, strategies for time stamping of probes, methods for network analysis, difference between active and passive measurements and comparison of round trip vs. one way delay measurements.
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