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Recent work has shown that the physical connectivity of the Internet exhibits small-world behavior. Characterizing such behavior is important not only for generating realistic Internet topology, but also for the proper evaluation of large-scale content delivery techniques. Along this line, this paper tries to explain how the small-world behavior arises in the Internet topologies and how it impacts the performance of multicast techniques. The authors show that multicast tree size largely depends on the network topology. If topology generators capture only the variability of vertex degree, they are likely to underestimate the benefit of multicast techniques.
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