The K-Observer Problem in Computer Networks

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Executive Summary

For any non-negative integer K, a K-observer P of a network N is a set of nodes in N such that each message, that travels at least K hops in N, is handled (and so observed) by at least one node in P. A K-observer P of a network N is minimum if the number of nodes in P is less than or equal the number of nodes in every K-observer of N. The nodes in a minimum K-observer of a network N can be used to monitor the message traffic in network N and collect traffic statistics, detect patterns of denial-of-service attacks when they occur in N, and act as firewalls to identify and discard attack messages from N.

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