Presentation on the benefits and challenges of M-Lab’s collection of IP addresses and feedback solicitation for potential alternatives
Back in 2019, I wrote about how to install the open source
ndt-server that M-Lab uses, on a server of your own. Our goal is that others can use M-Lab’s tools to measure their own networks. This post is an update, with a couple more features.
In this second “analysis recommendations in context” post, we will explore the refined research questions from the first post, resulting from our discussion of how to design specific questions with understanding of available data source(s) and the context of what each contains. We emphasized the importance of selecting a data source that matches the goal of the research question. This is critical for analyses of broadband measurement data, particularly when the research goal is to compare the results to one another, to national broadband standards or specific funding requirements, or to align with advertised terms of ISP service.
If you typically use the
measurement-lab.ndt.unified_downloads views, then nothing will change. We are updating the ndt5, switch, and tcpinfo schemas, removing obsolete views, and renaming some views in preparation for improving ease of use and documentation.
A while back, our team published some analysis recommendations for anyone working with our data from the Network Diagnostic Tool (NDT), comparing it to other Internet measurement data sets, and drawing conclusions or inferences about the data. These recommendations are intended to provide guidance about analyzing crowdsourced data, because we know that it’s easy for analyses to end up with what looks like a striking comparison or finding, but that may not actually be supported by the underlying measurements or data. But because recommendations are only that, we’re now beginning a series of posts to unpack those recommendations with some context and examples. First, we’ll recap our previous recommendations post with more context, and finish with an example that we’ll continue working with in subsequent posts.
Two recent disucssions on Traceroute on our M-Lab Discuss group provided clarity on how to access Traceroute data in BigQuery, as well as solicited feedback from the community on proposed changes to the traceroute output format.