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Internet research requires good topology generation models that reproduce fundamental properties of the topology of the Internet. It is also a requirement to be able to use such models in simulations in an easy and effective way. In this paper, we have described BRITE, a universal topology generation tool. Furthermore, BRITE's is aimed at facilitating research in the area of topology generation by providing a generation tool that is inclusive, flexible, extensible and efficient. We also described the BRITE Analysis Engine, BRIANA, which is an independent piece of software designed and built upon BRITE design goals. The goal for BRIANA is to act as a repository of analysis routines along with a user-friendly interface that allows its use on different topology formats.

The main characteristics of BRITE are summarized as follows:

  1. Inclusiveness. BRITE supports multiple generation models including models for flat AS, flat Router and hierarchical topologies. Models can be enhanced by assigning link attributes such as bandwidth and delay.

  2. Flexibility. Generates topologies over a wide range of sizes. Restrictions such as minimum and maximum number of nodes should be reasonably avoided.

  3. Extensibility. Object-oriented architecture makes BRITE extensible providing the researcher with the ability to add new models of generation, and the ability to import from or export to custom topology files.

  4. Ease of use. Specifying topology generation parameters is simple via a GUI or a configuration file.

  5. Interoperability. BRITE allows importing topologies from other topology generators and extend them or combine them with topologies generated according to other models.

  6. Robustness. BRITE have been implemented to be tolerant to wrong inputs and extreme scenarios providing error detection and reporting capabilities.

  7. Efficiency. BRITE is capable of generating large topologies (more than 100,000 nodes) using reasonable amounts of resources. However, it must be clear that the amount of resources used by BRITE will ultimately depend on the specific model being used.

  8. Portability. Implemented in Java and C++.

The work presented in this paper constitutes the first release of BRITE. The success of a software tool could be said to be successful when it is used for purposes undreamed of by its authors. Furthermore, we hope to measure BRITE's and BRIANA's success by the number of suggestions, ideas and (hopefully not too many) bugs that we receive as a result of researchers embracing and benefiting from them.

We will continue improving the design of BRITE to include multiple inheritance, further import/export formats, increased GUI capabilities for BRITE, etc. In the current implementation, the GUI is not extensible in the sense that newly added models to BRITE are not easily incorporated into the GUI. In the front of BRIANA there is also a good deal of work waiting to be done. The design goals of BRIANA promise to increase the productivity of research on generation models for representative synthetic topologies. However, further improvements in some aspects of its design include increased extensibility, as well as some implementation details such as the generation of plot files in a more refined ``standard'' format and a versatile GUI front-end.

In summary, topology generation is an exciting research topic along other Internet research (protocols, traffic characterization, etc.). We hope that new research will shape BRITE and BRIANA and that future releases will be carved by many in the networking research community.

next up previous
Next: Appendix: Heavy-tailed Distributions Up: BRITE: Universal Topology Generation Previous: A Comparative Study of
Alberto Medina 2001-04-12