Dynamic Self-learning Traffic Classification based on Flow Characteristics (DSTC)


The dynamic classification and identification of network applications responsible for the creation of traffic flows offers substantial benefits to a number of key areas in IP network engineering, management and surveillance. Currently such classifications rely on selected packet header fields (e.g. port numbers) or application layer protocol decoding.

These methods have a number of shortfalls e.g. many applications can use unpredictable port numbers and protocol decoding requires a high amount of computing resources or is simply infeasible where protocols are unknown or encrypted. In this project we develop a novel method for traffic classification and application identification using Machine Learning (ML) techniques. The Machine Learning algorithm automatically classifies traffic flows based on statistical flow characteristics (features).

The project has the following goals:

  • Identify and define suitable features for application traffic flow characterisation for a representative set of applications.
  • Identify and evaluate suitable ML algorithms; if required (and possible) adapt chosen algorithm(s) to the specific problem.
  • Identify an optimum feature set by evaluating the ML algorithms with different feature selection strategies.
  • Identify the influence of different features on the classification.
  • Characterise the performance requirements for the proposed algorithms and investigate how/if they could be integrated into future networking devices.
  • Develop a prototype tool that implements the developed approach and can be used as demonstrator.

As part of this project we will develop and release tools for the data gathering, feature computation and Machine Learning, and publish interim results and papers on our website. The links on the left will take you to additional information.

A prototype of our software is now available here.

Program Members


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This project has been made possible in part by a grant from the Cisco University Research Program Fund at Community Foundation Silicon Valley.


Last Updated: Friday 24-Nov-2006 10:41:04 EST | Maintained by: Sebastian Zander (szander@swin.edu.au) | Authorised by: Grenville Armitage ( garmitage@swin.edu.au)