Crowdsourcing physical network topology mapping with net.Tagger
Woodman, Daniel Glenn
Rohrer, Justin P.
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Despite significant research, the challenge of mapping the physical topology of large networks remains a relatively unsolved problem. Although it possesses numerous ramifications for Internet security and resiliency, physical network geolocation research has not matched corresponding advancements made in logical topology mapping. This thesis proposes net.Tagger: a novel approach to network infrastructure mapping that combines smartphone apps with crowdsourced collection to gather data for offline aggregation and analysis. The project aims to build a map of physical network infrastructure such as fiber-optic cables, facilities, and access points. The net.Tagger project aligns to the OpenStreetMap project, a proven, open-source framework for managing crowdsourced map data. This thesis delivers a working proof-of-concept system for further research, including a smartphone app for gathering physical topology data, and the backend services to process and store it. We also present the results of an initial release to 25 users, analysing collection trends and extrapolating to predict potential findings of a future large-scale release.
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