Trigger relationship aware mobile traffic classification
Network traffic classification is important to network operators to ensure visibility of traffic. Network management, monitoring, and other services are built upon such classification results for improving quality of service. Compared with traffic classification in non-mobile setting, classification in mobile settings focuses on applications and has become increasingly important. Traditionally, a rule-based method is deployed in a deep packet inspector (DPI) engine for traffic classification. However, with the explosive growth in application usage, the complicated relationships including the use of content delivery networks (CDN) and sharing behaviors among applications make such methods less effective. The traffic may be identified wrongly when one application is connected to another application's server. In this work, we present TRAC: Trigger Relationship Aware traffic Classification, a systematic framework for classifying mobile traffic accurately. In TRAC, we first propose Trigger Relationship Graph model to describe the relationships among applications. Then, we introduce a Trigger Relationship Analyzer to build the graph based on a modified frequent item set mining method. TRAC classifies the traffic based on the application labels identified by a DPI engine. An Application Label Corrector is designed to correct the application labels based on the graph. We evaluate TRAC with one-month data collected from an enterprise network. The evaluation shows that our method can achieve a 17.4% accuracy improvement, from 64.8% to 82.2%.