Discovering the Internet's "black holes"

The Hubble Internet audit is a project to discover "black holes in the Internet" where traffic won't route:


Katz-Bassett has been working on a project called Hubble, a system that apparently is able to track what he refers to as information black holes. These are situations where a path between two computers does exist, but messages - a request to visit a Web site or an outgoing e-mail - get lost along the way. Katz-Bassett has published a Hubble map that enables users to monitor such black holes worldwide or simply type in a network address to check its status.

To determine a network status, Hubble sends test messages “around the world” to look for computers that can be reached from some but not the entire Internet, a situation that is described as “partial reachability”. Katz-Bassett said that short communication blips are ignored. However, if a problem surfaces in two consecutive 15-minute trials, it is listed as a “problem”. The research team found that more than 7% of computers worldwide experienced this type of error at least once during a three-week period in fall of 2007.

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(via Futurismic)