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Supervised Learning Real-time Traffic Classifiers

Author(s): Yu Wang | Shun-Zheng Yu

Journal: Journal of Networks
ISSN 1796-2056

Volume: 4;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 622;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: traffic classifier | supervised machine learning | feature selection

Network traffic classification plays an important role in various network activities. Due to the ineffectiveness of traditional port-based and payload-based methods, recent works proposed using machine learning methods to classify flows based on statistical characteristics. In this study, we present a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of these statistical methods for real-time traffic classification problem. We evaluate three different flow feature sets that are used to capture distinct properties of each application, two of them consist of features generated from full flows and the third is made up of early sub-flow statistics derived from the first few packets of each flow. We compare various supervised machine learning schemes to identify the one most suitable for traffic classification. We also apply feature selection to identify the most significant features. The results indicate that statistical characteristics of traffic flows are capable to distinguish applications; in particular it’s feasible to use the features derived from early sub-flows for realtime traffic classification. The results also indicate that classifiers based on decision tree outperform others, as they obtain highest accuracy and fastest classifying speed.
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