Estimation of Internet Node Location by Latency Measurements - The Underestimation Problem

  • Dan Komosny Brno University of Technology
  • Miroslav Voznak Technical University of Ostrava
  • Kathiravelu Ganeshan Unitec Institute of Technology
  • Hira Sathu Unitec Institute of Technology
Keywords: geographical, location, geolocation, IP address, Internet, latency, measurement, multilateration, triangulation, PlanetLab


In this paper we deal with discovering a geographic location of a node in the Internet. Knowledge of location is a fundamental element for many location based applications and web services. We focus on location finding without any assistance of the node being located - client-independent estimation. We estimate a location usingĀ  communication latency measurements between nodes in the Internet. The latency measured is converted into a geographic distance which is used to derive a location by the multilateration (triangulation) principle. We analyse the latency-to-distance conversion with a consideration of location underestimation which is a product of multilateration failure. We demonstrate that location underestimations do not appear in experimental conditions. However with a real-world scenario, a number of devices cannot be located due to underestimations. Finally, we propose a modification to reduce the number of underestimations in real-world scenarios.