Internet Rurality: Developing an Index for Network Distance from Popular Internet Services

  • Thomas H. YangEmail author
  • Franklin Liu
  • Weiguo Yang
  • Hang Liu
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11280)


Based on the network structure of the Internet, we propose a locally measurable, global network structure-based performance measurement and develop the tools to measure the end user accessibility of a set of popular Internet services from various locations and the impact of user rurality on the network performance. The proposed Internet rurality measurement is defined by a composite index that accounts for both the number of hops and the round trip time (RTT) from the end user to several selected Internet services, including search engines (Google), social media (Facebook, Twitter), online news media (Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN), and e-commerce (Amazon). Over 60 runs were conducted over a period of three months and from six different end user locations across the United States utilizing varying Internet Service Provider (ISP) technologies, including both wireless and wired connections. The results show the viability of the proposed Internet Rurality Index (IRI) and demonstrate that a well-built local access service network plays an important role in the end user’s Internet service performance; accordingly, the IRI does not closely correlate to the physical rurality of the end user location; rather, it appears to be connected to the ISP that the end user utilizes. This observation may have profound implications for the e-commerce and social media industries, as well as cloud computing, audio/visual streaming, and any other services that rely on efficiently transmitting large quantities data to the end user with minimal data loss. The efficiency of the Internet structure and precise areas of improvement, as well as further insights into local and global economies as a consequence of e-commerce and Internet infrastructure development, can be determined through the proposed Internet Rurality Index.


Internet Network distance Internet rurality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas H. Yang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Franklin Liu
    • 2
  • Weiguo Yang
    • 3
  • Hang Liu
    • 4
  1. 1.North Carolina School of Science and MathematicsDurhamUSA
  2. 2.University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA
  3. 3.Department of Engineering and TechnologyWestern Carolina UniversityCullowheeUSA
  4. 4.Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceThe Catholic University of AmericaWashington DCUSA

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