In this section, I present the current effort of defining the IP Performance Metrics (IPPM; ). The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has a working group that is dedicated to this effort. The task of the group is to ``develop a set of standard metrics that can be applied to the quality, performance, and reliability of Internet data delivery services'' . These metrics are designed to be used by network operators, end users, or independent testing groups. The metrics will not represent a value judgement, for example, ``good'' or ``bad'', but rather provide unbiased quantitative measures of the Internet performance. The group will define specific metrics and cultivate technology that can accurately measure the metrics.
Before the end of May 1999, the IPPM WG had published two Request For Comments (RFC): Framework for IP Performance Metrics (RFC 2330; ), and IPPM Metrics for Measuring Connectivity (RFC 2498; ). The purpose of RFC 2330 is to define a general framework for particular metrics to be developed by the group. Notions defined in this RFC are the bases for defining metrics. The definitions of host, link, router, and wire times in Section 1.3 are all from this RFC. RFC 2498 defines a series of metrics for connectivity between a pair of Internet hosts. It builds on the notions introduced and discussed in RFC 2330.
Work in progress by the IPPM working group includes defining a one-way delay metric, a one-way packet loss metric, instantaneous packet delay variation metric, a round-trip delay metric, and one-way loss pattern sample metrics. It is expected that the final release of the definitions of these metrics will speed up the research in the area of end-to-end Internet performance measurement and analysis.