ICE Buckets: Improved Counter Estimation for Network Measurement

Gil Einziger, Benny Fellman, Roy Friedman, Yaron Kassner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Measurement capabilities are essential for a variety of network applications, such as load balancing, routing, fairness, and intrusion detection. These capabilities require large counter arrays in order to monitor the traffic of all network flows. While commodity SRAM memories are capable of operating at line speed, they are too small to accommodate large counter arrays. Previous works suggested estimators, which trade precision for reduced space. However, in order to accurately estimate the largest counter, these methods compromise the accuracy of the smaller counters. In this paper, we present a closed form representation of the optimal estimation function. We then introduce independent counter estimation buckets, a novel algorithm that improves estimation accuracy for all counters. This is achieved by separating the flows to buckets and configuring the optimal estimation function according to each bucket's counter scale. We prove a tighter upper bound on the relative error and demonstrate an accuracy improvement of up to 57 times on real Internet packet traces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1165-1178
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Communications technology
  • communication systems
  • computer network management
  • computer networks
  • network security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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