Heavy-tailed Probability Distributions in the World Wide Web


The explosion of the World Wide Web as a medium for information dissemination has made it important to understand its characteristics, in particular the distribution of its le sizes. This paper presents evidence that a number of le size distributions in the Web exhibit heavy tails, including les requested by users, les transmitted through the network, transmission durations of les, and les stored on servers. In addition, we argue that because of the presence of caching in the Web, the size distribution of transmitted les is primarily determined by the distribution of les available on the Web, and is relatively insensitive to the distribution of les requested by users. Finally, we discuss some of the implications of heavy-tailed transmission durations and relate these results to self-similarity in network traac.

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