While looking for information on the fractal nature of the internet, I came across an article by Dr. Martin J. Fischer and Dr. Thomas B. Fowler, at:

http://www.cis.uab.edu/courses/cs725/2009-Summer.d/Fractals-HeavyTails-HaOut.pdf

It contained this graph:

Before the complexities of the internet were fully understood, people would model internet traffic the same way they modeled telecommunications traffic:  with Poisson Distributions.  This graph compares the measured amount of internet traffic with voice traffic modeled using Poisson Distributions.  As one zooms in on a certain interval in both graphs, the voice traffic eventually becomes level and uniform.  The internet traffic, on the other hand, does not, and retains the same random fluctuations.

From what I could gather from the article, the internet possesses complex network layers, which exhibit random bursts of activity that cannot be dampened.  The telecommunication traffic, on the other hand, is not as complex; it does not contain layers of networks, and is capable of having its “burstiness” dampened and smoothed out.  This is why the Poisson Distribution can be used to model telecommunications, but not internet traffic.

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