Preprint Open Access
Traffic Classification (TC) systems allow inferring the application that is generating the traffic being analyzed. State-of-the-art TC algorithms are based on Deep Learning (DL) and have outperformed traditional methods in complex and modern scenarios, even if traffic is encrypted. Most of the works on TC assume the traffic flows on a wired network under the same network management domain. This assumption limits the capabilities of TC systems in wireless networks since users’ traffic on one network domain can be negatively impacted by undetected users’ traffic from other network domains or detected ones but with no traffic context in a shared spectrum. To solve this problem, we introduce a novel framework to achieve TC at any layer on the radio network stack. We propose a spectrum-based procedure that uses a DL-based classifier to realize this framework. We design two DL-based classifiers, a novel Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) spectrum-based TC and a Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN) as baseline architecture, and benchmark their performance on three TC tasks at different radio stack layers. The datasets were generated by combining packet traces from real transmissions with an 802.11 standard-compliant waveform generator. Performance evaluations show that the best model can achieve an accuracy above 92% in the most demanding TC task, a drop of only 4.37% in accuracy compared to a byte-based DL approach, with micro-second per-packet prediction time, which is very promising for delivering real-time spectrum-based traffic analyzers.