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A self-similar object is exactly or approximately similar to a part of itself. Many objects in the real world, such as coastlines, are statistically self-similar: parts of them show the same statistical properties at many scales.

Self-similarity is a property of fractals and has important consequences for the design of computer networks, as typical network traffic has self-similar properties. This property means that simple models using a Poisson distribution are inaccurate, and networks designed without taking self-similarity into account are likely to function in unexpected ways.


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