We introduce notions of certificates allowing to bound eccentricities in a graph. In particular , we revisit radius (minimum eccentricity) and diameter (maximum eccentricity) computation and explain the efficiency of practical radius and diameter algorithms by the existence of small certificates for radius and diameter plus few additional properties. We show how such computation is related to covering a graph with certain balls or complementary of balls. We introduce several new algorithmic techniques related to eccentricity computation and propose algorithms for radius, diameter and all eccentricities with theoretical guarantees with respect to certain graph parameters. This is complemented by experimental results on various real-world graphs showing that these parameters appear to be low in practice. We also obtain refined results in the case where the input graph has low doubling dimension, has low hyperbolicity, or is chordal.