Skip to main content

Service function path selection methods for multi-layer satellite networks


Traditional satellite networks have problems with their service provision method which makes it difficult to keep pace with emerging technologies in the terrestrial networks, such as 5G. Service Function Chain (SFC) is a good choice to enable flexible service provision for different applications. SFC can be used in satellite networks. However, the challenge is how to select Service Function Path (SFP) considering the characteristics of multi-layer satellite networks. In this paper, we model the problem of SFP selection in Multi-layer satellite networks (SFPM) and propose a path selection algorithm, Objective Weight-based Path Selection (OWPS). OWPS is designed based on objective weights considering dynamic topology and link parameters. Then, we propose OWPS-based algorithms under different networking rules to select SFP in multi-layer satellite networks and compare them with the benchmark algorithms. Simulation results show the performance of our proposed algorithms in terms of hops, connection time, handover times, packet loss rate, delay, request acceptance ratio, and resource utilization. Finally, we summarize the applicable conditions for the algorithms.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13


  1. Evans B, Wang N, Rahulan Y, Kumar S, Cahill J, Kavanagh M, Watts S, Chau DK, Begassat Y, Brunel AP, Masson T, Diarra M (2021) An integrated satellite-terrestrial 5g network and its use to demonstrate 5g use cases. Int J Satell Commun Netw 39(4):358–379

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Chen T, Wang W, Ding R, Seco-Granados G, You L, Gao X (2020) Location-based timing advance estimation for 5g integrated leo satellite communications. In: GLOBECOM 2020 - 2020 IEEE Global Communications Conference, pp 1–6

  3. Kumar S, Wang N, Rahulan Y, Evans B (2021) Qoe-aware video streaming over integrated space and terrestrial 5g networks. IEEE Netw 35(4):95–101

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Pei J, Hong P, Xue K, Li D (2021) Resource aware routing for service function chains in sdn and nfv-enabled network. IEEE Trans Serv Comput 14(4):985–997

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Pham C, Tran NH, Ren S, Saad W, Hong CS (2020) Traffic-aware and energy-efficient vnf placement for service chaining: Joint sampling and matching approach. IEEE Trans Serv Comput 13(1):172–185

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Li T, Zhou H, Luo H, Yu S (2018) Service: A software defined framework for integrated space-terrestrial satellite communication. IEEE Trans Mob Comput 17(3):703–716

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Shi Y, Cao Y, Liu J, Kato N (2019) A cross-domain sdn architecture for multi-layered space-terrestrial integrated networks. IEEE Netw 33(1):29–35

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Wang G, Zhou S, Zhang S, Niu Z, Shen X (2020) Sfc-based service provisioning for reconfigurable space-air-ground integrated networks. IEEE J Sel Areas Commun 38(7):1478–1489

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Li J, Shi W, Wu H, Zhang S, Shen X (2021) Cost-aware dynamic sfc mapping and scheduling in sdn/nfv-enabled space-air-ground integrated networks for internet of vehicles. IEEE Internet Things J pp 1–1

  10. Zhu X, Jiang C, Kuang L, Dong M, Zhao Z (2020) Capacity analysis of multi-layer satellite networks. In: 2020 International Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing (IWCMC), pp 251–256

  11. Artiga X, Nunez-Martinez J, Perez-Neira A, Vela GJL, Garcia JMF, Ziaragkas G (2016) Terrestrial-satellite integration in dynamic 5g backhaul networks. In: 2016 8th Advanced Satellite Multimedia Systems Conference and the 14th Signal Processing for Space Communications Workshop (ASMS/SPSC), pp 1–6

  12. Torkzaban N, Gholami A, Baras JS, Papagianni C (2020) Joint satellite gateway placement and routing for integrated satellite-terrestrial networks. In: ICC 2020 - 2020 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), pp 1–6

  13. Zhu X, Jiang C (2021) Integrated satellite-terrestrial networks towards 6g: Architectures, applications, and challenges. IEEE Internet Things J pp 1–1

  14. Hamann M, Fischer M (2019) Path-based optimization of nfv-resource allocation in sdn networks. In: ICC 2019 - 2019 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), pp 1–6

  15. Torkzaban N, Baras JS (2020) Trust-aware service function chain embedding: A path-based approach. In: 2020 IEEE Conference on Network Function Virtualization and Software Defined Networks (NFV-SDN), pp 31–36

  16. Ge C, Wang N, Selinis I, Cahill J, Kavanagh M, Liolis K, Politis C, Nunes J, Evans B, Rahulan Y, Nouvel N, Boutin M, Desmauts J, Arnal F, Watts S, Poziopoulou G (2019) Qoe-assured live streaming via satellite backhaul in 5g networks. IEEE Trans Broadcast 65(2):381–391

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Chinese National Standard (2018) Uniform content label format specification (gb/t 35304-2017).

  18. Kuo Y, Yang T, Huang GW (2008) The use of grey relational analysis in solving multiple attribute decision-making problems. Comput Ind Eng 55(1):80–93

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Zimmermann HJ (2010) Fuzzy set theory. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Comput Stat 2(3):317–332

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Sun G, Xu Z, Yu H, Chen X, Chang V, Vasilakos AV (2020) Low-latency and resource-efficient service function chaining orchestration in network function virtualization. IEEE Internet Things J 7(7):5760–5772

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Al-Hraishawi H, Minardi M, Chougrani H, Kodheli O, Montoya JFM, Chatzinotas S (2021) Multi-layer space information networks: Access design and softwarization. IEEE Access pp 1–1

  22. Deng R, Di B, Song L (2021) Ultra-dense leo satellite based formation flying. IEEE Trans Commun 69(5):3091–3105

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Long F (2014) Satellite network robust QoS-aware routing. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg

    Book  Google Scholar 

  24. Satellite Tool Kit (STK) (2018).

  25. Jiang Z, Liu C, He S, Li C, Lu Q (2016) A qos routing strategy using fuzzy logic for ngeo satellite ip networks. Wirel Netw pp 1–13

  26. Shao Q (2004) Measurement and analysis of traffic in a hybrid satellite-terrestial network. PhD thesis, Theses (School of Engineering Science)/Simon Fraser University

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Xu Zhou.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest/competing interest statement

The authors have no conflict of interest or competing interest to declare for the publication of this paper.

Additional information

The work is being supported by National Key Research and Development Program of China under Grant No. 2020YFB1806000.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Li, T., Zhou, X., Yan, S. et al. Service function path selection methods for multi-layer satellite networks. Peer-to-Peer Netw. Appl. (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI:


  • Service Function Chain
  • Service Function Path
  • Multi-layer Satellite Networks