Brief Announcement: Bridging the Theory-Practice Gap in Multi-commodity Flow Routing

  • Siddhartha Sen
  • Sunghwan Ihm
  • Kay Ousterhout
  • Michael J. Freedman
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6950)

Introduction

In the concurrent multi-commodity flow problem, we are given a capacitated network G = (V,E) of switches V connected by links E, and a set of commodities \({\cal K} = \{(s_i,t_i,d_i)\}\). The objective is to maximize the minimum fraction λ of any demand di that is routed from source si to target ti. This problem has been studied extensively by the theoretical computer science community in the sequential model (e.g., [4]) and in distributed models (e.g., [2,3]). Solutions in the networking systems community also fall into these models (e.g., [1,6,5]), yet none of them use the state-of-the-art algorithms above. Why the gap between theory and practice? This work seeks to answer and resolve this question. We argue that existing theoretical models are ill-suited for real networks (§2) and propose a new distributed model that better captures their requirements (§3). We have developed optimal algorithms in this model for data center networks (§4); making these algorithms practical requires a novel use of programmable hardware switches. A solution for general networks poses an intriguing open problem.

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Siddhartha Sen
    • 1
  • Sunghwan Ihm
    • 1
  • Kay Ousterhout
    • 1
  • Michael J. Freedman
    • 1
  1. 1.Princeton UniversityUSA

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