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

Author(s): Sen, Siddhartha; Ihm, Sunghwan; Ousterhout, Kay; Freedman, Michael J

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Abstract: In the concurrent multi-commodity flow problem, we are given a capacitated network Gโ€‰=โ€‰(V,E) of switches V connected by links E, and a set of commodities ๎ˆท={(๐‘ ๐‘–,๐‘ก๐‘–,๐‘‘๐‘–)} . The objective is to maximize the minimum fraction ฮป of any demand d i that is routed from source s i to target t i . 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 (ยง2) and propose a new distributed model that better captures their requirements (ยง3). We have developed optimal algorithms in this model for data center networks (ยง4); making these algorithms practical requires a novel use of programmable hardware switches. A solution for general networks poses an intriguing open problem.
Publication Date: 2011
Citation: Sen, Siddhartha, Sunghwan Ihm, Kay Ousterhout, and Michael J. Freedman. "Brief announcement: Bridging the theory-practice gap in multi-commodity flow routing." In International Symposium on Distributed Computing (2011): pp. 205-207. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-24100-0_20
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-24100-0_20
Pages: 205 - 207
Type of Material: Conference Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: International Symposium on Distributed Computing
Version: Author's manuscript

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