A low overhead flow-holding algorithm in software-defined networks

Xuya Jia, Qing Li, Yong Jiang, Zehua Guo, Jie Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Software-Defined Networking (SDN) allows flexible and efficient management of networks. However, the limited capacity of flow tables in SDN switches hinders the deployment of SDN. In this paper, we propose a novel routing scheme to improve the efficiency of flow tables in SDNs. To efficiently use the routing scheme, we formulate an optimization problem with the objective to maximize the number of flows in the network, constrained by the limited flow table space in SDN switches. The problem is NP-hard, and we propose the K Similar Greedy Tree (KSGT) algorithm to solve it. We evaluate the performance of KSGT against “traditional” SDN solutions with real-world topologies and traffic. The results show that, compared to the existing solutions, KSGT can reduce about 60% of flow entries when processing the same amount of flows, and improve about 25% of the successful installation and forwarding flows under the same flow table space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-180
Number of pages11
JournalComputer Networks
StatePublished - Sep 4 2017


  • Flow table reuse
  • MPLS
  • Overhead
  • Software-defined networking

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