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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 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

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported in part by the 973 Program of China (No. 2012CB315803), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 61402255), and the Research and Development Program of Shenzhen (No. JSGG20150512162853495, No.Shenfagai[2015]986, and JCYJ20150630170146830).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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


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