Network slicing for service-oriented networks under resource constraints

Nan Zhang, Ya Feng Liu, Hamid Farmanbar, Tsung Hui Chang, Mingyi Hong, Zhi Quan Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


To support multiple on-demand services over fixed communication networks, network operators must allow flexible customization and fast provision of their network resources. One effective approach to this end is network virtualization, whereby each service is mapped to a virtual subnetwork providing dedicated on-demand support to network users. In practice, each service consists of a prespecified sequence of functions, called a service function chain (SFC), while each service function in a SFC can only be provided by some given network nodes. Thus, to support a given service, we must select network function nodes according to the SFC and determine the routing strategy through the function nodes in a specified order. A crucial network slicing problem that needs to be addressed is how to optimally localize the service functions in a physical network as specified by the SFCs, subject to link and node capacity constraints. In this paper, we formulate the network slicing problem as a mixed binary linear program and establish its strong NP-hardness. Furthermore, we propose efficient penalty successive upper bound minimization (PSUM) and PSUM-R(ounding) algorithms, and two heuristic algorithms to solve the problem. Simulation results are shown to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8058426
Pages (from-to)2512-2521
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received April 1, 2017; revised September 12, 2017; accepted September 25, 2017. Date of publication October 5, 2017; date of current version December 1, 2017. This work was supported in part by the Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 61571384, Grant 61571385, and Grant 11671419, in part by the Natural Science Foundation under Grant CCF-1526434 and Grant CCF-1526078, in part by AFOSR under Grant 15RT0767, and in part by CUHK (SZ) President Fund under Grant PF.01.000183. (Corresponding author: Ya-Feng Liu.) N. Zhang is with the School of Mathematical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China (e-mail:

Publisher Copyright:
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  • Network function virtualization
  • Software defined network
  • Traffic engineering


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