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A New Software Framework for Traffic Engineering: Path Cardinality and the Effect of Multipath on Residual Capacity

by   Mohammed Salman, et al.

In this paper, we present a new traffic engineering (TE) software framework to analyze, configure, and optimize (with the aid of a linear programming solver) a network for service provisioning. The developed software tool is based on our new data-driven traffic engineering approach that analyzes a large volume of network configuration data generated given the user input. By analyzing the data, one can then make efficient decisions later when designing a traffic engineering solution. We focus on three well-known traffic engineering objective functions: minimum cost routing (MCR), load balancing (LB), and average delay (AD). With this new tool, one can answer numerous traffic engineering questions. For example, what are the differences among the three objective functions? What is the impact of an objective function on link utilization? How many candidate paths are enough to achieve optimality or near-optimality with respect to a specific objective. This new software tool allows us to conveniently perform various experiments and visualize the results for performance analysis. As case studies, this paper presents examples that answer the questions for two traffic engineering problems: (1) how many paths are required to obtain a solution that is within a few percent from the optimal solution and whether that number is fixed for any network size? (2) how the choice of single-path/multi-path routing affects the load in the network? For the first problem, it turns out that the number of paths needed to achieve optimality increases as the number of links in the network increases.


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