Mohamad Khattar Awad, Mohammad El-Shafei, Tassos Dimitriou, Yousef Rafique, Mohammed W. Baidas, Ammar H. Alhusaini
International Journal of Network Management, vol. 25, no. 5, p. e1972, Mar. 2017
Publication year: 2016

Software-defined networking is a promising networking paradigm for achieving programmability and centralized control in communication networks. These features simplify network management and enable innovation in network applications and services such as routing, virtual machine migration, load balancing, security, access control, and traffic engineering. The routing application can be optimized for power efficiency by routing flows and coalescing them such that the least number of links is activated with the lowest link rates. However, in practice, flow coalescing can generally overflow the flow tables, which are implemented in a size-limited and power-hungry ternary content addressable memory (TCAM). In this paper, a set of practical constraints is imposed on the software-defined networking routing problem, namely, size-limited flow table and discrete link rate constraints, to ensure applicability in real networks. Because the problem is NP-hard and difficult to approximate, a low-complexity particle swarm optimization–based and power-efficient routing (PSOPR) heuristic is proposed. Performance evaluation results revealed that PSOPR achieves more than 90% of the optimal network power consumption while requiring only 0.0045% to 0.9% of the optimal computation time in real-network topologies. In addition, PSOPR generates shorter routes than the optimal routes generated by CPLEX.