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Paul Jakma — A Distributed, Compact Routing Protocol for the Internet

1 December 2016 / routing

Congratulations to Paul Jakma, who graduated this week after successfully completing this PhD thesis on A Distributed, Compact Routing Protocol for the Internet earlier this year.

The abstract to Paul's dissertation reads:

The Internet has grown in size at rapid rates since BGP records began, and continues to do so. This has raised concerns about the scalability of the current BGP routing system, given that the routing state at each router in a shortest-path routing protocol will grow at a supra-linearly faster rate as the network grows. The concerns are that the memory capacity of routers will not be able to keep up with demands, and that the growth of the Internet will become ever more cramped as more and more of the world seeks the benefits of being connected.

Compact routing schemes, where the routing state grows only sub-linearly relative to the growth of the network, could solve this problem and ensure router memory would not be a bottleneck to Internet growth. These schemes trade away shortest-path routing for scalable memory state, by allowing some paths to have a certain amount of bounded stretch.

The most promising such scheme is Cowen Routing, which can provide scalable, compact routing state for Internet routing, while still providing shortest-path routing to nearly all other nodes, with only slightly stretched paths to a very small subset of the network. Currently, there is no fully distributed form of Cowen Routing that would be practical for the Internet.

This dissertation describes a fully distributed and compact protocol for Cowen routing, using the k-core graph decomposition.

Previous compact routing work showed the k-core graph decomposition is useful for Cowen Routing on the Internet, but no distributed form existed. This dissertation gives a distributed k-core algorithm optimised to be e cient on dynamic graphs, along with with proofs of its correctness. The performance and e ciency of this distributed k-core algorithm is evaluated on large, Internet AS graphs, with excellent results.

This dissertation then goes on to describe a fully distributed and compact Cowen Routing protocol. This protocol being comprised of a landmark selection process for Cowen Routing using the k-core algorithm, with mechanisms to ensure compact state at all times, including at bootstrap; a local cluster routing process, with mechanisms for policy application and control of cluster sizes, ensuring again that state can remain compact at all times; and a landmark routing process is described with a prioritisation mechanism for announcements that ensures compact state at all times.