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Achieving Optimal Traffic Engineering Using a Generalized Routing Framework

The Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) protocol has been widely applied to intra-domain routing in today’s Internet. Since a router running OSPF distributes traffic uniformly over Equal-Cost Multi-Path (ECMP), the OSPF-based optimal traffic engineering (TE) problem (i.e., deriving optimal link weights for a given traffic demand) is computationally intractable for largescale networks. Therefore, many studies resort to Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) -based approaches to solve the optimal TE problem. In this paper we present a generalized routing framework to realize the optimal TE, which can be potentially implemented via OSPF- or MPLS-based approaches.

We start with viewing the conventional optimal TE problem in a fresh way, i.e., optimally allocating the residual capacity to every link. Then we make a generalization of Network Utility Maximization (NUM) to close this problem, where the networkoperator is associated with a utility function of the residual capacity to be maximized. We demonstrate that under this framework, the optimal routes resulting from the optimal TE are also the shortest paths in terms of a set of non-negative link weights that are explicitly determined by the optimal residual capacity and the objective function. The Network Entropy Maximization theory is employed to enable routers to exponentially, instead of uniformly, split traffic over ECMP. The Shortest-path Penalizing Exponential Flow-splitting (SPEF) is designed as a link-state protocol with hop-by-hop forwarding to implement our theoretical findings. An alternative MPLS-based implementation is also discussed here. Numerical simulation results have demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed framework as well as SPEF.

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