NetStack: A Game Approach to Synthesizing Consistent Network Updates

Stefan Schmid, Bernhard Clemens Schrenk, Alvaro Torralba

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Availability and policy-compliance of many communication networks must be guaranteed at any time, even during updates. Accordingly, over the last years, the problem of how to update networks in a manner which transiently preserves desirable properties, has received much attention, especially in the context of Software-Defined Networks (SDNs). While important insights have been obtained for many different problem variants, in general, the design of efficient network update algorithms remains challenging, and usually new algorithms have to be developed on a case-by -case basis. This paper is motivated by the vision of fully automated communication networks in which consistent update schedules are synthesized automatically. In particular, we propose a game approach to the network update synthesis problem, and present NetStack, a tool based on Stackelberg games which transiently ensures fundamental properties such as reachability, loop-freedom, and waypointing. Our approach features a high flexibility. For example, with a simple extension, NetStack can also support concurrent updates, where in each round multiple routers are updated simultaneously. Our empirical evaluation shows that NetStack scales to realistic network sizes, and can compute optimal concurrent schedules.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2022 IFIP Networking Conference, IFIP Networking 2022
PublisherIEEE Signal Processing Society
Publication date2022
ISBN (Electronic)9783903176485
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event2022 IFIP Networking Conference, IFIP Networking 2022 - Catania, Italy
Duration: 13 Jun 202216 Jun 2022


Conference2022 IFIP Networking Conference, IFIP Networking 2022
Series2022 IFIP Networking Conference, IFIP Networking 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Thomas A. Henzinger from IST Austria for suggesting to look into synthesis games. Research supported by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF), ICT19-045 (WHATIF), 2020-2024.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 IFIP.


Dive into the research topics of 'NetStack: A Game Approach to Synthesizing Consistent Network Updates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this