WNetKAT: A Weighted SDN Programming and Verification Language

Kim Guldstrand Larsen, Stefan Schmid, Bingtian Xue

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

1 Citation (Scopus)


Programmability and verifiability lie at the heart of the software-defined networking paradigm. While
OpenFlow and its match-action concept provide primitive operations to manipulate hardware configurations,
over the last years, several more expressive network programming languages have been developed.
This paper presents WNetKAT, the first network programming language accounting for the fact that networks
are inherently weighted, and communications subject to capacity constraints (e.g., in terms of
bandwidth) and costs (e.g., latency or monetary costs). WNetKAT is based on a syntactic and semantic
extension of the NetKAT algebra. We demonstrate several relevant applications for WNetKAT, including
cost- and capacity-aware reachability, as well as quality-of-service and fairness aspects. These applications
do not only apply to classic, splittable and unsplittable (s, t)-flows, but also generalize to more
complex (and stateful) network functions and service chains. For example, WNetKAT allows to model
flows which need to traverse certain waypoint functions, which can change the traffic rate. This paper
also shows the relationship between the equivalence problem of WNetKAT and the equivalence problem
of the weighted finite automata, which implies undecidability of the former. However, this paper
also shows the decidability of whether an expression equals to 0, which is sufficient in many practical
scenarios, and we initiate the discussion of decidable subsets of the whole language.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication20th International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems (OPODIS)
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl. Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)978-3-95977-031-6
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event20th International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems (OPODIS) - Madrid, Spain
Duration: 13 Dec 201616 Dec 2016
Conference number: 20th


Conference20th International Conference on Principles of Distributed Systems (OPODIS)
Internet address
SeriesLeibniz International Proceedings in Informatics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'WNetKAT: A Weighted SDN Programming and Verification Language'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this