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An Extensible Automated Failure Localization Framework Using NetKAT, Felix, and SDN Traceroute

*,† and †,‡
MTA-BME Information Systems Research Group, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, 1111 Budapest, Hungary
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: 1117 Budapest, Magyar tudósok körútja 2, Hungary.
A. Gulyás was supported by the János Bolyai Fellowship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Future Internet 2019, 11(5), 107;
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 1 May 2019 / Published: 4 May 2019
PDF [417 KB, uploaded 17 May 2019]


Designing, implementing, and maintaining network policies that protect from internal and external threats is a highly non-trivial task. Often, troubleshooting networks consisting of diverse entities realizing complex policies is even harder. Software-defined networking (SDN) enables networks to adapt to changing scenarios, which significantly lessens human effort required for constant manual modifications of device configurations. Troubleshooting benefits SDN’s method of accessing forwarding devices as well, since monitoring is made much easier via unified control channels. However, by making policy changes easier, the job of troubleshooting operators is made harder too: For humans, finding, analyzing, and fixing network issues becomes almost intractable. In this paper, we present a failure localization framework and its proof-of-concept prototype that helps in automating the investigation of network issues. Like a controller for troubleshooting tools, our framework integrates the formal specification (expected behavior) and network monitoring (actual behavior) and automatically gives hints about the location and type of network issues by comparing the two types of information. By using NetKAT (Kleene algebra with tests) for formal specification and Felix and SDN traceroute for network monitoring, we show that the integration of these tools in a single framework can significantly ease the network troubleshooting process. View Full-Text
Keywords: computer networks; software-defined networking; network monitoring; network troubleshooting computer networks; software-defined networking; network monitoring; network troubleshooting

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Pelle, I.; Gulyás, A. An Extensible Automated Failure Localization Framework Using NetKAT, Felix, and SDN Traceroute. Future Internet 2019, 11, 107.

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