University of Oulu

H. Hantouti, N. Benamar, M. Bagaa and T. Taleb, "Symmetry-Aware SFC Framework for 5G Networks," in IEEE Network, vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 234-241, September/October 2021, doi: 10.1109/MNET.011.2000629

Symmetry-aware SFC framework for 5G networks

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Author: Hantouti, Hajar1; Benamar, Nabil1; Bagaa, Miloud2;
Organizations: 1Moulay Ismail University of Meknes, Morocco
2Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
3University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Sejong University, Seoul, South Korea
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-01-26


Network Function Virtualization (NFV), network slicing, and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) are the key enablers of the fifth generation of mobile networks (5G). Service Function Chaining (SFC) plays a critical role in delivering sophisticated service per slice and enables traffic traversal through a set of ordered Service Functions (SFs). In fully symmetric SFCs, the uplink and downlink traffic traverse the same SFs, while in asymmetric SFC, the reverse-path may not necessarily cross the same SFs in the reverse order. Proposed approaches in the literature support either full symmetry or no symmetry. In this article, we discuss the partial symmetry concept that enforces the reverse path to traverse the SFs only when needed. Our contribution is threefold. First, we propose a novel SFC framework with an abstraction layer that can dynamically create partial or full symmetric SFCs across multiple administrative and technological cloud/edge domains. According to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and desired objectives specified at the network slice intent request, the abstraction layer would automatise different SFC operations, but specifically generating partial or full symmetric SFCs. Second, we propose an algorithm to dynamically calculate the reverse path for an SFC by including only SFs requiring symmetry. Third, we implement a prototype application to test the performance of the partial symmetry algorithm. The obtained results show the advantages of partial symmetry in reducing both the SFC delivery time and the load on VNFs.

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Series: IEEE network
ISSN: 0890-8044
ISSN-E: 1558-156X
ISSN-L: 0890-8044
Volume: 35
Issue: 5
Pages: 234 - 241
DOI: 10.1109/MNET.011.2000629
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This work was partially supported by the Grant Project ITIC-TRANSPORT, Moulay Ismail University of Meknes. The work of Tarik Taleb is supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program through the MonB5G Project under Grant No. 871780. It was also supported in part by the Academy of Finland 6Genesis project under Grant No. 318927 and by the Academy of Finland CSN project under Grant No. 311654.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 318927
Detailed Information: 318927 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
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