by Liaskos C., Dimitropoulos X., Tassiulas L.
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This work belongs to the NetVolution research track.

Backpressure on the Backbone: A Lightweight, Non-intrusive Traffic Engineering Approach [[[Liaskos.2013j3]]]

Abstract:  The present study proposes a novel collaborative traffic engineering scheme for networks of autonomous systems. Backpressure routing (BPR) principles are used for deriving priority routing rules that optimally stabilize a network, while maximizing its throughput under latency considerations. The routing rules are deployed to the network following simple SDN principles. The proposed scheme requires minimal, infrequent interaction with a central controller, limiting its imposed workload. Furthermore, it respects the internal structure of the autonomous systems and their existing peering relations. In addition, it co-exists smoothly with underlying distance vector-based routing schemes. The proposed scheme combines simplicity with substantial gains in served transit traffic volume, as shown by simulations in realistic setups and proven via mathematical analysis. 

In a Nutshell 

Assume a cluster of Autonomous Systems and an existing routing system (e.g., BGP). We propose a system of priority routing rules running on top of the existing routing system. These priority rules are derived via Backpressure principles, with trivial information of non-intrusive nature. The Autonomous Systems enjoy maximal thorughput and stability within their collaboration cluster, without relinguishing control or critical information to the external control plane.

A concise PPT, which includes illustrations and the necessary BPR background can be found here. Slide comments included.

This PPT accompanies the conference version of this work [[[Liaskos2015lightweight]]].


  • A minimal-commitment/high-gain collaboration scheme may be required to convince Autonomous Systems to try-out central orchestration.
  • Applying Back-pressure (BPR) routing within a group of ASes can constitute the basis for such a collaboration scheme.
  • BPR promises throughput optimality, resulting in increased transit traffic, fair distribution of additional traffic, increased network stability and  resilience to congestion events.
  • BPR is simple in its operation and requires no changes in hardware, BGP operation or peering policy violation.


This work employs simulations to validate the proposed scheme, which use the following data sets from CAIDA:


This work was funded by the European Research Council via Grant Agreement no. 338402, project ''NetVolution: Evolving Internet Routing''.

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