Efficient Measurement on Programmable Switches Using Probabilistic Recirculation

Ran Ben-Basat, Xiaoqi Chen, Gil Einziger, Ori Rottenstreich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Programmable network switches promise flexibility and high throughput, enabling applications such as load balancing and traffic engineering. Network measurement is a fundamental building block for such applications, including tasks such as the identification of heavy hitters (largest flows) or the detection of traffic changes. However, high-throughput packet processing architectures place certain limitations on the programming model, such as restricted branching, limited capability for memory access, and a limited number of processing stages. These limitations restrict the types of measurement algorithms that can run on programmable switches. In this paper, we focus on the RMT programmable high-throughput switch architecture, and carefully examine its constraints on designing measurement algorithms. We demonstrate our findings while solving the heavy hitter problem. We introduce PRECISION, an algorithm that uses Probabilistic Recirculation to find top flows on a programmable switch. By recirculating a small fraction of packets, PRECISION simplifies the access to stateful memory to conform with RMT limitations and achieves higher accuracy than previous heavy hitter detection algorithms that avoid recirculation. We also analyze the effect of each architectural constraint on the measurement accuracy and provide insights for measurement algorithm designers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 26th IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols, ICNP 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781538660430
StatePublished - 7 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event26th IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols, ICNP 2018 - Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Sep 201827 Sep 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Network Protocols, ICNP
ISSN (Print)1092-1648


Conference26th IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols, ICNP 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Heavy Hitter
  • Network Measurement
  • Programmable Data Plane
  • RMT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software


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