Priority-Based Flow Control for Dynamic and Reliable Flow Management in SDN

Bong Hwan Oh*, Serdar Vural, Ning Wang, Rahim Tafazolli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Software-defined networking (SDN) is a promising paradigm of computer networks, offering a programmable and centralized network architecture. However, although such a technology supports the ability to dynamically handle network traffic based on real-time and flexible traffic control, SDN-based networks can be vulnerable to dynamic change of flow control rules, which causes transmission disruption and packet loss in SDN hardware switches. This problem can be critical because the interruption and packet loss in SDN switches can bring additional performance degradation for SDN-controlled traffic flows in the data plane. In this paper, we propose a novel robust flow control mechanism referred to as priority-based flow control (PFC) for dynamic but disruption-free flow management when it is necessary to change flow control rules on the fly. PFC minimizes the complexity of flow modification process in SDN switches by temporarily adapting the priority of flow rules in order to substantially reduce the time spent on control-plane processing during run-time. Measurement results show that PFC is able to successfully prevent transmission disruption and packet loss events caused by traffic path changes, thus offering dynamic and lossless traffic control for SDN switches.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8528499
Pages (from-to)1720-1732
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Software-defined networking
  • dynamic traffic control
  • reliability

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