Packet classification by multi-level cutting of the classification space

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Traditionally, the Internet provides only a “best-effort” service, treating all packets going to the same destination equally. However, providing differentiated services for different users based on their quality requirements is increasingly becoming a demanding issue. For this, routers need to have the capability to distinguish and isolate traffic belonging to different flows. This ability to determine the flow each packet belongs to is called packet classification. Technology vendors are reluctant to support algorithmic solutions for classification due to their nondeterministic performance. Although content addressable memories (CAMs) are favoured by technology vendors due to their deterministic high-lookup rates, they suffer from the problems of high-power consumption and high-silicon cost. This paper provides a new algorithmic-architectural solution for packet classification that mixes CAMs with algorithms based on multilevel cutting of the classification space into smaller spaces. The provided solution utilizes the geometrical distribution of rules in the classification space. It provides the deterministic performance of CAMs, support for dynamic updates, and added flexibility for system designers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Computer Systems, Networks and Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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