2011 Poster Sessions : Header Space Analysis

Student Name : Peyman Kazemian
Advisor : Nick McKeown
Research Areas: Computer Systems
Managing large networks is hard. Today, networks use many protocols simultaneously, such as MPLS, NAT, ACLs, IPsec and route redistribution, in addition to IPv4, and IPv6. The interactions between these protocols can be complex and lead to unforeseen ``accidents'' such as reachability failures and forwarding loops. Network operators have only rudimentary tools at their disposal; yet over time, the problem is made worse as new protocols emerge, and few old ones ever die out.
In this poster we describe a general and protocol-agnostic framework, called Header Space Analysis, to model and reason about networks. In particular, our formalism allows us to statically check network specifications and configurations to check for an important class of failures. In our framework, protocol header fields are not first class entities; instead we look at the entire packet header as a concatenation of bits without any associated meaning. Each packet is a point in the {0,1}^L space where L is the maximum length of a packet header, and networking boxes transform packets from one point in the space to another point or set of points (multicast). We use this framework to solve some classical networking failures.

Peyman Kazemian is a fourth year graduate student in department of Electrical Engineering at STanford University. He is advised by Prof. Nick McKeown and his research interest are software defined networking, network analysis and network algorithms.