Multicast service chaining refers to the orchestration of network services for multicast traffic. Paths of a multicast session that span the source, destinations and required services form a complex structure that we refer to as the multicast distribution graph. In this paper, we propose a new path-based algorithm, called Oktopus, that runs at the control plane of the ISP network to calculate the multicast distribution graph for a given session. Oktopus aims at minimizing the routing cost for each multicast session while satisfying all service chaining requirements. Oktopus consists of two steps. The first one generates a set of segments from the given ISP network topology, and the second step uses these segments to efficiently calculate the multicast distribution graph. Oktopus has a fine-grained control over the selection of links in the distribution graphs that leads to significant improvements. Specifically, Oktopus increases the number of allocated sessions because it can reach ISP locations that have the required services, and thus includes them in the calculated graph. Moreover, Oktopus can reduce the routing cost per session as it carefully chooses links belonging to the graph. We compared Oktopus against the optimal and closest algorithms using real ISP topologies. Our results show that Oktopus has an optimality gap of 5% on average, and it computes the distribution graphs multiple orders of magnitude faster than the optimal algorithm. Moreover, Oktopus outperforms the closest algorithm in the literature in terms of the number of allocated multicast sessions by up to 37%.

Overview of the Oktopus framework.
Illustrative example of the proposed Oktopus algorithm.


  1. Conference
    Oktopus: Service Chaining for Multicast Traffic
    Diab, Khaled, Lee, Carlos, and Hefeeda, Mohamed
    In Proc. of IEEE ICNP 2020