Fault Localization in Large-Scale Network Policy Deployment

P. Tammana, C. Nagarajan, P. Mamillapalli, R. Kompella, M. Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The recent advances in network management automation and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) facilitate network policy management tasks. At the same time, these new technologies create a new mode of failure in the management cycle itself. Network policies are presented in an abstract model at a centralized controller and deployed as low-level rules across network devices. Thus, any software and hardware element in that cycle can be a potential cause of underlying network problems. In this paper, we present and solve a network policy fault localization problem that arises in operating policy management frameworks for a production network. We formulate our problem via risk modeling and propose a greedy algorithm that quickly localizes faulty policy objects in the network policy. We then design and develop SCOUT-a fully-automated system that produces faulty policy objects and further pinpoints physical-level failures which made the objects faulty. Evaluation results using a real testbed and extensive simulations demonstrate that SCOUT detects faulty objects with small false positives and false negatives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 IEEE 38th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS)
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-6871-9
ISBN (Print)978-1-5386-6872-6
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2018
Event38th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 2 Jul 20185 Jul 2018

Publication series

ISSN (Electronic)2575-8411


Conference38th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleICDCS 2018
Internet address


  • large-scale network policy deployment
  • network management automation
  • network policy management tasks
  • management cycle
  • network devices
  • hardware element
  • network problems
  • network policy fault localization problem
  • policy management frameworks
  • production network
  • faulty policy objects
  • centralized controller
  • low-level rules
  • physical-level failures
  • risk modeling
  • Switches
  • Contracts
  • Computational modeling
  • IP networks
  • Information filters
  • Datacenter Networks
  • fault localization
  • root cause analysis
  • Network policy
  • Network debugging


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