On the Trade-Off between Computational Load and Reliability for Network Function Virtualization

Joonhyuk Kang, Jinkyu Kang, Osvaldo Simeone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Network function virtualization enables the 'softwarization' of network functions, which are implemented on virtual machines hosted on commercial off-the-shelf servers. Both the composition of the virtual network functions into a forwarding graph (FG) at the logical layer and the embedding of the FG on the servers need to consider the less-than-carrier-grade reliability of COTS components. This letter investigates the tradeoff between end-to-end reliability and computational load per server via the joint design of VNF chain composition (CC) and FG embedding (FGE) under the assumption of a bipartite FG that consists of a controller and regular VNFs. Evaluating the reliability criterion within a probabilistic model, analytical insights are first provided for a simplified disconnected FG. Then, a block coordinate descent method based on mixed-integer linear programming is proposed to tackle the joint optimization of CC and FGE. Via simulation results, it is observed that a joint design of CC and FGE leads to substantial performance gains compared with separate optimization approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7911307
Pages (from-to)1767-1770
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Communications Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Network function virtualization (NFV)
  • reliability
  • resource allocation
  • virtual network function (VNF)


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