Panteleimon Rodis

Panagiotis Papadimitriou

2023 Journal of Network and Systems Management

Network Function Virtualization (NFV) opens us great opportunities for network processing with higher resource efficiency and flexibility. In this respect, there is an increasing need for intelligent orchestration mechanisms, such that NFV can exploit its potential and live up to its promise. Genetic algorithms have emerged as a promising alternative to the proliferation of heuristic and exact methods for the Service Function Chain (SFC) embedding problem. To this end, we design and evaluate a genetic algorithm (GA), which computes efficient embeddings with runtimes on par with approximate methods. We present a GA model as state-space search in order to clarify the design choices of a GA. Our proposed GA utilizes a heuristic for the generation of the initial population, with the aim of directing the search towards the solution. Given the sensitivity of GAs on their various parameters, we introduce a parameter adjustment framework for GA fine-tuning. A comparative evaluation among a range of GA variants with diverse features sheds light on the impact of these features on SFC embedding efficiency. The GA variant that stands out is further benchmarked against a baseline greedy algorithm and a state-of-the-art heuristic. Our evaluation results indicate that the GA yields notable gains in terms of request acceptance and resource efficiency.