Scalable Real-Time Bandwidth Fairness in Switches

Robert MacDavid, Xiaoqi Chen, Jennifer Rexford

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

7 Scopus citations


Network operators want to enforce fair bandwidth sharing between users without solely relying on congestion control running on end-user devices. However, in edge networks (e.g., 5G), the number of user devices sharing a bottleneck link far exceeds the number of queues supported by today's switch hardware; even accurately tracking per-user sending rates may become too resource-intensive. Meanwhile, traditional software-based queuing on CPUs struggles to meet the high throughput and low latency demanded by 5G users.We propose Approximate Hierarchical Allocation of Bandwidth (AHAB), a per-user bandwidth limit enforcer that runs fully in the data plane of commodity switches. AHAB tracks each user's approximate traffic rate and compares it against a bandwidth limit, which is iteratively updated via a real-time feedback loop to achieve max-min fairness across users. Using a novel sketch data structure, AHAB avoids storing per-user state, and therefore scales to thousands of slices and millions of users. Furthermore, AHAB supports network slicing, where each slice has a guaranteed share of the bandwidth that can be scavenged by other slices when under-utilized. Evaluation shows AHAB can achieve fair bandwidth allocation within 3.1ms, 13x faster than prior data-plane hierarchical schedulers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationINFOCOM 2023 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9798350334142
StatePublished - 2023
Event42nd IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications, INFOCOM 2023 - Hybrid, New York City, United States
Duration: May 17 2023May 20 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
ISSN (Print)0743-166X


Conference42nd IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications, INFOCOM 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHybrid, New York City

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Admission Control
  • Fair Queuing
  • Network Slicing
  • P4
  • Packet Scheduling
  • Programmable Data Plane


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