Date of Award


Document type


Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Tilman Wolf

Second Advisor

Lixin Gao

Third Advisor

Weibo Gong

Subject Categories

Electrical and Computer Engineering


Next-generation Internet will be governed by the need for flexibility. Heterogeneous end-systems, novel applications, and security and manageability challenges require networks to provide a broad range of services that go beyond store-and-forward. Following this trend, a service-centric network architecture is proposed for the next-generation Internet. It utilizes router-based programmability to provide packet processing services inside the network and decompose communications into these service blocks. By providing different compositions of services along the data path, such network can customize its connections to satisfy various communication requirements. This design extends the flexibility of the Internet to meet its next-generation challenges. This work addresses three major challenges in implementing such service-centric networks. Finding the optimal path for a given composition of services is the first challenge. This is called "service routing" since both service availability and routing cost need to be considered. Novel algorithms and a matching protocol are designed to solve the service routing problem in large scale networks. A prototype based on Emulab is implemented to demonstrate and evaluate our design. Finding the optimal composition of services to satisfy the communication requirements of a given connection is the second challenge. This is called "service composition." A novel decision making framework is proposed, which allows the deduction of the service composition problem into a planning problem and automates the composition of service according to specified communication requirements. A further investigation shows that extending this decision making framework to combine the service routing and service composition problems yields a better solution than solving them separately. Run-time resource management on the data plane is the third challenge. Several run-time task mapping approaches have been proposed for Network Processor systems. An evaluation methodology based on queuing network is designed to systematically evaluate and compare these solutions under various network traffic scenarios. The results of this work give qualitative and quantitative insights into next-generation Internet design that combines issues from computer networking, architecture, and system design.