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Adaptive Protection of Scientific Backbone Networks Using Machine Learning


In this article, we propose a new protection scheme for backbone networks to guarantee high service availability. The presented scheme does not require any reconfiguration immediately after the failure (i.e., it is proactive). At the same time, it does not require any reserved backup network resources either. To achieve these seemingly contradictory goals, we utilize the recent advancements in Machine Learning (ML) to implement a network intelligence that periodically re-allocates the unused capacity as protection bandwidth to meet the service availability requirements of each connection. Our goal is achieved by two components (1) predicting the traffic for the next period on each link, and (2) intelligently selecting the best fit dedicated protection scheme for the next period depending on the estimated unused (spare) bandwidth and the previous service availability violations. Note that re-allocating protection bandwidth affects neither the operational connections nor the current best practice of operators to over-provision network bandwidth to support elephant flows. Finally, we provide a case study on the real traffic from Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), a high-speed, international scientific backbone network. The key benefit of our framework is that adaptively utilizing the over-provisioned bandwidth for spare capacity is sufficient to improve the availability from three-nines to five-nines (in ESnet for the 30 examined connections). The drawback is negligible bandwidth limitations; the user perceives a minor and very temporal bandwidth limitation in less than 0.1% of the time.

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