An online distributed algorithm for inferring policy routing configurations
Epstein, Samuel Randall
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We present an online distributed algorithm, the Causation Logging Algorithm (CLA), in which Autonomous Systems (ASes) in the Internet individually report route oscillations/flaps they experience to a central Internet Routing Registry (IRR). The IRR aggregates these reports and may observe what we call causation chains where each node on the chain caused a route flap at the next node along the chain. A chain may also have a causation cycle. The type of an observed causation chain/cycle allows the IRR to infer the underlying policy routing configuration (i.e. the system of economic relationships and constraints on route/path preferences). Our algorithm is based on a formal policy routing model that captures the propagation dynamics of route flaps under arbitrary changes in topology or path preferences. We derive invariant properties of causation chains/cycles for ASes which conform to economic relationships based on the popular Gao-Rexford model. The Gao-Rexford model is known to be safe in the sense that the system always converges to a stable set of paths under static conditions. Our CLA algorithm recovers the type/property of an observed causation chain of an underlying system and determines whether it conforms to the safe economic Gao-Rexford model. Causes for nonconformity can be diagnosed by comparing the properties of the causation chains with those predicted from different variants of the Gao-Rexford model.