Evolution of Cache Replacement Policies to Track Heavy-hitter Flows

Abstract

Several important network applications cannot easily scale to higher data rates without requiring focusing just on the large traffic flows. Recent works have discussed algorithmic solutions that trade-off accuracy to gain efficiency for filtering and tracking the so-called “heavy-hitters”. However, a major limit is that flows must initially go through a filtering process, making it impossible to track state associated with the first few packets of the flow.
In this paper, we propose a different paradigm in tracking the large flows which overcomes this limit. We view the problem as that of managing a small flow cache with a finely tuned replacement policy that strives to avoid evicting the heavy-hitters. Our scheme starts from recorded traffic traces and uses Genetic Algorithms to evolve a replacement policy tailored for supporting seamless, stateful traffic-processing. We evaluate our scheme in terms of missed heavy-hitters: it performs close to the optimal, oracle-based policy, and when compared to other standard policies, it consistently outperforms them, even by a factor of two in most cases.

Publication
Proceedings of Passive Active Measurement conference (PAM’11)