Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg November 22, 2018

Brokerless inter-domain virtual network embedding: A blockchain-based approach

Amr Rizk ORCID logo, Jordi Bisbal, Sonja Bergsträßer and Ralf Steinmetz


The blockchain technology enables entities to query and alter information without trusting a middle party while providing a secure data storage in a decentralized manner. In this paper, we focus on an IT data supply chain scenario, where multiple actors negotiate a tenancy agreement for virtualized network resources. This process consists of service providers (SPs) requesting the embedding of specified virtual networks across multiple infrastructure providers (InPs). Since InPs are typically not willing to disclose detailed internal network information, this is a major deal breaker that hampers the efficiency of the service negotiation process. After reviewing the related work on centralized and decentralized virtual network embedding (VNE) approaches, we briefly discuss the reasons for a blockchain approach for this problem. Our approach comprises of a brokerless blockchain based system, that uses smart contracts and a VN partitioning algorithm based on the Vickrey auction model. Finally, we investigate the feasibility of our approach, by first analyzing the behavior of the introduced auction model in adverse conditions and by secondly evaluating the blockchain performance given different consensus protocols.



1. Lawrence M Ausubel, Paul Milgrom, et al.The lovely but lonely Vickrey auction. Combinatorial auctions, 17:22–26, 2006. Search in Google Scholar

2. Amazon EC2 instance types., 2018. Accessed: 2018-01-16. Search in Google Scholar

3. Arati Baliga. Understanding blockchain consensus models. Technical report, Persistent Systems Ltd, 2017. Search in Google Scholar

4. Jen Clarck. Blockchain Technology: the Next Generation of the Internet, March 2017. Accessed: 2017-11-27. Search in Google Scholar

5. Mosharaf Chowdhury, Fady Samuel, and Raouf Boutaba. PolyViNE: policy-based virtual network embedding across multiple domains. In Proceedings of the second ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Virtualized infrastructure systems and architectures, pages 49–56. ACM, 2010. Search in Google Scholar

6. Vicki M Coppinger, Vernon L Smith, and Jon A Titus. Incentives and behavior in English, dutch and sealed-bid auctions. Economic inquiry, 18(1):1–22, 1980. Search in Google Scholar

7. David Dietrich, Ahmed Abujoda, Amr Rizk, and Panagiotis Papadimitriou. Multi-provider service chain embedding with Nestor. IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management, 14(1):91–105, 2017. Search in Google Scholar

8. David Dietrich, Amr Rizk, and Panagiotis Papadimitriou. Multi-provider virtual network embedding with limited information disclosure. IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management, 12(2):188–201, 2015. Search in Google Scholar

9. David Dietrich, Amr Rizk, and Panagiotis Papadimitriou. AutoEmbed: automated multi-provider virtual network embedding. ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, 43(4):465–466, 2013. Search in Google Scholar

10. Flavio Esposito, Donato Di Paola, and Ibrahim Matta. A general distributed approach to slice embedding with guarantees. In IFIP Networking Conference, 2013, pages 1–9. IEEE, 2013. Search in Google Scholar

11. Petr Fiala. Information sharing in supply chains. Omega, 33(5):419–423, 2005. Search in Google Scholar

12., 2000. Search in Google Scholar

13. Ines Houidi, Wajdi Louati, Walid Ben Ameur, and Djamal Zeghlache. Virtual network provisioning across multiple substrate networks. Computer Networks, 55(4):1011–1023, 2011. Search in Google Scholar

14. Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system, 2008. Search in Google Scholar

15. William Vickrey. Counterspeculation, auctions, and competitive sealed tenders. The Journal of finance, 16(1):8–37, 1961. Search in Google Scholar

16. The Internet topology zoo., 2016. Accessed: 2018-04-30. Search in Google Scholar

17. Fida-E Zaheer, Jin Xiao, and Raouf Boutaba. Multi-provider service negotiation and contracting in network virtualization. In Network operations and management symposium (NOMS), 2010 IEEE, pages 471–478. IEEE, 2010. Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2018-11-07
Accepted: 2018-11-12
Published Online: 2018-11-22
Published in Print: 2018-12-19

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston