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Presenter: Shin, Byoungheon

 Introduction
 Routing and Forwarding tables
 Design goals and parameters
 Data Structure
 Performance measurements
 Scaling
 Conclusion
 Larger network size (Internet)
and Faster network speed

 IP routing lookup in software level

◦ …Possible?
◦ Most think software IP routing lookup cannot
come up with the speed of Gigabit network.
 Routers

Local version of Local version of

routing table routing table
 Traditional implementations of routing
tables use Patricia trees.
◦ More than 2MB
 How about very small and fast forwarding
◦ 40,000 routing entries, 150-160KB size
 Purpose
◦ Software IP routing lookup on the general purpose
(Alpha 21164 333MHz, Pentium Pro 200MHz)
 Routing table
◦ Determines next hop for IP datagrams
◦ Updated frequently (dynamic)

 Forwarding table
◦ Local version of routing table
◦ Can be optimized for “lookup speed”
 Goal
◦ Minimize lookup time
◦ Minimize two parameters:
The number of memory accesses during lookup
The size of data structure

◦ The data structure:

Need few instructions during lookup
Keep the entities naturally aligned as much as possible to
avoid expensive instructions and cumbersome bit-extraction
 The forwarding table
◦ Binary tree covering all IP addresses
 Rule of the longest match
◦ When several routing entries cover the same IP

Routing entry e1 is
hidden by e2 for
addresses in the
range r.
 Forwarding table
◦ Representation of the binary tree spanned by all
routing entries
◦ Prefix tree (trie)
should be complete
 Three levels of the data structure
◦ Level 1: 16 bits
◦ Level 2: 8 bits
◦ Level 3: 8 bits
 Core result
◦ can represent a complete binary tree of height h
using only one bit per possible leaf at depth h,
plus one base index per 64 possible leaves, plus
the information stored in the leaves.
◦ The size of a tree in bytes with l leaves holding
information of size d is:

2h-3 + b × 2h-6 + l × d

(b: size of a base index)

 Level 1
◦ Initial 16 bits of IP address: used for an index
◦ Depth is 16. (binary tree)
◦ 1 – 64K(216) children
◦ Leaves in depth 16: bit vector
 Level 1 cont’d
◦ Heads: Nodes in depth 16 if existing
Or, the lowest bit in the interval covered by that
leaf is set.
◦ A bit in the bit vector:
A one representing a root head
A one representing a genuine head
Zero which means this value is a member of a range
covered by a leaf at a depth less than 16
 Level 1 cont’d

Root head
 Level 1 cont’d
◦ Head information
Root head: index to the level 2 chunk that represents the
corresponding subtree
Genuine head: index into the next-hop table
Encoded in 16-bit pointers stored in an array
2 bits: the kind of pointer
14 bits: index into next-hop or index into an array
 Level 1 cont’d
◦ Finding pointer groups
An array of codewords as many as bit-masks
An array of base indices, one per four code words: to find a
group of pointers
Codeword: 10 bit value(r1, r2, …) + 6 bit offset(0,3,10, …)
 Level 1 cont’d
◦ Maptable
To find the correct pointer in the group of pointers
Bit-masks are generated from a complete prefix tree, not all
combinations of the 16 bits are possible.
Non-zero bit-mask of length 2n: combination of two bit-
masks of length n or bit-mask with value 1
 Level 1 cont’d
◦ Searching
 Levels 2 and 3
◦ Chunks: A chunk covers a subtree of height 8 and
can contain at most 28=256 heads.
◦ 3 kinds of chunks
1-8 heads: the chunk is “sparse.”
9-64 heads: the chunk is “dense.”
65-256 heads: the chunk is “very dense.”
 Levels 2 and 3 cont’d
◦ Sparse: array of 8-bit indices of the heads
◦ Dense: just one base index for all 16 codewords
◦ ‘Dense and very dense’ chunks are searched
analogously with the 1st level.
 Growth limitations
◦ The number of chunks of each kind is limited to
◦ The number of pointers in levels 2 and 3 is limited
by the size of base indices.
◦ The number of distinct next-hops is limited to

◦ BUT, with small modifications, it can

accommodate a large increase in number of
routing entries.
Very few. Searching one level takes
 Many routing tables 4 memory accesses.
 Mostly less than 8 memory
◦ Collected through the Internet (IPMA project)
 Lookup times
◦ Alpha 21164: at least 2.2 million lookups /sec
◦ Pentium Pro: at least 2.0 million lookups /sec
 Forwarding table size

 Table building time

◦ The table is built during a single pass over all
routing entries.
 Larger addresses
◦ IPv6 possible inflating table size
 Compact forwarding table
◦ Searched quickly to find the longest matching

 Resides in the cache of general purpose

 Can scale to accommodate the growth in

routing table size.

Thank you!