LightFDG: An Integrated Approach to Flow Detection and Grooming in Optical Wireless DCNs

Amer Alghadhban, Abdulkadir Celik, Basem Shihada*, Mohamed Slim Alouini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


LightFDG is an integrated approach to flow detection (FD) and flow grooming (FG) in optical wireless data center networks (DCNs), which is interconnected via wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) based free-space optical (FSO) links. Since forwarding bandwidth-hungry elephant flows (EFs) and delay-sensitive mice flows (MFs) on the same path can cause severe performance degradation, the LightFDG optically grooms flows of each class into rack-to-rack (R2R) flows. Then, R2R-MF and R2R-EF flows are separately forwarded over lightpaths of separate MF and EF virtual topologies, respectively. Lightpaths are provisioned by jointly determining the capacity and route based on flows' arrival rate, size, and completion time request. To prevent EFs from congesting the MF lightpaths, high speed and accurate flow-detection mechanisms are also necessary for classifying EFs as soon as possible. Therefore, a fast-lightweight-and-accurate flow detection framework is developed by leveraging the transmission control protocol (TCP) behaviors. The proposed FD scheme has the flexibility of being implemented as in-network or centralized to classify flows of modifiable and unmodifiable hosts, respectively. Since the centralized scheme incurs considerable overhead, the processing and communication overhead is also mitigated by proposed techniques. Numerical results show that LightFDG outperforms traditional load balancers by about 3× for EFs and 10 × for MFs. Along with the developed overhead mitigation methods, the centralized scheme is shown to provide up to 62 × lower overhead with 100% accuracy and with about 224 × higher detection speeds than the existing centralized solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8932563
Pages (from-to)1153-1166
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received January 2, 2019; revised May 18, 2019 and November 24, 2019; accepted December 11, 2019. Date of publication December 13, 2019; date of current version June 10, 2020. This work was supported in part by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. This article was presented in part at the IEEE GLOBECOM 2018, Abu Dhabi, UAE [1]. The associate editor coordinating the review of this article and approving it for publication was C. Assi. (Corresponding author: Basem Shihada.) A. AlGhadhban is with the Computer, Electrical, and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia, and also with the Electrical Engineering Department, University of Hail, Hail 55474, Saudi Arabia (e-mail:

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 IEEE.


  • Flow classification
  • flow grooming
  • FSO
  • lightpath provisioning
  • wavelength division multiplexing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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