Measurements As First-class Artifacts

Paolo Laffranchini, Luis Rodrigues, Marco Canini, Balachander Krishnamurthy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Scopus citations


The emergence of programmable switches has sparked a significant amount of work on new techniques to perform more powerful measurement tasks, for instance, to obtain fine-grained traffic and performance statistics. Previous work has focused on the efficiency of these measurements alone and has neglected flexibility, resulting in solutions that are hard to reuse or repurpose and that often overlap in functionality or goals. In this paper, we propose the use of a set of reusable primitive building blocks that can be composed to express measurement tasks in a concise and simple way. We describe the rationale for the design of our primitives, that we have named MAFIA (Measurements As FIrst-class Artifacts), and using several examples we illustrate how they can be combined to realize a comprehensive range of network measurement tasks. Writing MAFIA code does not require expert knowledge of low-level switch architecture details. Using a prototype implementation of MAFIA, we demonstrate the applicability of our approach and show that the use of our primitives results in compiled code that is comparable in size and resource usage with manually written specialized P4 code, and can be run in current hardware.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE INFOCOM 2019 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781728105154
StatePublished - Apr 2019


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