Troubleshooting blackbox SDN control software with minimal causal sequences

Colin Scott, Andreas Wundsam, Barath Raghavan, Aurojit Panda, Andrew Or, Jefferson Lai, Eugene Huang, Zhi Liu, Ahmed El-Hassany, Sam Whitlock, H. B. Acharya, Kyriakos Zarifis, Scott Shenker

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Software bugs are inevitable in software-defined networking control software, and troubleshooting is a tedious, time-consuming task. In this paper we discuss how to improve control software troubleshooting by presenting a technique for automatically identifying a minimal sequence of inputs responsible for triggering a given bug, without making assumptions about the language or instrumentation of the software under test. We apply our technique to five open source SDN control platforms-Floodlight, NOX, POX, Pyretic, ONOS-and illustrate how the minimal causal sequences our system found aided the troubleshooting process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-406
Number of pages12
JournalComputer Communication Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 25 2015
EventACM SIGCOMM 2014 Conference - Chicago, United States
Duration: Aug 17 2014Aug 22 2014


  • SDN control software
  • Test case minimization
  • Troubleshooting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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