Empowering self-driving networks

Patrick Kalmbach, Johannes Zerwas, Péter Babarczi, Andreas Blenk, Wolfgang Kellerer, Stefan Schmid

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

35 Scopus citations


As emerging network technologies and softwareization render networks more flexible, the question arises of how to exploit these flexibilities for optimization. Given the complexity of the involved network protocols and the context in which networks are operating, such optimizations are increasingly difficult to perform. An interesting vision in this regard are "self-driving" networks: networks which measure, analyze and control themselves in an automated manner, reacting to changes in the environment (e.g., demand), while exploiting existing flexibilities to optimize themselves. A fundamental challenge faced by any (self-)optimizing network concerns the limited knowledge about future changes in the demand and environment in which the network is operating. Indeed, given that reconfigurations entail resource costs and may take time, an "optimal" network configuration for the current demand and environment may not necessarily be optimal also in the near future. Thus, it is desirable that (self-)optimizations also prepare the network for possibly unexpected events. This paper makes the case for empowering self-driving networks: empowerment is an information-centric measure which accounts for how "prepared" a network is and how much flexibility is preserved over time. While empowerment has been successfully employed in other domains such as robotics, we are not aware of any applications in networking. As a case study for the use of empowerment in networks, we consider self-driving networks offering topological flexibilities, i.e., reconfigurable edges.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSelfDN 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 Afternoon Workshop on Self-Driving Networks, Part of SIGCOMM 2018
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781450359146
StatePublished - 7 Aug 2018
Event2018 Afternoon Workshop on Self-Driving Networks, SelfDN 2018 - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 24 Aug 2018 → …

Publication series

NameSelfDN 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 Afternoon Workshop on Self-Driving Networks, Part of SIGCOMM 2018


Conference2018 Afternoon Workshop on Self-Driving Networks, SelfDN 2018
Period24/08/18 → …


  • Network intelligence
  • Optimization
  • Self-driving networks


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