Document Type: Research/Original/Regular Article


1 Faculty of Mathematical Sciences, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran.

2 Faculty of Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.



Software defined network is a new computer network architecture who separates controller and data layer in network devices such as switches and routers. By the emerge of software defined networks, a class of location problems, called controller placement problem, has attracted much more research attention. The task in the problem is to simultaneously find optimal number and location of controllers satisfying a set of routing and capacity constraints. In this paper, we suggest an effective solution method based on the so-called Iterated Local Search (ILS) strategy. We then, compare our method to an existing standard mathematical programming solver on an extensive set of problem instances. It turns out that our suggested method is computationally much more effective and efficient over middle to large instances of the problem.


Main Subjects

[1] Blial, O., Ben Mamoun, M., & Benaini, R. (2016). An overview on SDN architectures with multiple controllers, Journal of Computer Networks and Communications, vol. 2016.

[2] Selvi, H., Güner, S., Gür, G., & Alagöz, F. (2015). The controller placement problem in software defined mobile networks (SDMN), Software Defined Mobile Networks (SDMN): Beyond LTE Network Architecture, pp. 129-147.

[3] Nunes, B. A. A., Mendonca, M., Nguyen, X. N., Obraczka, K., & Turletti, T. (2014). A survey of software-defined networking: Past, present, and future of programmable networks, IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 1617-1634.

[4] Xia, W., Wen, Y., Foh, C. H., Niyato, D., & Xie, H. (2014). A survey on software-defined networking. IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 27-51.

[5] Open networking foundation.

[6] Jarraya, Y., Madi, T., & Debbabi, M. (2014). A survey and a layered taxonomy of software-defined networking, IEEE communications surveys & tutorials, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 1955-1980.

[7] Sezer, S., Scott-Hayward, S., Chouhan, P. K., Fraser, B., Lake, D., Finnegan, J. & Rao, N. (2013). Are we ready for SDN? Implementation challenges for software-defined networks, IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 51, no. 7, pp. 36-43.

[8] Heller, B., Sherwood, R., & McKeown, N. (2012). The controller placement problem, In Proceedings of the first workshop on Hot topics in software defined networks, ACM, pp. 7-12.

[9] Yao, G., Bi, J., Li, Y., & Guo, L. (2014). On the capacitated controller placement problem in software defined networks, IEEE Communications Letters, vol. 18, no. 8, pp. 1339-1342.

[10] Lourenço, H. R., Martin, O. C., & Stützle, T. (2019). Iterated local search: Framework and applications, In Handbook of metaheuristics, Springer, pp. 129-168.

[11] Xiao, P., Qu, W., Qi, H., Li, Z., & Xu, Y. (2014). The SDN controller placement problem for WAN, In 2014 IEEE/CIC International Conference on Communications in China (ICCC), IEEE, pp. 220-224.

[12] Hu, Y. N., Wang, W. D., Gong, X. Y., Que, X. R., & Cheng, S. D. (2012). On the placement of controllers in software-defined networks, The Journal of China Universities of Posts and Telecommunications, vol. 19, pp. 92-171.

[13] Zhang, Y., Beheshti, N., & Tatipamula, M. (2011). On resilience of split-architecture networks, In 2011 IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference-GLOBECOM 2011, IEEE, pp. 1-6.

[14] Obadia, M., Bouet, M., Rougier, J. L., & Iannone, L. (2015). A greedy approach for minimizing SDN control overhead, In Proceedings of the 2015 1st IEEE Conference on Network Softwarization (NetSoft), IEEE, pp. 1-5.

[15] Yao, G., Bi, J., Li, Y., & Guo, L. (2014). On the capacitated controller placement problem in software defined networks, IEEE Communications Letters, vol. 18, no. 8, pp. 1339-1342.

[16] Zhang, T., Bianco, A., & Giaccone, P. (2016). The role of inter-controller traffic in SDN controllers placement, In 2016 IEEE Conference on Network Function Virtualization and Software Defined Networks (NFV-SDN), IEEE, pp. 87-92.

[17] Sallahi, A., & St-Hilaire, M. (2014). Optimal model for the controller placement problem in software defined networks, IEEE communications letters, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 30-33.

[18] IBM Inc. IBM ILOG CPLEX optimization studio getting started with CPLEX (version 12 release 6). IBM Corporation; (2014). Available:

[19] Dowlatshahi, M. B., & Derhami, V. (2017). Winner Determination in Combinatorial Auctions using Hybrid Ant Colony Optimization and Multi-Neighborhood Local Search, Journal of AI and Data Mining, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 169-181.

[20] Ashrafi, M., Correia, N., & Faroq, A. T. (2018). A Scalable and Reliable Model for the Placement of Controllers in SDN Networks, In International Conference on Broadband Communications, Networks and Systems, Springer, pp. 72-82.

[21] Solving constraint integer programs.

[22] Mueller, J., Wierz, A., & Magedanz, T. (2013). Scalable On-Demand Network Management Module for Software Defined Telecommunication Networks, In SDN4FNS, pp. 1-6.

[23] Herbaut, N., Negru, D., Magoni, D., & Frangoudis, P. A. (2016). Deploying a content delivery service function chain on an SDN-NFV operator infrastructure, In 2016 International Conference on Telecommunications and Multimedia (TEMU), IEEE, pp. 1-7.

[24] Stützle, T., & Ruiz, R. (2017). Iterated local search. Handbook of Heuristics, pp. 1-27.