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Advanced packet processing functions in the data path of routers are commonly used in the current Internet and are likely to expand in next-generation networks. One of the key challenges related to such "Network services" is to develop a suitable control plane infrastructure for routing and connection setup. In this paper, the authors present a novel distributed algorithm and routing protocol to facilitate allocation of services during connection setup. The protocol is scalable for deployment in large networks and can obtain globally optimal solutions for a single service and approximate solutions for two or more services. They have implemented a prototype on Emulab to evaluate the proposed protocol.
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