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Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a new emerging network architecture, which allows, among other things, an efficient convergence between circuit switching and packet switching. However, this convergence imposes a trade-off between control plane load and data plane efficiency: while the SDN controller needs to establish one or more paths (circuits) that can deliver the required bandwidth with minimum data plane cost, this is made difficult by the load imposed on the control plane due to setup and OAM demands. The paper defines and studies this trade-off from both theoretical and practical perspectives.
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