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Source-controlled routing has been proposed as a way to improve flexibility of future network architectures, as well as simplifying the data plane. However, if a packet specifies its path, this precludes fast local re-routing within the network. The authors propose SlickPackets, a novel solution that allows packets to slip around failures by specifying alternate paths in their headers, in the form of compactly-encoded directed acyclic graphs. They show that this can be accomplished with reasonably small packet headers for real network topologies, and results in responsiveness to failures that is competitive with past approaches that re-quire much more state within the network.
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