Prof. Giuseppe Bianchi

Biography: Giuseppe bianchi is Full Professor of Networking at the School of Engineering, University of Roma Tor Vergata since January 2007, and member of the CNIT executive board since 2014. His research activity includes wireless networks, privacy and security, traffic control, performance modeling, and is documented in about 200 peer-reviewed international journal and conference papers, having received more than 12.000 citations (source He has carried out pioneering research work on WLAN modelling and assessment, and is currently interested in network programmability in both wireless and wired domains. He has been general or technical co-chair for several major conferences (IEEE LANMAN 2016, ACM CoNext 2015, IEEE INFOCOM 2014, IEEE WoWMoM 2007 and 2010, track chair at IEEE PIMRC 2008, etc) and wireless specific workshops, (ACM WMI 2001, ACM WMASH 2003 and 2004, ACM WinTech 2011, ACM SRIF 2013, etc). G. Bianchi has held general or technical coordination roles in several European projects (FP6-DISCREET, FP7-FLAVIA, FP7-PRISM, FP7-DEMONS, H2020-BEBA, H2020-SCISSOR). He has been editor or guest editor for a number of journals including JSAC and IEEE/ACM transactions on Networking, and is currently serving as area editor for IEEE transactions on Wireless Communications, and for Elsevier Computer Communications.

Title: Revisiting control/data plane separation in Software Defined Networking


Summary: As defined in Wikipedia, Software Defined Networking (SDN) is about “decoupling the system that makes decisions about where traffic is sent (the control plane) from the underlying systems that forward traffic to the selected destination (the data plane)”. Such decoupling is very frequently meant to imply the physical separation between a smart (logically) centralized controller in charge of taking and enforcing decisions, and dumb network switches and devices which are completely driven by the controller in terms of forwarding rules install/update commands. We believe that this rigid, physical, separation is by no means a conceptual principle, but it is just the consequence of the inability to emerge, so far, with pragmatic device-level programming interfaces more expressive than OpenFlow, i.e.,
which permit to program, inside the switch itself, more complex and dynamic “flow behavior models”, rather than static forwarding rules. In the talk, we discuss technical ways to formally describe stateful per flow behavior while retaining pragmatism (and some level of compatibility with today’s OpenFlow), platform independency, and portability across different network devices and nodes. Taking stocks, we posit that the unprecedented ability to locally deploy, in each network switch, third-party programmed platform-agnostic control functions, not only questions the rigid control/data plane separation that so far has driven SDN efforts, but rather might even pave the road towards the viable return of some “active networking” ideas in the SDN arena.