Innovation to Speed Network Failure Recovery by 20 to 30 Times

NYU-Poly Professors Introduce Efficient Fix for Costly, Common IP Failures

Two hundred fifty billion emails, 45 million Facebook posts and more than 50,000 hours of video make up just a portion of the data sent each day through Internet routers. Connected by a staggering network of fibers that crisscross the globe, these networks make high-speed, high-bandwidth communication possible. But what happens when one of those fibers is cut or a router fails to function?

H. Jonathan Chao, department head and professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) and Kang Xi, industry associate professor in the department, were recently awarded four patents for new technologies designed to increase Internet reliability and boost network resilience in an environment where disruptions of just several seconds can result in significant data loss. Their systems help IP (Internet protocol) networks achieve ultra-fast recovery from several common types of failure.

During normal Internet traffic flow through traditional routers, IP packets are directed and delivered to a specific output port according to instructions from the system’s routing table. In the event that a link or node fails - preventing delivery of current packets - a new delivery route must be calculated. This process can take as long as several seconds, during which millions of IP packets can be circulating and potentially discarded. These failures waste bandwidth as well.

Chao’s and Xi’s solution relies on expanding the routing table entries that direct incoming IP packets to include an additional field - a backup port capable of preparing an alternate delivery path within tens of milliseconds - 20 to 30 times faster than the existing failure recovery methods.

This system can be applied to solve three distinct scenarios: single link failure, single node failure, and double link failure. Chao and Xi’s solutions are fully compatible with existing routing protocols and cost relatively little to implement.

“Preparing for and addressing IP failure scenarios is one of the most vexing challenges for Internet Service Providers, and with increasing demand for bandwidth, the need for ultra-fast recovery schemes is more urgent than ever,” said Chao.

Along with fellow NYU-Poly faculty and students, Chao has obtained a total of nine patents since June 2010 for technologies that increase the efficiency and safety of high-speed networks. The research for the four patents issued for routing software was funded in part by the National Science Foundation and NYU-Poly’s Center for Advanced Technology in Telecommunications and Distributed Information (CATT).

About Polytechnic Institute of New York University
Polytechnic Institute of New York University (formerly Polytechnic University), an affiliate of New York University, is a comprehensive school of engineering, applied sciences, technology and research, and is rooted in a 157-year tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship: i2e. The institution, founded in 1854, is the nation’s second-oldest private engineering school. In addition to its main campus in New York City at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, it also offers programs at sites throughout the region and around the globe. Globally, NYU-Poly has programs in Israel, China and is an integral part of NYU's campus in Abu Dhabi.

About the NYU-Poly CATT
The Center for Advanced Technology in Telecommunications and Distributed Information Systems (CATT) is a research and education group founded in 1983 at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University with support from the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR). Its mission is to foster industry-university partnerships and education in order to commercialize research while solving problems and creating opportunities in wireless and personal communications networks and devices; integrated and secure information technologies and solutions; and multi-media applications/services. For more information, visit