Provenance for intent-based networking

Benjamin E. Ujcich, Adam Bates, William H. Sanders

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Intent-based networking (IBN) promises to simplify the network management and automated orchestration of high-level policies in future networking architectures such as software-defined networking (SDN). However, such abstraction and automation creates new network visibility challenges. Existing SDN network forensics and diagnostics tools operate at a lower level of network abstraction, which makes intent-level reasoning difficult. We present PRovINTENT, a framework extension for SDN control plane tools that accounts for intent semantics. PRovINTENT records the provenance and evolution of intents as the network's state and apps' requests change over time and enables reasoning at multiple abstractions. We define an intent provenance model, we implement a proof-of-concept tool, and we evaluate the efficacy of PRovINTENT'S explanatory capabilities by using a representative intent-driven network application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 IEEE Conference on Network Softwarization
Subtitle of host publicationBridging the Gap Between AI and Network Softwarization, NetSoft 2020
EditorsFilip De Turck, Prosper Chemouil, Tim Wauters, Mohamed Faten Zhani, Walter Cerroni, Rafael Pasquini, Zuqing Zhu
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781728156842
StatePublished - Jun 2020
Event6th IEEE Conference on Network Softwarization, NetSoft 2020 - Virtual, Online, Belgium
Duration: Jun 29 2020Jul 3 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2020 IEEE Conference on Network Softwarization: Bridging the Gap Between AI and Network Softwarization, NetSoft 2020


Conference6th IEEE Conference on Network Softwarization, NetSoft 2020
CityVirtual, Online


  • Data provenance
  • IBN
  • Intent-based networking
  • Network diagnostics
  • Network troubleshooting
  • Network visibility
  • PROV
  • Root cause analysis
  • SDN
  • Software-defined networking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Software
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Control and Optimization


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