Atomic-SDN: Is Synchronous Flooding the Solution to Software-Defined Networking in IoT?

Michael Baddeley, Usman Raza, Aleksandar Stanoev, George Oikonomou, Reza Nejabati, Dimitra Simeonidou, Mahesh Sooriyabandara

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue (Academic Journal)peer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
201 Downloads (Pure)


The adoption of Software Defined Networking (SDN) within traditional networks has provided operators the ability to manage diverse resources and easily reconfigure networks as requirements change. Recent research has extended this concept to IEEE 802.15.4 low-power wireless networks, which form a key component of the Internet of Things (IoT). However, the multiple traffic patterns necessary for SDN control makes it difficult to apply this approach to these highly challenging environments. This paper presents Atomic-SDN, a highly reliable and low-latency solution for SDN in low-power wireless. Atomic-SDN introduces a novel Synchronous Flooding (SF) architecture capable of dynamically configuring SF protocols to satisfy complex SDN control requirements, and draws from the authors' previous experiences in the IEEE EWSN Dependability Competition: where SF solutions have consistently outperformed other entries. Using this approach, Atomic-SDN presents considerable performance gains over other SDN implementations for low-power IoT networks. We evaluate Atomic-SDN through simulation and experimentation, and show how utilizing SF techniques provides latency and reliability guarantees to SDN control operations as the local mesh scales. We compare Atomic-SDN against other SDN implementations based on the IEEE 802.15.4 network stack, and establish that Atomic-SDN improves SDN control by orders-of-magnitude across latency, reliability, and energy-efficiency metrics.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Access
Early online date30 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2019


  • Software Defined Network (SDN)
  • Synchronous Flooding
  • Flooding
  • Low Power Wireless
  • Mesh Networks
  • IEEE 802.15.4
  • Embedded devices
  • Wireless Sensor Network
  • Framework
  • Middleware


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