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Fix with P6: Verifying Programmable Switches at Runtime

Shukla, Apoorv; Hudemann, Kevin; Vági, Zsolt; Hügerich, Lily; Smaragdakis, Georgios; Hecker, Artur; Schmid, Stefan; Feldmann, Anja

We design, develop, and evaluate P6, an automated approach to (a) detect, (b) localize, and (c) patch software bugs in P4 programs. Bugs are reported via a violation of pre-specified expected behavior that is captured by P6. P6 is based on machine learning-guided fuzzing that tests P4 switch non-intrusively, i.e., without modifying the P4 program for detecting runtime bugs. This enables an automated and real-time localization and patching of bugs. We used a P6 prototype to detect and patch existing bugs in various publicly available P4 application programs deployed on two different switch platforms: behavioral model (bmv2) and Tofino. Our evaluation shows that P6 significantly outperforms bug detection baselines while generating fewer packets and patches bugs in large P4 programs such as switch.p4 without triggering any regressions.
Published in: IEEE INFOCOM 2021 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, 10.1109/INFOCOM42981.2021.9488772, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)