Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Xiaojun Cao

Second Advisor

Yi Pan

Third Advisor

Shihao(Jonathan) Ji

Fourth Advisor

Yi Zhao


This dissertation investigates the Network Function Virtualization (NFV) service delivery problems in the future Internet. With the emerging Internet of everything, 5G communication and multi-access edge computing techniques, tremendous end-user devices are connected to the Internet. The massive quantity of end-user devices facilitates various services between the end-user devices and the cloud/edge servers. To improve the service quality and agility, NFV is applied. In NFV, the customer's data from these services will go through multiple Service Functions (SFs) for processing or analysis. Unlike traditional point-to-point data transmission, a particular set of SFs and customized service requirements are needed to be applied to the customer's traffic flow, which makes the traditional point-to-point data transmission methods not directly used. As the traditional point-to-point data transmission methods cannot be directly applied, there should be a body of novel mechanisms that effectively deliver the NFV services with customized~requirements.

As a result, this dissertation proposes a series of mechanisms for delivering NFV services with diverse requirements. First, we study how to deliver the traditional NFV service with a provable boundary in unique function networks. Secondly, considering both forward and backward traffic, we investigate how to effectively deliver the NFV service when the SFs required in forward and backward traffic is not the same. Thirdly, we investigate how to efficiently deliver the NFV service when the required SFs have specific executing order constraints. We also provide detailed analysis and discussion for proposed mechanisms and validate their performance via extensive simulations. The results demonstrate that the proposed mechanisms can efficiently and effectively deliver the NFV services under different requirements and networking conditions.

At last, we also propose two future research topics for further investigation. The first topic focuses on parallelism-aware service function chaining and embedding. The second topic investigates the survivability of NFV services.


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