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Path Selection Component


After network link attributes and topology information are flooded by the IGP and placed in the traffic engineering database, each ingress router uses the traffic engineering database to calculate the paths for its own set of LSPs across the routing domain. The path for each LSP can be represented by either a strict or loose explicit route. An explicit route is a preconfigured sequence of routers that should be part of the physical path of the LSP. If the ingress router specifies all the routers in the LSP, the LSP is said to be identified by a strict explicit route. If the ingress router specifies only some of the routers in the LSP, the LSP is described as a loose explicit route. Support for strict and loose explicit routes allows the path selection process to be given broad latitude whenever possible, but to be constrained when necessary.

The ingress router determines the physical path for each LSP by applying a Constrained Shortest Path First (CSPF) algorithm to the information in the traffic engineering database. CSPF is a shortest-path-first algorithm that has been modified to take into account specific restrictions when the shortest path across the network is calculated. Input into the CSPF algorithm includes:

  • Topology link-state information learned from the IGP and maintained in the traffic engineering database

  • Attributes associated with the state of network resources (such as total link bandwidth, reserved link bandwidth, available link bandwidth, and link color) that are carried by IGP extensions and stored in the traffic engineering database

  • Administrative attributes required to support traffic traversing the proposed LSP (such as bandwidth requirements, maximum hop count, and administrative policy requirements) that are obtained from user configuration

As CSPF considers each candidate node and link for a new LSP, it either accepts or rejects a specific path component based on resource availability or whether selecting the component violates user policy constraints. The output of the CSPF calculation is an explicit route consisting of a sequence of router addresses that provides the shortest path through the network that meets the constraints. This explicit route is then passed to the signaling component, which establishes the forwarding state in the routers along the LSP.