Configuration and Evaluation of Multi-CQF Shapers in IEEE 802.1 Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN)

Konstantinos Alexandris, Paul Pop*, Tongtong Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

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Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) is a task group of the IEEE 802.1 standardization working group (WG) developing the IEEE 802.1 TSN communication standards. TSN is developing a 'toolbox' of many standards to provide support for enabling the separation of critical and non-critical traffic, the timeliness and dependability, i.e., reliability, fault-tolerance, and security, of critical traffic. In this paper we focus on the Cyclic Queuing and Forwarding (CQF) traffic shapers, such as the original CQF, the Cycle Specified Queuing and Forwarding (CSQF) and an extension of those, the so-called Multi-CQF shaper. We define formally the problem of configuring CQF-based networks. We have developed a Constraint Programming (CP) formulation for Multi-CQF, as well as a Simulated Annealing (SA)-based metaheuristic solution. These solutions can also obtain results for CQF and CSQF, which can be seen as a special case of Multi-CQF. The CQF configuration problem is NP-hard. We evaluate our solutions on several test cases and scenarios. The CP formulation can find optimal solutions for small problem sizes but does not scale for realistic test cases. However, SA is able to handle large test cases and to find good quality solutions, making it suitable for both design-time and runtime network configuration. We also present comprehensive evaluation results comparing the CQF-based variants (CQF, CSQF, Multi-CQF) on industrial use cases, contrast them to the Time Aware Shaper (TAS, 802.1Qbv), and discuss their advantages and disadvantages.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Access
Pages (from-to)109068-109081
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Combinatorial optimization
  • Constraint programming
  • Cycle specified queuing and forwarding (CSQF)
  • Cyclic queuing and forwarding (CQF)
  • IEEE 802.1 time-sensitive networking (TSN)
  • Multi-CQF, network configuration
  • Queue assignment
  • Routing
  • Simulated annealing


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