Config2Spec: Mining Network Specifications from Network Configurations


Rüdiger Birkner, ETH Zürich; Dana Drachsler-Cohen, Technion; Laurent Vanbever and Martin Vechev, ETH Zürich


Network verification and configuration synthesis are promising approaches to make networks more reliable and secure by enforcing a set of policies. However, these approaches require a formal and precise description of the intended network behavior, imposing a major barrier to their adoption: network operators are not only reluctant to write formal specifications, but often do not even know what these specifications are.

We present Config2Spec, a system that automatically synthesizes a formal specification (a set of policies) of a network given its configuration and a failure model (e.g., up to two link failures). A key technical challenge is to design a synthesis algorithm which can efficiently explore the large space of possible policies. To address this challenge, Config2Spec relies on a careful combination of two well-known methods: data plane analysis and control plane verification.

Experimental results show that Config2Spec scales to mining specifications of large networks (>150 routers).

NSDI '20 Open Access Sponsored by NetApp

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@inproceedings {246488,
author = {Rudiger Birkner and Dana Drachsler-Cohen and Laurent Vanbever and Martin Vechev},
title = {{Config2Spec}: Mining Network Specifications from Network Configurations },
booktitle = {17th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 20)},
year = {2020},
isbn = {978-1-939133-13-7},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
pages = {969--984},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = feb,

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