BGP Safety with Spurious Updates
We explore BGP safety, the question of whether a BGP system converges to a stable routing, in light of several BGP implementation features that have not been fully included in the previous theoretical analyses. We show that Route Flap Damping, MRAI timers, and other intra-router features can cause a router to briefly send "spurious" announcements of less-preferred routes. We demonstrate that, even in simple configurations, this short-term spurious behavior may cause long-term divergence in global routing. We then present DPVP, a general model that unifies these sources of spurious announcements in order to examine their impact on BGP safety. In this new, more robust model of BGP behavior, we derive a necessary and sufficient condition for safety, which furthermore admits an efficient algorithm for checking BGP safety in most practical circumstances - two complementary results that have been elusive in the past decade's worth of classical studies of BGP convergence in more simple models. We also consider the implications of spurious updates for well-known results on dispute wheels and safety under filtering.