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A Memory-Efficient and Modular Approach for Large-Scale String Pattern Matching

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2 Author(s)
Hoang Le ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Prasanna, V.K.

In Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDSs), string pattern matching demands exceptionally high performance to match the content of network traffic against a predefined database (or dictionary) of malicious patterns. Much work has been done in this field; however, most of the prior work results in low memory efficiency (defined as the ratio of the amount of the required storage in bytes and the size of the dictionary in number of characters). Due to such inefficiency, state-of-the-art designs cannot support large dictionaries without using high-latency external DRAM. We propose an algorithm called "leaf-attaching" to preprocess a given dictionary without increasing the number of patterns. The resulting set of postprocessed patterns can be searched using any tree-search data structure. We also present a scalable, high-throughput, Memory-efficient Architecture for large-scale String Matching (MASM) based on a pipelined binary search tree. The proposed algorithm and architecture achieve a memory efficiency of 0.56 (for the Rogets dictionary) and 1.32 (for the Snort dictionary). As a result, our design scales well to support larger dictionaries. Implementations on 45 nm ASIC and a state-of-the-art FPGA device (for latest Rogets and Snort dictionaries) show that our architecture achieves 24 and 3.2 Gbps, respectively. The MASM module can simply be duplicated to accept multiple characters per cycle, leading to scalable throughput with respect to the number of characters processed in each cycle. Dictionary update involves simply rewriting the content of the memory, which can be done quickly without reconfiguring the chip.

Published in:

Computers, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:62 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

May 2013

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