Information access is the dominant use case in today’s Internet with more than 90% of Internet traffic being content retrieval (with video accounting for 60%, both user-generated and video-on-demand services). However, the Internet Protocol (IP) in today’s Internet is focused on point-to-point communication, and solving content distribution problems via IP's point-to-point communication is inefficient and requires a new architecture that matches the evolving network usage with its design. Future internet architectures based on the information-centric networking (ICN) paradigm propose to address ongoing challenges in supporting modern applications. These new architectures support the dissemination of named and signed data content natively at the network layer. Named Data Networking (NDN) is one such architecture that has a growing community of interest. ANTD is exploring the use of ICN-based technologies for an efficient next-generation Internet by researching associated protocols and measurements and contributing to specifications of a standard implementation.
Today the Internet relies on content distribution network overlays and caching to deliver most of its traffic. It is not clear that this architecture can continue to scale to meet data projections of the next decade and beyond. Current research in information-centric networking proposes a new architecture for the Internet focused on secure large scale data dissemination. ICN architectures provide new protocols for naming and data transfer that take advantage of a new network multipath capability and the ability to cache data within the network nodes.
Instead of IP addresses, packets have names and users request content with an Interest packet. This triggers the network to return information in a Data packet that can be cached in the network nodes to satisfy future requests of the same content. We are exploring how this ICN/NDN paradigm addresses some of the key challenges in scalability, efficient resource utilization, and security faced by emerging applications in areas such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data. The Emerging Network Technologies Group makes use of its network architecture expertise, in collaboration with other institutions, to examine ICN/NDN as an alternative networking approach in these areas.
Our ICN research, with emphasis on NDN, covers protocols and applications and uses simulation and experimentation for performance evaluations. We developed a multi-path transfer protocol using NDN to more efficiently support Big Data applications. Since sensor/actuator networks (IoT) is one of the sweet spots for NDN, we take advantage of NDN’s naming and security to develop a building management system (BMS) application. We make use of network verification methodologies to assess properties of interest associated with NDN-based network deployments. Moreover, using NDN’s flow balance property (Interest/Data exchange) we can re-think the Internet congestion control problem and develop appropriate NDN congestion control solutions. While developing these solutions, we take advantage of actively growing open-source NDN code base as well as simulation and emulation tools for performance evaluations.