Oct 31, 2017
Jolley Hall, Room 309
"Decoupling Information and Connectivity in Information-Centric Networking"
Hila Ben Abraham
Adviser: Patrick Crowley
This dissertation proposal aims to cleanly separate information and connectivity in Information-Centric Networks (ICNs). ICN architectures were designed to support the requirements of today's Internet, such as information dissemination and better security and trust models, by replacing the existing telephony-inspired abstraction with a new network abstraction -- the request for named data. This new abstraction promises to decouple information from connectivity by allowing applications to be concerned only with namespaces and content identities rather than the connectivity characteristics of channel-based communication.
However, our work has unveiled an important problem: In all leading ICNs, information and connectivity are implicitly and unsustainably linked via an architectural component called the strategy layer. This component consists of multiple forwarding strategies that decide how to forward packets in the presence of either multiple next-hop options or dynamic feedback. As shown in this proposal, the present design of the strategy layer is not sustainable: Application developers can confidently specify a strategy only if they understand connectivity details, while network node operators can confidently assign strategies only if they understand application expectations.
We seek to address this problem by clearly, and for the first time, specifying the role of forwarding strategies in ICN. Further, we introduce the concept of Information-Centric Transport (ICT) as a mechanism that decouples the Information Plane from the Connectivity Plane. This mechanism allows applications to operate solely on the information plane, concerned only with namespaces and identities relevant to the application, leaving network node operators free to implement ICT services for the connectivity that they manage. We will explore and implement three different ICTs to support synchronization services, logical overlays of multiple producers (such as DHTs), and real-time services.