Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

Future Internet Architecture: Content-Centric Networking

August 19th, 2011 / in big science, research horizons / by Erwin Gianchandani

The NDN testbed topology in January 2011 [image courtesy].Next month, a little more than a year after the National Science Foundation (NSF) launched the Future Internet Architecture (FIA) program, 100 researchers will gather in Palo Alto, CA, to discuss the progress in “content-centric networking” (CCN) — a new direction for organizing Internet traffic that aims to provide greater security and faster connectivity.

Content-centric networking represents a shift from today’s focus on using network addresses to find content. Instead it proposes a protocol that specifically defines and tracks content. Backers say it represents an evolutionary change similar to IP forwarding.


“We think it’s definitely a concept that will change how people design high performance hardware,” said Jim Thornton, a principal engineer who leads a dozen researchers at PARC working in the area.

The goal of the meeting will be to have the research community share work, exchange ideas, and begin to shape the kind of content ID and router frameworks needed to make the CCN concept work.

“We are trying to define and validate what you could think of as an Internet Protocol for content,” said Thornton. “It’s this kind of work with people experimenting with apps and use cases that will push toward the design of a core protocol,” he said.

CCN is one of the four NSF/CISE-funded FIA projects — officially known as Named Data Network (NDN) project.

For more details about the meeting, click here.

To learn about all the FIA projects, click here.

And if you have ideas about CCN, post them in the comment space below!

The Internet’s “Hourglass Shape”

The Internet's "hourglass shape" [image courtesy Georgia Tech].And while we’re on the subject of future Internet architectures, it’s worth passing along some interesting new research from Constantine Dovrolis at Georgia Tech. Dovrolis has developed an evolutionary model called EvoArch to study the emergence of the Internet’s hourglass structure (as represented by the six layers spanning applications, application protocols, transport protocols, network protocols, data-link protocols, and physical layer protocols. Here’s what’s interesting about the model results:

EvoArch showed that even if future Internet architectures are not built in the shape of an hourglass initially, they will probably acquire that shape as they evolve. Through their simulations, Dovrolis and Akhshabi found that while the accuracy of the structure improved with time, the basic hourglass shape was always formed — no matter what shape it started in.

Read all about EvoArch here — and share your thoughts about it in the comment space below.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

Future Internet Architecture: Content-Centric Networking

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