IRTF Update – March 2011

By: Aaron Falk

Date: March 6, 2011

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What follows is a summary of the IRTF chair’s report, which was delivered during the IETF 79 technical plenary. Four of the 13 Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) research groups (RGs) met during the week:

  • Scalable, Adaptive Multicast RG
  • Host Identity Payload RG
  • Delay Tolerant Networking RG
  • Virtual Networks RG

The RFC Editor published an RFC from the Peer-to-Peer RG, RFC 6029: A Survey on Research on the Application-Layer Traffic Optimization (ALTO) Problem. Internet drafts from the Routing, Mobility Optimization, and Internet Congestion Control RGs are nearing publication.

An email list has been created for discussion of topics related to the IRTF, specifically including discussion of the creation of new RGs. The list is and the subscription page is here.

Two new topics continue to be discussed as possible RGs. The first is machine learning and communications systems (as described in draft-tavernier-irtf-lccn-problem-statement-00.txt), which focuses on how learning algorithms can be utilized within network nodes or collections of network nodes to adapt their behaviour in response to external events, such as traffic or failure conditions. The second is the “Internet of Things.” Topics of interest in this area include building networks, emergency networks, and naming services, among others.

As a postscript to my report from IETF 79, I would like to add an update on the role of IRTF chair. On 29 November 2010, the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) announced the selection of Dr. Lars Eggert as the new IRTF chair. Lars is a principal scientist at Nokia Research Center in Helsinki, Finland, and a member of Nokia’s CEO Technology Council. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Aalto University. Lars has worked on research projects ranging from internetwork architecture, transport protocols, virtual networks to resource scheduling. He is a senior member of the ACM and the IEEE, an individual member of the Internet Society, and an active participant in the IRTF and IETF, where he currently serves as area director of the Transport Area. Lars serves on the programme committees of several ACM and IEEE conferences and workshops as chair and member, such as IEEE Infocom. Before joining Nokia in 2007, Lars was a senior researcher at the NEC Network Laboratories in Heidelberg, Germany. He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science in the fall of 2003 from the University of Southern California (USC) where he was a graduate research assistant at USC’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI). Lars will start his role as IRTF chair during the IETF 80 week. He brings a wealth of leadership experience in Internet research and engineering and will be an excellent chair of the IRTF. Welcome, Lars!

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