IETF 67 IRTF Report

By: Aaron Falk

Date: November 7, 2006

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aaron falk

During the Technical Plenary at IETF 67, Aaron Falk, chair of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF), reported on the status of all currently active Internet research groups (RGs). Highlights of several are described here.

Delay-Tolerant Networking Research Group (dtnrg)
Thirteen drafts are currently active within the DTN RG, with the DTN Architecture document in the process of being finalised. The research group met during IETF 67 and conducted an interoperability test to test the following:

  • 4 Languages: C++, Java, C#, C
  • 4 Operating systems: Symbian cell phone, MacOS, Linux,
  • 4 Machines: Mac, PC, Nokia 770 PDA, Nokia cell phone

All tests demonstrated successful interoperability. In addition, a 9 DTN-hop linear network was demonstrated during the IETF meeting. In a related note, an experiment on the use of DTN in (very) northern Sweden used DTN to provide Internet access for Saami reindeer herders.

End-Middle-End Research Group (eme)
The EME RG was chartered following a birds-of-a-feather (BoF) session at IETF 66 in July 2006. The goal, according to its charter, is to “provide a way for end-to-end communication to explicitly address middleboxes, so that their behaviour can be understood, monitored and controlled.” As a next step, an architecture will be developed, considering design choices and deployment.

End-to-End Research Group (end-2-end)
A meeting of this RG is planned for February 2007 in the United Kingdom.

Host Identity Protocol Research Group (hip)
The HIP-over-NAT problem statement completed Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG) review and is now in the RFC Editor queue. The RG recently started a discussion on how to encourage more HIP experimentation The HIP RG is planning to meet at IETF 68.

Internet Congestion Control Research Group (iccrg)
The ICC RG is currently developing a catalogue of congestion control in the RFC series. The focus is not on TCP, where a road map already exists, but on ECN, UDP, DCCP, and multicast. The ICC RG is planning a meeting on 12 February 2007 in Los Angeles with a workshop on Protocols for Fast, Long-Distance Networks (PFLDnet). Meeting information can be found here.

IP Mobility Optimisation Research Group (mobopts)
The MOBOPTS RG has opened Last-Call for the document titled Unified L2 Abstractions for L3-Driven Fast Handover. Other topics for the RG include multicast and IPv6 mobility and location privacy.

Network Management Research Group (nmrg)
The NM RG most recently met in Utrecht, Netherlands, in October 2006. Research in this area has undergone several changes over the past few years, producing new challenges. Addressing the challenges over a time frame of five years was one of the topics covered at the meeting. Additional network management research was recommended, including monitoring, anomaly detection, behaviour modelling, probabilistic management approaches, and algorithms for handling management data. Detailed minutes are here.
A position statement, agenda, and presentations are online here.

The Peer-to-Peer Research Group (p2prg)
The P2P RG is currently discussing the future direction of the group.

Routing Research Group (rrg)
The R RG met at IETF 67 and discussed an extended report on the work of the subgroup conducting scalability research. It is questionable whether interest exists in continuing this RG. Chair Avri Doria has issued a call for interest, pointing out that the R RG is looking for good routing research ideas. “There are lots of graduate students with no real local inspiration who would love to work on some inspired ideas,” she said.

Scalable, Adaptive Multicast Research Group (samrg)
The SAM RG met at IETF 67 as well as during the peer-to-peer multicast workshop during the IEEE Consumer Communications and Network Conference in January 2007 in Las Vegas. To date there are three active Internet-Drafts that encompass requirements, a problem statement, and a survey.

Transport Modelling Research Group (tmrg)
The TM RG is preparing for publication of a document titled “Metrics for the Evaluation of Congestion Control Mechanisms.” The group is planning to have this document passed to the IRSG to become an Informational RFC by the time of IETF 68, scheduled for March 2007 in Prague. The group is also planning to complete a document titled “Tools for the Evaluation of Simulation and Testbed Scenarios.” The document on best-current-practice scenarios is now a draft. Within this RG, there may possibly be a long period of additions, feedback, and disagreement.

The following RGs are not currently active: Anti-Spam RG (possibly due to the Domain Keys Identified Mail [DKIM] WG) and Internet Measurement RG (which may be dead).

For more information about the IRTF, please see