IRTF Report

By: Aaron Falk

Date: October 7, 2008

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Aaron Falk
Aaron Falk, IRTF Chair

What follows are summaries of several updates on the Internet Research Groups (RGs), some of which were reported during the Technical Plenary at IETF 72.

Since IETF 71, three Internet Research Task Force (IRTF)-stream RFCs have been published, including RFC 5166 (TMRG), RFC 5184 (MOBOPTS RG), and RFC 5207 (HIPRG). Three drafts are in the RFC Editor’s queue, and two are in process toward publication.

A document is being developed that proposes to formally establish an IRTF RFC document stream. The publication is entwined with draft-iab-streams-headers-boilerplates as well as the revision to RFC 3932.

There is still continued interest in establishing a research group (RG) on unwanted traffic mitigations and another one on network virtualization.

During IETF 72, four RGs met. Following is a summary of recent developments as well as of developments reported by RGs during the IETF 72 technical plenary.

Anti-Spam RG (asrg)

The document that describes the mechanisms used for DNS blacklists will be in the standards track. The other ASRG document (best current practices on blacklist operations) is still a draft.
The RG has set up a wiki on spam mitigation techniques that is being further populated and that may evolve into a document analysing why some of those techniques should not be used. The wiki is located at

Delay-Tolerant Networking Research Group (dtnrg)

There are currently three drafts in the RFC Editor queue on delay-tolerant networking (DTN) for deep-space communication (draft-irtf-dtnrg-ltp-*).

In addition, the DTN code base been moved from Intel to Sourceforge. The Networking for Communications Challenged Communities (N4C) project is helping with the code maintenance, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is funding a phase 3 effort on DTN.

Host Identity Protocol Research Group (hip)

Network address translation and Firewall Traversal Issues of Host Identity Protocol (HIP) Communication has been published as RFC 5207.
Current topics of discussion are:

  • Migration of HIP certificate draft to HIP WG
  • Using HIP for RFID
  • Middlebox authentication extensions to HIP

There are a number of ongoing HIP experiments as follows:

  • Boeing is using HIP to build secure overlay networks over untrusted wireless and wired infrastructure.
  • HIIT: A video/voice/chat communication system on Linux PDAs utilizing Peer-to-Peer Session Initiation Protocol (P2PSIP) with SPAM prevention over HIP
  • ICSALabs: IPv6-only HIP connectivity for gaming and SIP applications using Teredo

Internet Congestion Control Research Group (iccrg)

Three proposals on congestion control are currently under review. The review on Compound TCP is nearly completed, and the reviews on CUBIC and HTCP are just beginning.

CUBIC is an extension to the current TCP standards. The protocol differs from the current TCP standards only in the congestion window adjustment function in the sender side.

HTCP stands for TCP Congestion Control for High-Bandwidth-Delay Product Paths.

The ICCRG Slow Start design team continues to work on characterizing issues with slow start.

Two surveys are currently under discussion: one on open congestion control research issues and one on the current congestion control RFCs (in IRSG [Internet Research Steering Group] review at the moment).

The RG is planning to meet at the next IETF meeting in Minneapolis.

Mobility Optimizations Research Group (moboptsrg)

Unified Layer 2 (L2) Abstraction for Layer 3 (L3)-Driven Fast Handover has been published as RFC 5184.
Current topics include:

  • IP Mobility Location Privacy Solutions (revising based on IRSG review)
  • Media-Independent Pre-Authentication Framework (revising based on RG Last Call done)
  • Multicast Mobility (Problem Statement and Brief Survey being discussed)

Network Management Research Group (nmrg)

The document specifying SNMP trace exchange formats and specifying a format for aggregation of SNMP messages is currently in IRSG review. Another document on SNMP trace analysis definitions has been published in the AIMS (Autonomous Infrastructure, Management and Security) 2008 conference.

A planning meeting to discuss NETFLOW/IPFIX data analysis is scheduled for 30 October in Munich, Germany. The group is looking for new chairs for the RG.

Routing Research Group (rrg)

The focus in RRG has moved from advocating proposals to discussing trade-offs of different architectural approaches. There is a lot of interest, and many discussions (1,250 messages since IETF 71) have been held. A recommendation is expected to be published by March 2009.

Scalable, Adaptive Multicast Research Group (samrg)

The SAMRG is meeting in conjunction with the Consumer Communications and Networking Conference (CCNC) 2009, which is scheduled for 10-13 January 2009 in Las Vegas. There will be a special session on Scalable Adaptive Multicast in P2P Overlays. More information can be found at http://www.samrg.orgunder Meetings.

The RG might meet at IETF 73 in Minneapolis.

Transport Modelling Research Group (tmrg)

Metrics for the Evaluation of Congestion Control Mechanisms has been published as RFC 5166. The group is now working on a new draft on the Common TCP Evaluation Suite (L. Andrew and S. Floyd, editors, draft-irtf-tmrg-tests-OO.txt).

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