IRTF Report

By: Aaron Falk

Date: July 7, 2008

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What follows are summaries of several upates on the Internet Research Groups (RGs), some of which were reported during the Technical Plenary at IETF 71.

Currently, 14 RGs are working on topics related to Internet protocols, applica-tions, architecture, and technology. Some groups have significant ties to IETF work; others, not so much. Most RGs are open, and all maintain open mailing lists. There is room for overlap in scope between RGs, and the management style within each group is diverse.

Suggestions for new work for the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) are being considered. The IAB is seeking an IRTF RG on unwanted traffic mitigations (an e-mail will be going out to the research community). There is also interest in an RG on network visualization. Finally, there is continued interest in an RG on a Quality of Service policy framework.

Three IRTF drafts are in the RFC Editor’s queue. Eight drafts are in the process of being published. A draft to establish an IRTF RFC stream is under development and should be published in the near future.

Seven RGs met at IETF 71. Following is a summary of recent develop-ments as well as developments reported by RGs during the IETF 71 technical plenary.

Anti-Spam RG (asrg)

The ASRG could possibly be resurrected following a meeting at IETF 71 in Philadelphia. There is interest in finishing two drafts:

  • Description of mechanisms used for DNS blacklists
  • A best current practices on blacklist operations

The RG has set up a wiki on spam mitigation techniques that is now being 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 RG (dtnrg)

The DTN implementations have found broad application, including, for instance, among nomadic and arctic users, for commercial use (LEO satellites), and for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) mobile networks. The RG recently published two RFCs and 16 Internet-Drafts. At IETF 71 the RG organized a BarBoF to discuss establishing a community-based reference DTN implementation.

Host Identity Protocol RG (hip)

The RFC editor has published the document “NAT and Firewall Traversal Issues of Host Identity Protocol (HIP) Communication” as RFC 5207. Several new drafts on extending HIP have been presented:

  • The use of certificates in HIP
  • A HIP-based mobile router
  • Security Parameter Index-based network address translation

The RG continues the discussion on legacy NAT and HIP-aware middlebox traversal (with possible P2P-SIP applicability).

Internet Congestion Control RG (iccrg)

The ICCRG has been reviewing congestion control proposals for the Transport Area, such as Compound TCP and CUBIC. Work on the two surveys contin-ues: one addresses current congestion control RFCs, and the other looks at open congestion control research issues. The RG plans to initiate a discussion on TCP slow-start enhancements.

Mobility Optimizations RG (moboptsrg)

The MOBOPTSRG is finishing two documents: one on location privacy for mobile IPv6 and the other on handover preauthentication. Work on multicast mobility continues, including the development of a problem statement, which is nearly done. Some recommendations were made at IETF 70 in Vancouver.

Network Management RG (nmrg)

The NMRG has begun studying the behaviour of management protocols by using network traces. For this work, the RG is seeking collaborators from enterprise networks.

The group is also in the process of finalizing a document specifying SNMP trace exchange formats and specifying a format for aggregation of SNMP messages.

The IAB has asked the NMRG to seek feedback from the operators community – for instance, at NANOG or RIPE meetings.

Routing RG (rrg)

There has been a lot of activity within the RRG, as evidenced by the nearly 1,000 messages on the mailing list since IETF 70. The RG is now evaluating several routing architecture proposals and is working to build consensus toward a recommendation by March 2009. The goal is to create a recommendation for a specific architecture rather than create a concrete proposal.

Scalable, Adaptive Multicast RG (samrg)

The SAMRG is currently working on two drafts. First is a protocol for hybrid multicast; the second involves applying P2P-SIP overlays to multicast. The RG is encouraging prototyping. There is a tentative plan to have an interim meet-ing at MILCOM 2008. The meeting would then be coordinated with a special session on P2P overlays.

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