IRTF Report

By: Aaron Falk

Date: October 7, 2007

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Aaron Falk

Below are summaries of several updates on the Internet Research Groups (RGs), as reported during the Technical Plenary at IETF 69.

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

A recently published document describes the IRTF RFC review and publication process (draft-irtf-rfcs-01). One new IRTF RFC has been published since IETF 68: RFC 4838, Delay-Tolerant Networking Architecture.

At IETF 69 in Chicago, seven of the 14 RGs met. Below is a summary of some recent events as well as developments reported by some of the RGs during the IETF 69 technical plenary.

Anti-Spam RG (asrg)

The RG is currently working on DNS Black Lists. There is some progress toward publishing the DNS Black List definitions draft. A DNS Black List Guidelines draft may follow.

The AS RG is also seeking interest in the taxonomy of anti-spam strategies.

Crypto Forum Research Group (cfrg)

This RG published a new message authentication code called VMAC: Message Authentication Code Using Universal Hashing. On the mailing list are discussions on a variety of technical issues (AES-based KDFs, AEAD, SIV draft).

Delay-Tolerant Networking Research Group (dtnrg)

The DTN Architecture document has been published as RFC 4838. In addition, there are 17 drafts in the queue, with four nearing RFC readiness. At an interim meeting that took place in Dublin in May, much of the discussion was related to security. The RG also met during IETF 69, where the discussion focused mostly on reliability and neighbour discovery. The next in-person meeting is planned for IETF 71 in March 2008 in Philadelphia.

End-Middle-End Research Group (eme)

The EME RG held a joint meeting with HIP RG at IETF 69, resulting in a number of suggestions for joint activities. EME can complement the HIP RG work on providing name space as well as the development of a mechanism for relaying policy requests. It could also help HIP with Network Address Translation traversal research. There is a potential for future collaboration with HIP to conduct some larger-scale experiments.

Host Identity Protocol Research Group (hip)

A joint meeting with the EME RG was held to explore possible architectural synergy. The purpose of the joint meeting was to explore the relationship between HIP and EME architectures, because there has been interest within the HIP community with middlebox-oriented architectures and because some in the HIP community believe that namespaces such as the EME namespace will need to be built on top of the cryptographic host names.

In addition to this joint discussion, three new proposals were presented at that meeting: two related to HIP as part of the P2PSIP architecture, and one related to the applicability of the shim6 REAP protocol to HIP. The next planned meeting of the RG is at IETF 70 in Vancouver, Canada.

Internet Congestion Control Research Group (iccrg)

After an interim meeting earlier this year and lively discussions on the mailing list, the ICC RG decided to meet during IETF 69. Currently, the RG is working mainly on two documents:

  • One is a survey of current congestion control RFCs with the intention to provide congestion control designers with a guide to related work.
  • The other is a survey of open congestion control research issues.

In addition, the RG is starting to look at congestion control proposals for the IETF Transport area. The next in-person meeting is planned in conjunction with PFLDnet 2008.

Internet Measurement Research Group (imrg)

Date and location for the workshop called Application Classification and Identification (WACI) has been set for 3 October 2007 at BBN Technologies in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

IP Mobility Optimisation Research Group (mobopts)

The document titled Unified L2 Abstractions for Fast Handovers has completed Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG) review. The RG met at IETF 69 and is now working on location privacy and mobility and on multicast mobility.

Network Management Research Group (nmrg)

At IETF 68, the group discussed adaptive monitoring work that permits trade-offs between overhead and accuracy. In the meantime, some work has been done on management trace analysis. Apart from that, the RG was pretty quiet since IETF 68 in Prague, and it is now considering future workshops and meetings.

Peer-to-Peer Research Group (p2prg)

The P2P RG is looking for both new chairs and new work items that will then be fed into the charter of the RG.

Routing Research Group (rrg)

This RG has been active recently, particularly on the [email protected] mailing list but also as part of a full-day meeting during IETF 69. A number of proposals have been submitted with the aim of bringing some of the design goals into alignment. Please see a more detailed description of the current work of the RRG on page 21.

Scalable, Adaptive Multicast Research Group (samrg)

The SAM RG met during IETF 69 and discussed the current active drafts:

  • SAM framework
  • Application-Layer Multicast (ALM) Router on PlanetLab

The next meeting is planned for IETF 71.

Transport Modelling Research Group (tmrg)

The document titled Evaluation Metrics for Congestion Control is now in IRSG review. A new document, titled An NS2 TCP Evaluation Tool Suite, along with a Web page with simulation scripts, is currently under discussion.For more information about the Internet Research Task Force, see