Information-Centric Networking boffins celebrate successful Cypriot trial

Live-traffic gives information-centric networking a boost

Information-Centric Networking (ICN) over IP has taken another step towards deployment, with a trial conducted at the end of 2017 declared a success.

ICN addresses content by name rather than by the IP address of the server hosting it. The technology has been in development for about a decade, re-emerging earlier in 2018.

The trial provided early field data about how ICN performs in a real-world-like environment. An EU project established in 2014, POINT, has worked towards demonstrating IP-over-ICN on a test bed covering IPTV, IP telephony, and vanilla Internet access.

Code for POINT was first released in 2016 to operators and researchers.

In POINT closed trials, Cypriot operator PrimeTel tested the technology with real users accessing video streams either as IPTV or as HLS, HTTP Live Streaming.

Network icon

Remember information-centric networking? It's on the way back


As this publication at arXiv, released last Friday April 20th, explained, POINT is designed to let network operators deploy ICN with a minimum of disruption: customer equipment, and the routers/gateways connecting operators, remain unchanged.

By ICN-enabling the network, the video content follows a publish-subscribe model in which a show is accessed by name rather than (for example) URI. The paper explained that there are three core functions supporting this: Rendezvous matches publisher and subscriber nodes; Topology Management calculates and encodes paths between nodes (stored as Forwarding Identifiers, FIDs); and the Forwarding Node (FN) function that passes data based on FIDs.

“FIDs are included in packet headers, allowing FNs to forward packets with a few bitwise operations, without requiring routing tables or any routing state. Consequently, the PURSUIT ICN architecture can enable stateless multicast switching and native anycast.”

In the 2017 closed trial (staged between November 20th and December 1st, 2017), customers visited PrimeTel's offices to compare video delivered over the operator's conventional IP infrastructure to their experience using the ICN-capable POINT infrastructure, with the test operators adding congestion to the core network.

Stress-testing ICN

The test gathered network data, users' self-reported experience, and recorded user sessions to look for events like video artefacts or user responses to events (such as trying to pause and resume, if there was an interruption).

For HTTP live-streaming, the “burn test” applied to the services involved taking down the main server, then forcing a lower-bitrate surrogate server to deliver the stream.

Over the IP network, the paper explained, the failure afflicted users with “a long duration” of pixellation, but the POINT ICN network the stream switched servers “without any noticeable effect to the end-users”.

The IPTV test used two links between switches serving customers. Here, the paper said, the ICN-based network had an automatic advantage: where conventional spanning tree networks demands only one link is live at a time, in POINT both links are active at once.

“In the IP case, we brought down the primary interface, which led to recalculation of the spanning tree and re-establishment of the IGMP snooping state, causing major viewing disruption”, the paper explained – and the same steps took place when the link was brought back up.

On the ICN infrastructure, there were “no noticeable disruptions” when links were dropped or brought back.

The paper noted that the groups involved in POINT plan further analysis of data from the closed test before a two-week open test on PrimeTel's live network.

The analysis was conducted by PrimeTel, InterDigital, CTVC UK, Intracom SA Telecom Solutions, Germany's RWTH Aachen University, and the Athens University of Economics and Business. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022