CANEs: Composable Active Network Elements
Quarterly Status Report
Period: September 11 - December 11, 1997
Georgia Tech Faculty:
- Samrat Bhattacharjee
- Youngsu Chae
- Joe Dixon
- Shashidar Merugu
Accomplishments in the Quarter
The architecture of the active network determines the nature of the
interfaces that provide control over functionality. A range of
possible interfaces can be considered ranging from trivial selection
of a service from a fixed set to specification of a program to be
interpreted by a language interpreter at a node.
It is reasonable to
expect that the usual tradeoff between flexibility and performance
will apply to this spectrum. Hence, we believe that active networks
will support multiple interfaces, or environments, through
which network node behavior can be controlled: some users will value
"raw" performance over flexibility, while others will opt for
flexibility---in order to realize some higher-level, end-to-end
performance gain. We have outlined the components of an active
network architecture that we believe offers a number of advantages.
First, it is very general, and is consistent with most active
networking research of which we are aware. Second, it offers a
potential evolutionary path from the current Internet to a fully
active network. Finally, it supports optimization and competition in
a number of dimensions. This work is described in a paper submitted
to the IEEE Network Magazine special issue on Active Networking.
We hosted a meeting in Atlanta on November 14, 1997, to discuss an
architectural framework for active networks. Participants
included Calvert, Zegura and Bhattacharjee from Georgia Tech;
Wetherall and Guttag from MIT; Braden from ISI and Peterson
from Arizona. Minutes from the meeting are available
The group is currently working on an architecture document
that reflects the consensus reached during the meeting. The
architecture document will be made available as soon as it is ready.
In the area of interoperability, we have also installed ANTS
on three machines at Georgia Tech.
We have partially completed the next version of the active networking
simulator AN-Sim. The new version has increased
flexibility to allow modules to be
easily added that describe basic functions such as the
node processing model. These extensions allow
modeling of heterogeneous networks that contain both
active and non-active nodes. The new version also
allows other research groups to simulate their
AN processing models.
We extended the set of results on active networking and congestion
control to include different congestion generation schemes. We have
extended the tests to different multi-router scenarios and multiple
senders and receivers. In addition we have developed new metrics to
evaluate the performance of the active and in-active schemes.
Publications and Presentations
- A presentation titled "Active Networking and the
End-to-End Argument" was given by Bhattacharjee at the
International Conference on Network Protocols (ICNP'97),
October 28-31, 1997. Calvert and Zegura also attended
- A paper titled "Self-Organizing Wide-Area Network
Caches" by Bhattacharjee, Calvert and Zegura
was accepted to IEEE Infocom'98.
- A paper titled "Architectural Considerations for
Active Networking" by Bhattacharjee, Calvert, Zegura
and Sterbenz was submitted to a special issue of IEEE
Network Magazine on Active Networking, November 1997.
- Bhattacharjee, Calvert and Zegura
attended the International Conference on Network Protocols
(ICNP'97) in Atlanta, GA, on October 28-31, 1997.
- Sterbenz traveled to Georgia Tech for a CANEs project
meeting on October 24-27, 1997.
Bill McKinnon has accepted a position as a part-time
research scientist in the CANEs group. Bill recently
finished his PhD at North Carolina State University.
He will also be working in the Information Technology
and Telecommunications Lab of Georgia Tech Research
Plans for Next Quarter
We have scheduled a meeting with Gisli Hjalmtysson and
Jennifer Rexford of AT&T Labs Research for December 15, 1997
in Atlanta, Georgia. The purpose of this meeting is to
discuss a collaboration in the area of active network support
for quality of service in streaming applications. Assuming
agreement is reached on such a collaboration, we will
begin that work in the next quarter.
We plan a journal submission on the use of active
networking to enhance best-effort congestion control.
Portions of this work have already appeared in the High
Performance Networking conference (HPN'97). More extensive
experiments were run in Fall 1997.
We are prepared to work with DARPA on scheduling an
Active Networks PIs meeting in Atlanta in February 1997,
as previously discussed. If this is to occur, planning
should commence very soon.
Building on Bhattacharjee's work on control-on-demand, we
plan to continue developing architecture and mechanisms
that i) support formal reasoning about active nodes'
behavior, individually and collectively; ii) provide a
simple set of building blocks for resource management;
iii) support fast-path implementation techniques.
One outcome of the November 14, 1997, meeting was discussion
of a group project. We will coordinate with MIT to contribute
to development, deployment and testing of a group project.
Last modified: Wed Dec 17 07:52:40 PST 1997