The Internet architecture assumes a division between the end-to-end functionality of the transport layer and the properties of the path between the endpoints. The path is assumed to be invisible, homogeneous, singular, with dynamics solely determined by the connectivity of the endpoints and the Internet control plane. Endpoints have very little information about the paths over which their traffic is carried, and no control at all beyond the destination address.
Increased diversity in access networks, and ubiquitous mobile connectivity, have made this architecture’s assumptions about paths less tenable. Multipath protocols taking advantage of this mobile connectivity begin to show us a way forward, though: if endpoints cannot control the path, at least they can determine the properties of the path by choosing among paths available to them.
This proposed research group aims to support research in bringing path awareness to transport and application layer protocols, and to bring research in this space to the attention of the Internet engineering and protocol design community.
The scope of work within the proposed RG includes, but is not strictly limited to:
The group’s scope overlaps with existing IETF and IRTF efforts (and also with some past efforts. Of the existing overlaps, the group will collaborate with WGs and RGs chartered to work on multipath transport protocols (MPTCP, QUIC, TSVWG), congestion control in multiply-connected environments (ICCRG), and alternate routing architectures (e.g. LISP). The charter is also related to the questions discussed in a number of past BoF sessions, e.g. SPUD, PLUS, BANANA).
The group will target 2-3 IETFs per year, initially 3, and also will collocate with academic workshops about once per year as appropriate.
Membership in the PANRG is open to all interested parties.
The PANRG will meet one to three times per year, as deemed necessary by the chairs and according to demand. At least one PANRG meeting will be co-located with an IETF meeting per year. Given the PANRG’s charter to bridge the gap between Internet standards and measurement communities, the PANRG may also meet collocated with relevant academic conferences or network operator forums, as appropriate.
Meetings are by default open with open attendance and published proceedings, with remote participation and recording as provided by the meeting venue, according to the IRTF’s IPR policy. This is always the case with at least one PANRG meeting co-located with an IETF meeting noted above. However, as deemed necessary, the chairs may hold virtual or physical meetings with restricted attendance to discuss observations which cannot be shared openly, provided that some outcome of such a meeting may be openly shared with the community.