FIA project overviews
November 16-17, 2010
May 25-26, 2011
Economics and Industry viability
April 19-20, 2012
October 1-2, 2012
Environments and evaluation
March 18-19, 2013
The Internet has created unprecedented opportunities for advancing knowledge across the spectrum of human endeavors. It has evolved from a small scale network of networks to become integral to our lives and vital to the operation of all critical sectors of our society. The continued success of the Internet, however, is increasingly threatened by the ever-mounting sophistication of security attacks and by the lack of performance reliability of Internet services. As our reliance on a secure and highly dependable information technology infrastructure continues to increase, it is no longer clear that emerging and future needs of our society can be met by the current trajectory of incremental changes to the current Internet.
Recognizing the need for a secure and highly dependable information technology infrastructure and building on NSF's on-going investments in network science and engineering, the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) has formulated this program to stimulate innovative and creative research to explore, design, and evaluate trustworthy future Internet architectures. The objective is to engage the research community in collaborative, long-range, transformative thinking - unfettered by the constraints of today's networks yet inspired by lessons learned and promising new research ideas - to design and experiment with new network architectures and networking concepts that take into consideration the larger social, economic and legal issues that arise from the interplay between the Internet and society.
In the summer of 2010, NSF funded four projects as a part of this program. A fifth project was subsequently funded under a different solicitation.These projects are described below; for detailed information on the projects, please follow the links to the web sites of the specific projects.
The program staff involved with the project at NSF stress that the FIA program is just one step toward an improved internet of the future. "While to the ultimate goal is the design and deployment of a network that serves all the needs of society, we realize that these projects are just the beginning of what it would take to create a full scale Future Internet," adds Darleen Fisher, program director for the FIA projects. "We expect that the knowledge obtained from this research will inform the development of future networks."
NSF FIA Solicitation
NSF FIA Press Release
BACKGROUND--FIND AND NetSE
The NSF FIA program is an outgrowth of 5 years of prior funding through the FIND and NetSE programs within CISE. FIND, or Future Internet Design, was a program that funded more than 50 awards over 5 years to explore aspects of the design of a future Internet. Within the overall vision of the FIND program, FIA is the next phase of the work, pulling together ideas and components into an overall architectureal proposal. The FIND website has information on the program and its awards.
In the fall of 2009, NSF hosted a Future Internet Summit to bring together interested members of the network research community, in order to assess and develop ideas for a future Internet. The results of that summit were instrumental in framing NSF's approach to the FIA program. For those who are interested, the final report on the summit, with an extensive discussion of the ideas that were discussed, can be found here. The web site used to facilitate the summit can be found here.
DESCRIPTION OF THE FUTURE INTERNET ARCHITECTURE PROJECTS
Named Data Networking
Principal Investigator: Lixia Zhang, UCLA
Collaborating Institutions: Colorado State University, PARC, University of Arizona, University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign, UC Irvine, University of Memphis, UC San Diego, Washington University, and Yale University
Project Web site
Current Internet's traditional approach to communications is based on a client-server model of interaction; communicating parties establish a relationship and then proceed to transfer information where data contained within IP packets are transported along a single path. Today, however, the most predominant use of the Internet is centered on content creation, dissemination and delivery, and this trend will continue into the foreseeable future. While the basic client-server model has enabled a wide range of services and applications, it does not incorporate adequate mechanisms to support secure content-oriented functionality, regardless of the specific physical location where the content resides. The proposed Named Data Networking (NDN) architecture moves the communication paradigm from today's focus on "where", i.e., addresses, servers, and hosts, to "what", i.e., the content that users and applications care about. By naming data instead of their location (IP address), NDN transforms data into first-class entities. While the current Internet secures the communication channel or path between two communication points and sometimes the data with encryption, NDN secures the content and provides essential context for security. This approach allows the decoupling of trust in data from trust in hosts and servers, enabling trustworthiness as well as several radically scalable communication mechanisms, for example, automatic caching to optimize bandwidth and the potential to move content along multiple paths to the destination. This project addresses the technical challenges in creating NDN, including routing scalability, fast forwarding, trust models, network security, content protection and privacy, and a new fundamental communication theory enabling its design.
Principal Investigator: Dipankar Raychaudhuri, Rutgers University/New Brunswick
Collaborating Institutions: Duke University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts/Amherst, University of Massachusetts/Lowell, University of Michigan, University of Nebraska/Lincoln, University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill
Project Web site
Project Press Release
The design principles of the Internet, its flexibility, adaptability and ubiquity, have enabled an unprecedented wave of innovation, which transformed our lives; yet the increasing user demand for seamless communication on the move brings about new challenges that stress the current Internet, originally designed to support communications between fixed end-points. The MobilityFirst project takes a different approach and proposes an architecture centered on mobility as the norm, rather than the exception. The architecture uses generalized delay-tolerant networking (GDTN) to provide robustness even in presence of link/network disconnections. GDNT integrated with the use of self-certifying public key addresses provides an inherently trustworthy network. Dealing with mobility as a first class entity allows functionalities like context--and location--aware services to fit naturally into the network. The project focuses on the tradeoffs between mobility and scalability and on opportunistic use of network resources to achieve effective communications among mobile endpoints.
Principal Investigator: Jonathan Smith, University of Pennsylvania
Collaborating Institutions: Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Purdue University, Stanford University, Stevens Institute of Technology, University of California/Berkley, University of Delaware, University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign, University of Texas, University of Washington
Project Web site
Project Press Release
The growing trend toward migrating storage, computation, and applications into the "cloud" is creating unprecedented opportunities for global-scale, network-centric computing infrastructure, enabling new ways of fast resource provisioning, utility pricing and consistent and easy management. NEBULA is an architecture (nebula is Latin for cloud) in which cloud computing data centers are the primary repositories of data and the primary locus of computation. In this future model, the data centers are connected by a high-speed, extremely reliable and secure backbone network. The project focuses on developing new trustworthy data, control and core networking approaches to support the emerging cloud computing model of always-available network services. This project addresses the technical challenges in creating a cloud-computing-centric architecture.
eXpressive Internet Architecture
Principal Investigator: Peter Steenkiste, Carnegie Mellon University
Collaborating Institutions: Boston University, University of Wisconsin/Madison
Project Web site
Project Press Release
The eXpressive Internet Architecture (XIA) addresses the growing diversity of network use models, the need for trustworthy communication, and the growing set of stakeholders who coordinate their activities to provide Internet services. XIA addresses these needs by exploring the technical challenges in creating a single network that offers inherent support for communication between current communicating principals--including hosts, content, and services--while accommodating unknown future entities. For each type of principal, XIA defines a narrow waist that dictates the application programming interface (API) for communication and the network communication mechanisms. XIA provides intrinsic security in which the integrity and authenticity of communication is guaranteed. XIA enables flexible context-dependent mechanisms for establishing trust between the communicating principals, bridging the gap between human and intrinsically secure identifiers. This project includes user experiments to evaluate and refine the interface between the network and users, and studies that analyze the relationship between technical design decisions, and economic incentives and public policy.
Principle Investigator: Tilman Wolf, University of Massachusetts
Collaborating Institutions: University of Kentucky, North Carolina State University, RENCI/University of North Carolina
Project Web site
Computer networks, in particular the Internet, represent critical infrastructure for business, government, military, and personal communication. Several recent trends in technology and network use have pushed the capabilities required of the Internet beyond what can be provided by the currently deployed infrastructure. The ChoiceNet project aims to develop a new architectural design for the Internet of the near future to enable sustained innovation in the core of the network, using economic principles. The core idea of this new network architecture is to support choice as the central aspect of the architecture. A network built on these principles will be able to adapt to emerging solutions for current and future challenges. The network architecture designed and prototyped in this work aims to (1) encourage alternatives to allow users to choose from a range of services, (2) let users vote with their wallet to reward superior and innovative services, (3) provide the mechanisms to stay informed on available alternatives and their performances. Solutions are approached from different directions, reflecting the team's multidisciplinary expertise in computer networking, network systems, management science, and network economics.