We recently published our annual report covering our activities from May 2014 through April 2015. We excerpt the executive summary here, for the entire report see http://named-data.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ndn-ar2015.pdf:
The heart of the current Internet architecture is a simple, universal network layer (IP) which implements all the functionality necessary for global interconnectivity. This thin waist was the key enabler of the Internet’s explosive growth, but its design choice of naming communication endpoints is also the cause of many of today’s persistently unsolved problems. NDN retains the Internet’s hourglass architecture but evolves the thin waist to enable the creation of completely general distribution networks. The core element of this evolution is removing the restriction that packets can only name communication endpoints. As far as the network is concerned, the name in an NDN packet can name anything — an endpoint, a data chunk in a movie or a book, a command to turn on some lights, etc. This conceptually simple change allows NDN networks to use almost all of the Internet’s well-tested engineering properties to solve not only communication problems but also digital distribution and control problems.
Our first four years of NDN design and development efforts (which has a 4-month overlap with NDN-NP) tackled the challenge of turning this vision into an architectural framework capable of solving real problems. Our application-driven architecture development efforts force us to fill in architectural details, and most importantly, verify and shape the architectural direction. We translated our vision to a simple and elegant packet format design, a modular and extensible NDN forwarding daemon, and a set of libraries, including security support, to support application development. These achievements establish a platform that enabled us to tackle new application environments as we stated in the NDN-NP proposal: open mobile health applications, building automation and management systems, and multimedia applications. We achieved all our major milestones for the first year of the NDN-NP project. Highlights include:
We finally published our annual report covering our activities from Sept 2012 through August 2013. We excerpt the executive summary here, for the entire report see http://named-data.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/ndn-annualreport2012-2013.pdf:
Today’s Internet’s hourglass architecture centers on a universal network layer (i.e., IP) which implements the minimal functionality necessary for global interconnectivity. This thin waist enabled the Internet’s
explosive growth by allowing both lower and upper layer technologies to innovate independently. However, IP was designed to create a communication network, where packets named only communication endpoints. Sustained growth in e-commerce, digital media, social networking, and smartphone applications has led to dominant use of the Internet as a distribution network. Distribution networks are fundamentally more general than communication networks, and solving distribution problems via a point-to-point communication protocol is complex and error-prone.
The NDN project proposes an evolution of the IP architecture that generalizes the role of this thin waist, such that packets can name objects other than communication endpoints. The name in an NDN packet can be anything — an endpoint, a data chunk in a movie or a book, a command to turn on some lights, etc. This conceptually simple change allows NDN networks to use almost all of the Internet’s well-tested engineering properties to solve not only end-to-end communication problems but also content distribution and control problems. Based on three decades of experience with the strengths and limitations of the current Internet architecture, the design also builds in fundamental security primitives (via signatures on all named data) and self-regulation of network traffic (via flow balance between Interest and Data packets). We recognize that any new architecture must be incrementally deployable over the current Internet, and we explicitly consider factors that will facilitate user choice and competition as the network evolves.