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Internet Research Task Force at IETF 108

  • Colin Perkins
  • IRTF Chair
  • 26 Aug 2020

Seven of the IRTF research groups and the ACM/IRTF Applied Networking Research Workshop (ANRW) met co-located the IETF 108 meeting, and three Applied Networking Research Prizes were awarded.

The IETF 108 meeting was originally planned for Madrid, from 27-31 July 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the meeting was held as an online-only event, and the IRTF sessions were also online.

The IRTF currently has 14 active research groups and no proposed research groups. Of these, seven research groups met co-located with IETF 108. Some highlights of the work include:

  • The Computation in the Network Research Group had some nice presentations and discussion on requirements and directions for computing in the network, that are starting to develop a taxonomy and structure the problem space. There were also some presentations of industrial use cases, data discovery, and a common data layer, and some discussion of the relevance of these to in-network computation and the relation with information-centric networking.
  • The Global Access to the Internet for All Research Group had excellent talks on the Zenzeleni Community Network model for addressing the digital divide in rural South Africa, on an approach to building a low emission university campus for the South East European University in North Macedonia, and on environmental sustainability of the Internet.
  • The Human Rights Protocol Considerations Research Group had interesting talks by Eva Galperin from the Electronic Frontier Foundation on Internet centralisation ("Whose Internet is This? Moving the Periphery to the Center") and by Simon McGarr from Data Compliance Europe on an EU data rights view on applications for COVID-19 contact tracing. There were also updates on research group drafts on Freedom of Association on the Internet and on Guidelines for Human Rights Protocol and Architecture Considerations.
  • The Network Management Research Group had an update on research challenges in AI for network management, several presentations on intent-based networking, and a report from the virtual IETF hackathon.
  • The Network Coding Research Group had an update on Coding and congestion control in transport and on results from the virtual IETF hackathon. The chairs believe this research group is coming to the end of its work, and expect that it may close in the next year.
  • The Privacy Enhancements and Assessments Research Group discussed the privacy of COVID-19 tracing applications, traffic de-anonymisation, censorship, personal information tagging in logfiles, and guidelines for conducting safe measurements of the Internet.
  • The Quantum Internet Research Group discussed ongoing work on use cases and principles for the design of the quantum Internet, and new work to classify attacks on quantum repeaters.

Recordings of the sessions can be found at the IRTF playlist on the IETF YouTube channel.

Two side meetings, on 6G-and-IP and on Future Internet Protocol Evolution, discussed topics that might form the basis of future IRTF work. Both are at an early stage.

ANRW 2020

The ACM/IRTF Applied Networking Research Workshop was held co-located with the IETF 108 meeting. This is an academic workshop that provides a forum for researchers, vendors, network operators, and the Internet standards community to present and discuss emerging results in applied networking research, and to find inspiration from topics and open problems discussed at the IETF.

The ANRW programme included eight full papers and five shorter position papers. The full papers discussed privacy-aware DNS zone transfers, limiting the power of RPKI certificate authorities, describing and parsing protocol data, network stack testing, the impact of network pathologies on TCP, packet scheduling in L4S networks, debugging QUIC, and IP geolocation. Position papers discussed measuring inbound source address filtering, filtering routing announcements, programmable inter-domain routing, information exposure with ALTO, and traffic engineering. The online-only forum gave the opportunity to schedule the workshop more closely with relevant IETF working group sessions, and as a result there was some good discussion and interaction between the researchers and the standards community.

The ANRW 2021 will take place in July 2020 co-locating with IETF 111, hopefully in San Francisco.

Finally, three Applied Networking Research Prize (ANRP) awards were made, to Shehar Bano for her work to develop a taxonomy of Internet host liveness, Chaoyi Lu for his work on measuring DNS-over-encryption, and Ingmar Poese for his work on traffic engineering. Nominations for the 2021 Applied Networking Research Prize will open in September 2020.

This post was originally published at on 3 August 2020.