Information-Centric Networking

Information-Centric Networking

Mohamed Fazil Mohamed Firdhous (University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7598-6.ch091
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Information-centric networking is an emerging networking paradigm that envisages to solve the shortcomings of the host-centric internet. The usage of internet has moved away from the initial host-centric remote access one to predominantly an information serving one. In the new paradigm, information rather than the host takes the central place in serving the users. Hence, the users will search for information and download it from the nearest device holding it. In order to serve the customers better while optimizing the use of network resources, in-network caching is enabled in ICN. In ICN, the intermediate routers will serve as cache repositories in addition to acting as data forwarding devices. There are several ICN architectures proposed in the literature, each having its own merits and demerits. This chapter has taken an in-depth look at the design principles of ICN along with future open research areas that need the immediate attention of the researchers.
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Over the years, the Internet not only has increased in size in terms of the number of devices, users and applications but also in the type of usage. The original Internet was designed for remote host access along with transferring emails from one host to the other (Almagor, 2011). These applications made the Internet architecture predominantly to be host centric where each and every accessible device on the Internet was assigned a globally unique IP address. The invention of world wide web along with the connected invention of the multimedia browser in the 1990s started pushing the Internet towards an information store. With this transformation, users started searching for the device, where the required information is stored and downloading that information onto his or her computer for viewing. This is commonly known as browsing and still based on the host-centric architecture of the Internet.

Over the years, the information dissemination has shifted from the host centric browsing paradigm to a data (content) centric paradigm, where the information is given the prominence over the device that holds it (Hassan, Elbreiki, Firdhous & Habbal, 2015). This new paradigm of information dissemination has led to the popularity of one-to-many and many-to-many distribution and retrieval of information to increase over the host-to-host communication in the Internet (Katsaros, Chai, Wang, Pavlou, Bontius & Paolone, 2014). Presently users are more interested in retrieving information faster from anywhere on demand rather than knowing where it was originally stored or currently retrieved from. This shift has prompted the storing of information in intermediate nodes with better support for mobility.

For supporting this paradigm shift in information retrieval, many incremental solutions in terms of overlay networks have been proposed and implemented over time (Pandey, Garg & Gore, 2012). Though these solutions could meet the requirement of the time, they did not alter the host centric nature of the Internet architecture. Hence they could not overcome the inherent shortcomings of the host centric architecture resulting in issues with scalability, security, mobility and manageability. The continuous minor modifications in terms of patches and incremental solutions has made the Internet architecture more complex and vulnerable leading to a less-flexible architecture with limited manageability. All these has led to the demand for a design for totally new clean slate architecture that can meet the current as well as the future requirements of an information intensive world. In this regard, many independent projects have been initiated by researchers throughout the world. Though the names and finer implementation details of many of these projects differ from each other, many of the important attributes are either common or shared including assumptions, objectives and architectural properties (Hassan et al, 2015; Ahlgren, Dannewitz, Imbrenda, Kutscher & Ohlman, 2012). Paul, Pan and Jain (2011) have discussed many of the projects in detail highlighting the salient features of them along with the experimentations carried out for validating the claims put forward by the researchers.

In this chapter, the author takes a critical look at emerging networking paradigm of Information Centric Networking (ICN) that has been proposed for overcoming the shortcomings of the current Internet architecture. The main focus of the chapter will be features of the proposed ICN architecture with special emphasis on naming, addressing and routing along with the challenges and requirements that need to be addressed for the development of ICN.

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