Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Focus on content rather than connectivity to enhance the internet

The internet is destined to operate more efficiently once its philosophy migrates from connecting machines to connecting information. A recent EU-funded project has developed a solution to bring about this exciting prospect.
Focus on content rather than connectivity to enhance the internet
Since its inception, the internet has been focusing on connecting machines. Recently however, it has been evolving to place more emphasis on what is exchanged rather than on who is exchanging it. As content increasingly takes centre stage, the internet is refocusing on providing more storage and computing power when necessary.

The INTENT (Information-centric network management and traffic engineering) project studied how to migrate from a host-to-host internet to a host-to-content one. It prioritised interconnecting information over interconnecting machines, looking at models that favour better exploitation of resources across the route from provider to consumer.

In this context, information-centric networking (ICN) has emerged as a viable model to achieve increased flexibility in improving efficiency, extending native multicast support and adapting to new services. The project team addressed challenges in ICN such as managing these networks, considering traffic engineering, and cache and route management in delivering content.

As a result, the project designed an intelligent content management system with distributed functionality across an ICN network that boasts advanced caching capabilities. It developed an ICN traffic engineering framework that offers advanced management and control for caching and routing, optimising the balance between content delivery and network performance.

Project achievements also involved new caching algorithms, mechanisms and algorithms that enhance ICN routing processes to reduce congestion and network load and delay. The algorithms reduce costs related to processing and communication, facilitating faster operation and flexibility vis-à-vis content popularity and demand. They also help overcome issues such as single points of failure.

In more practical terms, INTENT’s solutions strengthen ISPs by extending in-network caching capabilities, giving them more control over their network resources, content and server. They enable ISPs to run a simpler, more lightweight content delivery service while lowering costs. These encouraging outcomes have been published through journals, workshops and conferences.

Related information

Keywords

Internet, INTENT, information-centric network, traffic engineering, ISPs
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