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Evolving Internet Routing:
A Paradigm Shift to Foster Innovation

Final Report Summary - NETVOLUTION (Evolving Internet Routing: A Paradigm Shift to Foster Innovation)

NetVolution aimed at improving Internet routing by conducting research on: 1) a new Internet routing architecture, 2) Internet routing security, 3) Internet performance using IXPs as key enablers of new routing services, and 4) Modeling routing policies and topologies. Overall, the most important conclusions reached during the project along these four lines are: 1) Logical centralization on the level of inter-domain routing can bring significant benefits to the performance of the routing system itself (e.g reduction in convergence times, reduced attack surfaces), as well as the user services that run over it (e.g. improvements in path quality). 2) Critical pain-points of the current inter-domain routing protocol can cause severe large-scale attacks, such as BGP prefix hijacking or link-flooding DDoS, compromising the security of traffic and services over the Internet. We showed that by employing carefully-designed analytical and practical mechanisms, these attacks can be detected in real time, and be mitigated in minutes; these are demarcation points for new state-of-the-art defences. 3) Internet eXchange Points, typically hosted in colocation facilities, can serve as key enablers for the provision of new routing services, enabling incremental deployment of the concepts analyzed in NetVolution. Studying them in detail yielded several valuable insights in Internet-scale operations, including interesting new practices such as remote peering. 4) Routing policies play a crucial role in network operations, and they (as well as their interactions across network domains) can have significant constraining effects on the path diversity, security and reliability of the Internet (on the router- or network-level). Therefore, research that treats them as primary design primitives in route inference or measurement approaches is both timely and useful; NetVolution generated such research.

Overall, the project resulted in 25 publications in top conferences and journals in the area of computer networks. Notably, one paper was published in IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking (TON), three in IEEE INFOCOM, two in ACM Internet Measurement Conference, two in ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review and one in ACM SIGMETRICS. Besides, the project made possible the establishment of a new group (www.inspire.edu.gr) in the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH), which has recruited and trained more than 25 members since its establishment in 2014.

Finally, the team was awarded two ERC Proof of Concept grants for its activities towards commercializing key results of the project through a newly formed startup. In addition, the project produced two open-source tools for network emulation and network measurements.