Researchers Propose Application To Bypass Internet Traffic Jams
Researchers from Cornell University,
the University of Southern California
and University of Massachusetts have
proposed an application to help network operators find the best routes for their
data and bypass Internet traffic jams.
The IN-CONTROL (Programmable Inter-Domain Observation and Control)
application will gather information from participating networks and store it in
a database that network operators can query to find the best routes, bypassing
faults and untrustworthy networks. The researchers said they think network operators
will support the proposal because it will result in improved network
While previously proposed "knowledge planes" have required extensive upgrades
to network hardware, this one will rely instead on tools already available in
modern programmable Internet routers. The application will build on ideas from a
programming language developed by Nate Foster, assistant professor of computer
science at Cornell, "that allows network programmers to write commands for what
they want routers and other devices to do without having to understand the
details of the hardware," according to a news release from Cornell.
Because some network operators may be reluctant to share details about how
their systems are organized, IN-CONTROL will include security mechanisms to hide
the detailed architecture of participating networks and to prevent the addition
of false information intended to redirect traffic for the purpose of spying.
According to Cornell, "the preliminary database will be assembled using the
system’s own probes that gather basic information about forwarding paths."
The IN-CONTROL project is funded by a $3 million grant from the
National Science Foundation.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].