Version 13 (modified by victor.firoiu@…, 6 years ago) (diff)


Network Coding IRTF Research Group - Proposed


Victor Firoiu victor.firoiu@…

Brian Adamson brian.adamson@…

Mailing List nwcrg

Draft Charter


The objective of the NWCRG is to research Network Coding principles and methods that can benefit Internet communication. One goal of the NWCRG is to gather the research results and posit the open questions related to NWC in order to develop practical applications of NWC. Another goal is to gather information on the existing practical implementations of NWC, distill common functionalities and propose a path to standardization of NWC-enabled communication.


Network Coding is a technique for data manipulation inside the network or at the network edges initially designed to achieve the maximum possible information flow in a network, based on principles of Shannon Information Theory. Network Coding can also be used to improve a network's robustness and scalability, as well as resilience to attacks and eavesdropping, as compared to traditional methods. The field of Network Coding has enabled advances in communication areas including wireless networks, content distribution and peer-to-peer design.

NWCRG Interest Areas

Network Coding Research

The NWCRG work in this area will consider the existing theoretical and experimental results and will identify the areas in Internet communication that can benefit from Network Coding. Examples of such results are quantitative analytical bounds and experimental performance gains. The outcome of this work will be recommendations on promising Network Coding methods and their associated context. The NWC research group will work in collaboration with other IRTF groups on common research topics such as congestion control, DTN, SDN.

The following are topics of interest in Network Coding Research:

Performance and efficiency. Determine expected performance gains, including multi-layer composition; computational complexity of coding; NWC network resource allocation; signaling overhead; tradeoffs between techniques such as block and sliding window coding.

Application layer. Interactions between Network Coding and application-specific coding (such as video layers encoding); Joint source and network coding; combining network coding with content/ information-centric networking.

Implications to Data Link layer. Interaction between Network Coding and data link protocols, including satellite links (regenerative coding), challenged wireless links (high loss, intermittent), optical links (replacing circuit-based redundancy with Network Coding).

Security, privacy, robustness to attacks. Security implications and benefits; interaction of network coding and encryption, overhead; fundamental security properties; anonymity and robustness to blocking.

Network coding implications on pricing and economics. How to price services: on network usage or information rate; incentives to code across flows.

Network Coding Practical Application

The NWCRG work in this area will consider the known practical implementations, analyze their architecture and identify best/common approaches for the promising NWC methods researched above. The NWCRG will then propose a framework for NWC-enabled communication and a path to NWC standard protocols. The NWCRG will identify the relevant IETF areas and propose draft contributions to specific IETF Working Groups. In case no IETF WG is found appropriate for a specific NWC protocol, the NWCRG will propose the formation of a new IETF WG.

The following are topics of interest in Network Coding practical application:

Architectural considerations: control plane, forwarding plane and transport. Architectural requirements in large-scale, heterogeneous networks; relationships between data transport, control, forwarding planes and data layer.

End-to-end vs. Hop-by-hop. Stateful operation of NWC intermediate systems; richer interface requirements between routing and transport layers.

Intra-flow and inter-flow Network Coding. Tradeoffs between perfromance gains and complexity of operation.

Service Paradigms (best effort, time-bounded utility). Service reliability levels using network coding's proactive and reactive reliability mechanisms.

Common Encoding Algorithms, Service Descriptions, and Packet Formats. While Network Coding will be applied in different aspects of network operation, there may be utility in common encoding (and decoding) algorithms, service descriptions, and packet formats.

Proposed Activities for 2013

1) Draft and approved proposed charter

2) Develop a NWC wiki page with a summary of NWC research results and open problems. The page will include links to papers and research sites.

3) Develop a NWC wiki page with a summary of NWC implementations and open practical issues. The page will include links to papers, research sites and open source code.

4) Develop a NWC Taxonomy that describes the terminology and applicability of network coding techniques to network operations, specifically as related to different aspects of the Internet. The goal of this work is to identify and establish initial, commonly accepted (at least among the NCWRG participants) terminology and understanding for network coding principles and utility.

Related IETF Activities

The IETF Reliable Multicast Transport (RMT) working group considered end-to-end packet erasure coding such as FEC for reliable IP multicast data delivery. The principal protocol specifications published are the RFC 5775 (Asynchronous Layered Coding (ALC)) and RFC 5740 (NACK-Oriented Reliable Multicast (NORM)) documents. These protocols can also be applied to point-to-point (unicast) network data delivery and to streaming applications. RFC 6363 created specifications for an FEC Streaming Framework. Standards to support FEC protection of Real-Time Protocol (RTP) multi-media streams include RFC 5109 defining RTP Payload Format for Generic Forward Error Correction. More recently, Network Coding techniques have been identified as relevant for Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN) and other network data dissemination purposes. Other related IETF activities are in the Multipath TCP WG and the Real-Time Communication in WEB-browsers (rtcweb) WG.

Meeting in Berlin, Germany on Wednesday, 31 July 2013, 0900-1130 CEST


  1. Agenda bashing
  1. (Re)Introduction of Network Coding proposed Research Group - Victor Firoiu, BAE Systems, Brian Adamson, NRL
  1. Application Fields and Implementation of Network Coding - Frank Fitzek, Aalborg Univ.
  1. Kodo: Implementation and News on the Network Coding library - Morten Pedersen, Steinwurf ApS
  1. TCP Instant Recovery: Incorporating Forward Error Correction in TCP - Tobias Flach, USC, N. Dukkipati, Y. Cheng, B. Raghavan, Google.
  1. Network Coded TCP (CTCP) - Douglas Leith, NUIM Univ.
  1. Broadcast With Network Coding: DRAGONCAST - Emmanuel Baccelli, Cedric Adjih, INRIA, Songyean Cho, Samsung.
  1. Cooperative Network Coding scheme over harsh scenarios - Josu Bilbao, IKERLAN
  1. Network coding for bi-directional IP-traffic over transparent satellites - Tomaso de Cola, Hartmut Brandt, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  1. Discuss and approve NWCRG Charter
  1. Discuss work items and next meeting

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