December 17 – 20 , 2017, Dagstuhl Seminar 17511

The Critical Internet Infrastructure Revisited


Georg Carle (TU München, DE)
Thomas C. Schmidt (HAW – Hamburg, DE)
Steve Uhlig (Queen Mary University of London, GB)
Matthias Wählisch (FU Berlin, DE)
Walter Willinger (Niksun – Princeton, US)

For support, please contact

Dagstuhl Service Team


No official documentation available
List of Participants
Dagstuhl's Impact: Documents available
Dagstuhl Seminar Schedule [pdf]


The Internet has become a mission-critical infrastructure of vital importance for most countries, businesses and industries. It is vulnerable at three levels: (a) the physical network (e.g., important nodes or links), (b) the logical control and data plane (e.g., traffic hijacking, redirection, and denial-of-service attacks on basic services), and (c) end-systems connected to the Internet. In this seminar, we focus on (b) but without ignoring the two other aspects. In fact, we argue that a successful discussion of (b) needs a basic knowledge of the physical as well as the application views. Our goal of this Dagstuhl Seminar The Critical Internet Infrastructure Revisited is to bring together the network research and the network operator communities in an attempt to increase our common understanding of the Internet as a complex system of interdependent elements. With this increased understanding, we aim to address important unresolved issues concerning potentials and limits of public Internet interconnection points, new challenges by the Internet of Things, and approaches to address the lack of deployment of recently developed solutions that improve robustness of the Internet.

The main objective of this seminar is to discuss and analyze the Internet as a critical infrastructure. This includes the Internet core transport infrastructure and Internet services that (among other things) enable access to static data objects and dynamically created content, but also new application scenarios such as the booming area of Internet of Things with access to sensors and actors. In this seminar, we will follow up on the previous seminar in 2013, to reflect on achievements over the last years, address still existing challenges, and include new topics. The participants from the research and the operational communities will work on a better understanding of the Internet and the extensions of current research perspectives towards novel (maybe unusual) perspectives such as the question of the local and global ecosystems that shape (and are being shaped by) the Internet. It is intended that they will, in particular, consider the Internet as a critical infrastructure for their studies.

There are dedicated events for each community (scientific conferences workshops, IETF and RIR meetings, etc.) to discuss either scientific or technical aspects of the Internet, but they offer in general only limited opportunities for a holistic debate that includes both perspectives. However, the past has shown that both communities strongly rely on each other’s insights. Bringing academic researchers, industry experts and network operators together is necessary for a successful understanding of the complex Internet and for developing new and sustainable approaches for a Future Internet that may be truly considered as a critical and reliable infrastructure.

The research questions to be pursued include but are not limited to:

  • How can we protect the Internet as critical infrastructure without narrowing its flexibility and openness?
  • Which are the root causes that are responsible for lack of deployment of specific recent solutions for improved robustness of the Internet infrastructure?
  • How can we improve the deployment of Internet infrastructure security mechanisms?
  • How can we leverage public Internet exchange points to improve robustness?
  • How can we predict Internet scale consequences of large scale problems (what-if-questions)?
  • Which metrics are appropriate to measure the importance of Internet stakeholders and their mutual relationships?
  • Which Internet measurements and experiments are technically and ethically feasible?
  • To which extent can we analyze the Internet structure and its services in short time frames?
  • Which security approaches are suitable to address the security challenges imposed by the Internet of Things?
  • To which extent does the Internet of Things challenge existing measurement methodologies mechanisms?

Motivation text license
  Creative Commons BY 3.0 DE
  Georg Carle, Thomas C. Schmidt, Steve Uhlig, Matthias Wählisch, and Walter Willinger

Related Dagstuhl Seminar


  • Modelling / Simulation
  • Networks
  • Security / Cryptology


  • Internet
  • Backbone
  • Internet Services
  • Critical Infrastructure

Online Publications

We offer several possibilities to publish the results of your event. Please contact publishing(at) if you are interested.

Dagstuhl's Impact

Please inform us when a publication was published as a result from your seminar. These publications are listed in the category Dagstuhl's Impact and are presented on a special shelf in the library.