December 5 – 8 , 2010, Dagstuhl Seminar 10492

Information-Centric Networking


Bengt Ahlgren (Swedish Institute of Computer Science – Kista, SE)
Holger Karl (Universität Paderborn, DE)
Dirk Kutscher (NEC Laboratories Europe – Heidelberg, DE)
Börje Ohlman (Ericsson Research – Stockholm, SE)
Sara Oueslati-Boulahia (Orange Labs – Issy-les-Moulineaux, FR)
Ignacio Solis (Xerox PARC – Palo Alto, US)

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Information-Centric Networking (ICN) is one of the significant directions of current networking research. In ICN, the principal paradigm is not end-to-end communication between hosts - as it is in the current Internet architecture. Instead, the increasing amount of content that must be distributed requires alternatives: Architectures that work with information objects as a first-class abstraction; focusing on the properties of such objects and receivers' interests to achieve efficient and reliable distribution of such objects. Such architectures make in-network storage, multiparty communication through replication, and interaction models such as publish-subscribe generally available for all kinds of applications, without having to resort to dedicated systems such as peer-to-peer overlays and proprietary content-distribution networks.

The ICN approach is currently being explored by a number of research projects, both in Europe (4WARD, SAIL, PSIRP) and in the US (CCN). The Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN) community has developed a message-oriented architecture that has been used along with ICN addressing and routing concepts. While these approaches differ with respect to their specific architecture, they share some assumptions, objectives and certain structuring architectural properties. In general, the aim is to develop network architectures that are better suited for content distribution, the currently prevailing usage of communication networks, and that better cope with disruptions in the communication service. The basic idea of ICN still leaves room for many variations. This seminar is intended as a catalyst for these variations and as a forum for discussing the following research topics:

  • The relationship of networking architecture innovation vs. so-called over-the-top approaches in the application layer
  • The support of an Internet of Things and Services by an ICN architecture
  • How to migrate towards an information-centric architecture, and whether and how to use it as a migration enabler for, e.g., an IPv4/IPv6 technology step
  • The role of and needs for naming and addressing and name resolution systems, along with the necessary security aspects of a naming scheme; a fundamental dichotomy between flat and hierarchical naming schemes needs to be resolved
  • Efficiency and robustness of ICN data dissemination vs. specific content distribution overlay solutions
  • The desirability of using specific transport protocols for ICN vs. the use of standard protocols like TCP or disruption tolerant protocols like the DTN Bundle protocol
  • The integration and placement of caches inside a network
  • Can the introduction of a new ICN architecture enable new types of applications that were too complex to create/operate/deploy/maintain in traditional networks?

The seminar delivered a comprehensive analysis of the state of the art in information-centric networking, progress on specific technical issues such as scalable addressing and content distribution, a better understanding of the legal requirements and application developer needs. It also touched upon possible next steps in research and helped to form an ICN community. The seminar has led to the organization of a SIGCOMM workshop {} on the same topic that is co-organized by seminar organizers and participants.

Dagstuhl Seminar Series


  • Networks And Network Architecture
  • Data Bases / Information Retrieval
  • Data Structures / Algorithms / Complexity
  • Multimedia
  • Mobile Computing
  • Information-centric Networking


  • Future Internet
  • Network architecture
  • Content distribution
  • Information/content-centric networking


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