(19)
(11)EP 3 070 910 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
21.09.2016 Bulletin 2016/38

(21)Application number: 16158999.9

(22)Date of filing:  07.03.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H04L 29/08(2006.01)
H04L 12/733(2013.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
MA MD

(30)Priority: 18.03.2015 US 201514662101

(71)Applicant: Palo Alto Research Center, Incorporated
Palo Alto, CA 94304 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • MOSKO, Marc E.
    Santa Cruz, CA California 95060 (US)
  • SOLIS, Ignacio
    South San Francisco, CA California 94080 (US)
  • GARCIA-LUNA-ACEVES, Jose J.
    San Mateo, CA California 94402 (US)

(74)Representative: Gill Jennings & Every LLP 
The Broadgate Tower 20 Primrose Street
London EC2A 2ES
London EC2A 2ES (GB)

  


(54)PENDING INTEREST TABLE BEHAVIOR


(57) One embodiment provides a system that facilitates efficient aggregation of multiple interest messages for the same content from multiple predecessors. During operation, an intermediate node receives a first interest message from a predecessor node. The first interest indicates a name for a content object and a lifetime associated with the first interest. The intermediate node identifies an entry in a pending interest table that corresponds to the first interest and determines that the entry has not expired. The intermediate node determines whether a second interest message which indicates a same content object name as the first interest message has been received from the predecessor node. If so, it forwards the first interest. If not, it adds information associated with the predecessor node to the entry. The intermediate node determines a predecessor lifetime associated with the entry and also determines a maximum lifetime associated with the entry.




Description

BACKGROUND


Field



[0001] This disclosure is generally related to distribution of digital content. More specifically, this disclosure is related to a system and method for efficiently aggregating multiple interest messages for the same content from multiple predecessors.

Related Art



[0002] The proliferation of the Internet and e-commerce continues to create a vast amount of digital content. Content-centric network (CCN) architectures have been designed to facilitate accessing and processing such digital content. A CCN includes entities, or nodes, such as network clients, forwarders (e.g., routers), and content producers, which communicate with each other by sending interest packets for various content items and receiving content object packets in return. CCN interests and content objects are identified by their unique names, which are typically hierarchically structured variable length identifiers (HSVLI). An HSVLI can include contiguous name components ordered from a most general level to a most specific level. As an interest packet is routed through the network from a content requesting node to a content producing node, each intermediate CCN router adds an entry in its pending interest table (PIT) corresponding to the interest and forwards the interest to the next CCN router. When a matching content object packet is sent from the content producing node back to the requesting node, it follows the reverse path of the interest. Each intermediate CCN router forwards the content object along the requesting interfaces listed in the corresponding PIT entry and subsequently removes the PIT entry, indicating that the interest has been fulfilled.

[0003] An intermediate CCN node can receive multiple interests for the same content object (e.g., "similar interest"). A sending node can assign a lifetime for a similar interest based on an estimated round trip travel time for a packet. The intermediate node can receive an initial interest and add a corresponding entry in its PIT. Upon receiving a second or subsequent ("later") similar interest, the intermediate node can aggregate the later interest in the same PIT entry as the initial interest by adding the requesting interface to the existing PIT entry and suppressing the forwarding of the later interest until after the expiration of the lifetime of the initial interest. As a result, an existing PIT entry with a long lifetime may block the forwarding of subsequent similar interests with a shorter lifetime, creating network inefficiency. In addition, interest lifetimes based on variable network metrics may not be reliable and can result in further network inefficiency. Therefore, what is needed is a PIT aggregation mechanism that does not block other requesters and does not require measurements of round trip travel time.

SUMMARY



[0004] One embodiment provides a system that facilitates efficient aggregation of multiple interest messages for the same content from multiple predecessors. During operation, the system receives, by an intermediate node, a packet from a predecessor node that corresponds to a first interest message, where the first interest message indicates a name for a content object and a lifetime associated with the first interest message. The intermediate node identifies an entry in a pending interest table that corresponds to the first interest message. Responsive to determining that the entry has not expired, the intermediate node operates as follows: responsive to determining that a second interest message which indicates a same content object name as the first interest message has been received from the predecessor node, the intermediate node forwards the first interest message; responsive to determining that a second interest message which indicates a same content object name as the first interest message has not been received from the predecessor node, the intermediate node adds information associated with the predecessor node to the entry; the intermediate node determines a predecessor lifetime associated with the entry; and the intermediate node determines a maximum lifetime associated with the entry.

[0005] In some embodiments, the lifetime associated with the first interest message is based on one or more of: a round trip time; and a subscription time.

[0006] In some embodiments, an entry in the pending interest table indicates one or more of: a name; a maximum lifetime; and predecessor information for one or more predecessor nodes, where the predecessor information includes a predecessor identifier and a predecessor lifetime.

[0007] In some embodiments, the intermediate node determines that the entry has not expired by determining that an expiration of a maximum lifetime of the entry occurs after a current time.

[0008] In some embodiments, the intermediate node determines the predecessor lifetime associated with the entry by determining a new expiration time based on a current time and the lifetime of the first interest message. Responsive to determining that the new expiration time occurs after an expiration of the predecessor lifetime, the intermediate node sets the predecessor lifetime associated with the entry to the new expiration time.

[0009] In some embodiments, the intermediate node determines the maximum lifetime associated with the entry by, responsive to determining that an expiration of the predecessor lifetime associated with the entry occurs after an expiration of the maximum lifetime, setting the maximum lifetime associated with the entry to the predecessor lifetime.

[0010] In some embodiments, the intermediate node receives a packet that corresponds to a content object corresponding to a matching entry in the pending interest table. The intermediate node determines a valid predecessor node based on the matching entry and forwards the content object to the valid predecessor node based on the predecessor information. The intermediate node removes the predecessor information from the matching entry, and, responsive to determining that no predecessor information remains for the matching entry, removes the matching entry from the pending interest table.

[0011] In some embodiments, the intermediate node determines the valid predecessor node by selecting a predecessor node with an expiration of a predecessor lifetime that occurs after a current time.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES



[0012] 

FIG. 1A illustrates an exemplary network that facilitates efficient aggregation of multiple interest messages for the same content from multiple predecessors, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 1B illustrates an exemplary pending interest table maintained by an intermediate node, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 presents a flow chart illustrating a method by an intermediate node for efficiently aggregating multiple interest messages for the same content from multiple predecessors, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 presents a flow chart illustrating a method by an intermediate node for updating an entry in its pending interest table, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 presents a flow chart illustrating a method by an intermediate node for processing a matching content object, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5A illustrates exemplary communication with an intermediate node in a network, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5B presents a table describing the exemplary communication of FIG. 5A, including the state of an exemplary entry in a pending interest table, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary computer and communication system that facilitates efficient aggregation of multiple interest messages for the same content from multiple predecessors, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.



[0013] In the figures, like reference numerals refer to the same figure elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION



[0014] The following description is presented to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the embodiments, and is provided in the context of a particular application and its requirements. Various modifications to the disclosed embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the general principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments and applications without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure. Thus, the present invention is not limited to the embodiments shown, but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and features disclosed herein.

Overview



[0015] In embodiments of the present invention, the problem of efficiently handling multiple interests for the same data ("similar interests") is solved by maintaining a pending interest table (PIT) that includes a lifetime for each similar interest received from a previous-hop node and a separate aggregation lifetime for the interest. In prior methods of handling similar interests, an intermediate node can aggregate similar interests in a single PIT entry. However, an existing PIT entry with a long lifetime may block or suppress a later similar interest with a short lifetime, resulting in network inefficiency. Previous solutions rely on the intermediate node to track an interest lifetime for each pending similar interest, account for link delays by performing calculations at a granular level based on the lifetime of each pending similar interest, and perform re-transmission (e.g., sending a subsequent similar interest) based on the calculations. In addition, previous approaches may require the intermediate node to cache interest packets, maintain timers for each pending interest, or suppress fewer interests. However, it is neither efficient nor effective for an intermediate node (e.g., a CCN forwarder or router) to perform these tasks.

[0016] Embodiments of the present invention solve these inefficiencies by maintaining, by an intermediate node, a pending interest table (PIT) based on whether a similar interest (e.g., an interest that can be fulfilled by the same content object) has already been received from the same previous-hop ("predecessor") node. If so, the intermediate node forwards the interest. If not, the intermediate node aggregates the interest by adding predecessor information to the corresponding PIT entry but does not forward the interest. A PIT entry can include a name, an aggregation lifetime for the interest ("maximum lifetime"), and predecessor information for one or more predecessors ("predecessor entries"). Each predecessor entry can include a lifetime for the interest sent by the predecessor ("predecessor lifetime"). Subsequently, the intermediate node determines whether to update the corresponding PIT entry by extending the predecessor lifetime and/or modifying the maximum lifetime. In this manner, an intermediate node can aggregate the first similar interest received from a predecessor for an existing PIT entry and forward any subsequent similar interests. In addition, updating the maximum lifetime for the PIT entry based on the lifetime of the received interest can extend the maximum lifetime of the interest. By maintaining an interest lifetime per predecessor and an aggregation lifetime for the interest, embodiments of the present invention provide a system in which an existing PIT entry with a long lifetime does not interfere with (e.g., does not suppress) a later similar interest with a shorter lifetime received from a predecessor, thus facilitating the efficient aggregation of multiple interests for the same content from multiple predecessors.

[0017] Upon receiving a content object that matches an existing PIT entry, the intermediate node identifies valid predecessor entries (e.g., where the predecessor lifetime has not yet expired). The intermediate node forwards the content object to each corresponding predecessor node and subsequently removes the valid predecessor entry from the PIT entry. If any invalid (e.g., expired) predecessor entries remain in the PIT entry, the intermediate node does not remove them until the maximum lifetime of the entry expires. If the matching content object satisfies all the predecessor entries (e.g., no more predecessor entries remain for the PIT entry), the intermediate node removes the PIT entry, regardless of whether the maximum lifetime of the interest has expired.

[0018] In CCN, each piece of content is individually named, and each piece of data is bound to a unique name that distinguishes the data from any other piece of data, such as other versions of the same data or data from other sources. This unique name allows a network device to request the data by disseminating a request or an interest that indicates the unique name, and can obtain the data independent from the data's storage location, network location, application, and means of transportation. The following terms are used to describe the CCN architecture:

Content Object (or "content object"): A single piece of named data, which is bound to a unique name. Content Objects are "persistent," which means that a Content Object can move around within a computing device, or across different computing devices, but does not change. If any component of the Content Object changes, the entity that made the change creates a new Content Object that includes the updated content, and binds the new Content Object to a new unique name.

Unique Names: A name in a CCN is typically location independent and uniquely identifies a Content Object. A data-forwarding device can use the name or name prefix to forward a packet toward a network node that generates or stores the Content Object, regardless of a network address or physical location for the Content Object. In some embodiments, the name may be a hierarchically structured variable-length identifier (HSVLI). The HSVLI can be divided into several hierarchical components, which can be structured in various ways. For example, the individual name components parc, home, ccn, and test.txt can be structured in a left-oriented prefix-major fashion to form the name "/parc/home/ccn/test.txt." Thus, the name "/parc/home/ccn" can be a "parent" or "prefix" of "/parc/home/ccn/test.txt." Additional components can be used to distinguish between different versions of the content item, such as a collaborative document.



[0019] In some embodiments, the name can include a non-hierarchical identifier, such as a hash value that is derived from the Content Object's data (e.g., a checksum value) and/or from elements of the Content Object's name. A description of a hash-based name is described in U.S. Pat. App. No. 13/847,814. A name can also be a flat label. Hereinafter, "name" is used to refer to any name for a piece of data in a name-data network, such as a hierarchical name or name prefix, a flat name, a fixed-length name, an arbitrary-length name, or a label (e.g., a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) label).

[0020] Interest (or "interest"): A packet that indicates a request for a piece of data, and includes a name (or a name prefix) for the piece of data. A data consumer can disseminate a request or Interest across an information-centric network, which CCN routers can propagate toward a storage device (e.g., a cache server) or a data producer that can provide the requested data to satisfy the request or Interest.

[0021] The methods disclosed herein are not limited to CCN networks and are applicable to other architectures as well. A description of a CCN architecture is described in U.S. Pat. App. No. 12/338,175.

Exemplary Network and Communication



[0022] FIG. 1A illustrates an exemplary network 100 that facilitates efficient aggregation of multiple interest messages for the same content from multiple predecessors, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Network 100 can include a content requesting device 116, a content producing device 118, and a router or other forwarding device at nodes 102, 104, 106, 108, 110, 112, and 114. A node can be a computer system, an end-point representing users, and/or a device that can generate interests or originate content. A node can also be an edge router (e.g., CCN nodes 102 and 114) or a core router (e.g., intermediate CCN routers 104-112). Each CCN router can maintain its own pending interest table (PIT) (e.g., PIT 130 of node 110) and its own forwarding information base (FIB) (not shown). PIT 130 can include PIT entries 131.1-131.n associated with pending interests. A PIT entry (e.g., PIT entry 131.1) can include a name 132, an aggregation lifetime or a maximum lifetime 134, and predecessor information 136. Predecessor information 136 can include predecessor identifiers 142.1-142.m and predecessor lifetimes 144.1-144.m for m predecessor entries.

[0023] During operation, node 114 can send an interest 150 in a piece of content to node 110. Interest 150 can include a name 152 and a lifetime 154, which can be measured in a unit of time (e.g., milliseconds). In some embodiments, lifetime 154 is an absolute time. Node 110 can receive interest 150 and update PIT 130 to indicate interest 150 received from predecessor node 114. If a valid (e.g., unexpired) PIT entry exists for a similar interest in PIT 130 and if the predecessor node is not already listed in the PIT entry (e.g., interest 150 is the first similar interest received from predecessor node 114), node 110 updates the existing PIT entry by adding predecessor information for node 114. If the predecessor node is already listed in the PIT entry (e.g., interest 150 is the second or subsequent similar interest received from predecessor node 114), node 110 forwards interest 150 to the next-hop node (e.g., node 108). Intermediate node 110 then updates the PIT entry as described below in relation to FIGs. 2 and 3.

[0024] FIG. 1B illustrates an exemplary pending interest table (PIT) 130 maintained by an intermediate node, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Each entry in PIT 130 includes a name 132, a maximum lifetime 134, and predecessor information 136 for one or more predecessors. Predecessor information 136 can include a predecessor identifier 142 and a predecessor lifetime 144. For example, PIT entry 131.1 indicates a pending interest for a content object with a name of "/a/b/c/d1", a maximum lifetime with a value of 395 milliseconds, and predecessor information for four predecessor nodes (e.g., nodes 114, 112, 106, and 108) which have each sent an interest for the same content object. Predecessor information for predecessor node 114 can include a predecessor identifier with a value of "PRED_IDNODE 114" and a predecessor lifetime with a value of 220 milliseconds. Note that maximum lifetime 134 for PIT entry 131.1 (e.g., 395 ms) is the maximum of all the predecessor lifetimes associated with this PIT entry (e.g., predecessor lifetime 144 with a value of 395 ms for predecessor node 108). In some embodiments, the lifetime and maximum lifetime are measured in absolute time units.

Intermediate Node Processes Multiple Interests For Same Content



[0025] FIG. 2 presents a flow chart illustrating a method 200 by an intermediate node for efficiently aggregating multiple interest messages for the same content from multiple predecessors, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. During operation, the system receives, by an intermediate node, a packet from a predecessor node that corresponds to an interest message (operation 202). The interest message includes a name (which can correspond to a requested content object) and a lifetime for the interest. The interest lifetime can be assigned or determined by a sending node. The interest lifetime can be based on a round trip time which is determined based on network metrics, e.g., an estimated round trip time for a packet to travel between two nodes. The interest lifetime can also be based on a subscription time which is determined based on a length of time for which a sending node is interested in receiving a response. A subscription-based lifetime can be longer (e.g., measured in seconds) than a round trip time-based lifetime (e.g., measured in milliseconds). In addition, because the interest lifetime does not need to be adjusted at each hop, the interest lifetime can be included as part of the signed information of the interest packet. In some embodiments, a lifetime for a received interest, a predecessor lifetime, and a maximum lifetime for the PIT entry are denoted as an absolute time. If the interest message does not include a lifetime field, the intermediate node may use a default value.

[0026] The intermediate node determines whether an entry in the PIT exists for the same name as the received interest (decision 204). If not, the intermediate node forwards the interest (operation 218) and updates its PIT by adding an entry that corresponds to the received interest (operation 220). If there is an existing PIT entry for the same name as the received interest, the system determines whether the existing PIT entry is valid (decision 206). For example, the intermediate node determines whether the existing PIT entry has expired by comparing the current time with the maximum lifetime of the existing PIT entry. If the PIT entry is not valid (e.g., has expired), the intermediate node forwards the interest (operation 218) and updates its PIT by adding an entry that corresponds to the received interest (operation 220).

[0027] If the PIT entry is valid (e.g., has not expired), the system determines whether the predecessor is listed in the PIT entry (e.g., whether an interest for the same content has been received from the same predecessor) (decision 208). If not (indicating that this received interest is the first such similar interest received from the predecessor), the intermediate node updates the corresponding PIT entry to include the predecessor information (operation 210) and does not forward the interest. The predecessor information can include a predecessor identifier and a predecessor lifetime. The predecessor identifier can indicate an incoming face on which the interest was received or an address for the predecessor node. The system can maintain a mapping between an incoming face and an address of a predecessor node (e.g., a previous-hop node).

[0028] If the predecessor is listed in the PIT entry (indicating that the received interest is a second or later interest from the predecessor), the intermediate node forwards the received interest (operation 212). In some embodiments, the intermediate node can apply a data transmission scheduling algorithm (e.g., a token bucket algorithm) to forwarded later interests when multiple predecessors transmit (or the intermediate node receives) later similar interests at approximately the same time. The scheduling algorithm can be local to the intermediate node and not related to the interest lifetime. Subsequently, the intermediate node updates the PIT entry by extending the lifetime of the predecessor (operation 214) and further updates the PIT entry by modifying the maximum lifetime of the PIT entry (operation 216), if certain conditions exist, as described below in relation to FIG. 3.

[0029] FIG. 3 presents a flow chart 300 illustrating a method by an intermediate node for updating an entry in its pending interest table (PIT), in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Assume that the intermediate node has an existing valid PIT entry (e.g., positive conditions from decisions 204 and 206) that includes a name, a maximum lifetime, and predecessor information, which can include a predecessor identifier and a predecessor lifetime. During operation, the intermediate node receives an interest with a name and a lifetime. The intermediate node can determine a new expiration time for the received interest based on the current time and the lifetime of the received interest (operation 302). In some embodiments, the new expiration time is calculated by adding the lifetime of the received interest to the current time to obtain a new (e.g., absolute) expiration time. The intermediate node determines whether the new expiration time occurs after the expiration of the predecessor lifetime (as listed in the corresponding predecessor entry associated with the PIT entry) (decision 304). If it does, the intermediate node sets the predecessor lifetime in the PIT entry to the new expiration time (operation 306). If it does not, the operation returns.

[0030] The intermediate node also determines whether the expiration of the predecessor lifetime occurs after the expiration of the maximum lifetime of the PIT entry (decision 308). If it does, the intermediate node sets the maximum lifetime for the PIT entry to the predecessor lifetime (operation 310). If it does not, the operation returns.

Intermediate Node Processes Matching Content Object



[0031] FIG. 4 presents a flow chart 400 illustrating a method by an intermediate node for processing a matching content object, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. During operation, an intermediate node receives a packet that corresponds to a content object (operation 402). The intermediate node determines whether an entry in the PIT exists that corresponds to the content object (decision 404). For example, the system performs a lookup in the PIT to find a matching PIT entry, e.g., whether there is a PIT entry with the same name as the received content object. If a matching PIT entry does not exist, the intermediate node can drop the content object or store a copy of the content object in anticipation of future content objects (not shown), as described in U.S. Pat. No. 8,204,060, the disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference. If a matching PIT entry does exist, the intermediate node determines whether a valid predecessor entry exists for the PIT entry (decision 406). For example, for a predecessor entry in the PIT entry, the intermediate node determines whether the predecessor entry has expired by comparing the current time with the predecessor lifetime. If the predecessor entry has not expired, it is considered valid, and if it has expired, it is not considered valid. If the predecessor entry is valid, the intermediate node forwards the content object to the valid predecessor based on the predecessor information (operation 408), which can include a predecessor identifier. As described above, the predecessor identifier can indicate the incoming face on which the interest was received (and thus the face on which the returning content object is to be sent) or can indicate an address for the predecessor node. The system can maintain a mapping between the incoming face and a predecessor node (e.g., a previous-hop node). Optionally, the intermediate node can store a copy of the content object in its cache (operation 410). Subsequently, the intermediate node removes the predecessor entry from the PIT entry (operation 412) and the operation returns to decision 406 (e.g., determining whether there is a valid predecessor).

[0032] If no valid predecessor entry exists for the PIT entry, the intermediate node determines whether there are any more remaining predecessor entries for the PIT entry (decision 414). If there are no more remaining predecessor entries, the intermediate node removes the PIT entry from the PIT (operation 418) and the operation returns. If there are any remaining predecessor entries, the intermediate node determines whether the PIT entry is still valid (decision 416). For example, the intermediate node determines whether the existing PIT entry has expired by comparing the current time with the maximum lifetime of the existing PIT entry. If the PIT entry is not valid (e.g., has expired), the intermediate node removes the PIT entry from the PIT (operation 418) and the operation returns. If the PIT entry is valid (e.g., has not expired), the operation returns. In some embodiments, an invalid PIT entry (e.g., expired maximum lifetime) does not exist in the PIT when there are no remaining predecessor entries because a PIT entry (along with any associated predecessor entries) is removed from the PIT upon expiration of the maximum lifetime.

[0033] Thus, predecessor entries are removed only when a valid predecessor entry is satisfied by a matching content object or (for any remaining invalid predecessor entries) when the maximum lifetime of the PIT entry expires, resulting in the removal of the PIT entry from the PIT. A respective PIT entry can also be removed from the PIT when it no longer contains any predecessor entries. In addition, an intermediate node can remove a PIT entry when the PIT is full. When the PIT capacity is reached, the intermediate node can recycle entries based on a node-specific eviction algorithm such as a least recently used (LRU) algorithm, where "used" is the time since the last matching request.

Use Case For Aggregation of Multiple Interests For Same Content



[0034] FIG. 5A illustrates an exemplary communication 500 with an intermediate node in a network, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Communication 500 can include communication between a node 532 ("node A"), a node 534 ("node B"), a node 536 ("node C") and a node 538 ("node D"). For example, nodes A and B can create and send interest messages for content corresponding to the same name (e.g., "/a/b"). Node C can be an intermediate node that receives and processes multiple interest messages for the same content (corresponding to the name "/a/b") from predecessor nodes A and B. Node D can be a node that fulfills an interest for the content corresponding to the name "/a/b." The vertical lines beneath nodes A, B, C, and D indicate passage of time. Specific times are denoted by, e.g., "T1=0 milliseconds (ms)," "T2=10 ms", etc. A detailed description of each denoted time, Tx, is provided below in relation to FIG. 5B. Two interests can be "similar" if they correspond to requests for content by the same name or if they can be fulfilled by the same content object. A forwarded packet or interest can result in a failure, e.g., a local port failure, a link failure, or a remote port failure, as shown by failures 560, 562, and 564.

[0035] FIG. 5B presents a table 550 describing communication 500 of FIG. 5A, including the state of an exemplary entry in a pending interest table maintained by intermediate node C, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. For each time Tx depicted in FIG. 5A, table 500 contains a time 540, an action 542 which corresponds to the actions and/communications that occur at time Tx, and a PIT entry 544 which corresponds to the state of the corresponding PIT entry maintained by intermediate node C at time Tx. The following abbreviations are used in this use case: 1) to denote an interest: "name, lifetime"; and 2) to denote a PIT entry: "{name, maximum lifetime, {predecessor ID, predecessor lifetime}}". In addition, a value of "A" is used to indicate the predecessor identifier for node A and a value of "B" is used to indicate the predecessor identifier for node B. In some embodiments, all depicted times (e.g., each Tx of FIG. 5B) and all lifetimes (e.g., interest lifetimes, maximum lifetimes, and predecessor lifetimes) are indicated in absolute times.

[0036] During operation, at time T1=0, node A sends interest 502 (/a/b, 240 ms) to node C. At time T3=80, node C receives interest 502, determines that a PIT entry does not exist for an interest of this name, adds a corresponding PIT entry, sets the predecessor lifetime to 320 (by adding the interest lifetime of 240 to the current received time of 80 to obtain 320), and sets the maximum lifetime for the interest to 320 (shown by the block ending at T13=320). This results in PIT entry 544 at time T3=80 with a value of {/a/b, 320 {A, 320}}. Node C then forwards interest 502 (which can result in failure 560). At time T2=10, node A sends a similar interest 504 (/a/b, 240 ms) to node C. At time T4=90, node C receives interest 504, determines that it is a second or subsequent similar interest from the same predecessor (e.g., node A), and forwards interest 504 (which can result in failure 562). Node C also updates the PIT entry by extending the predecessor lifetime for the corresponding predecessor entry to 330 (by adding the interest lifetime of 240 to the current received time of 90 to obtain 330) and modifying the maximum lifetime to 330. This results in PIT entry 544 at time T4=90 with a value of {/a/b, 330 {A, 330}}.

[0037] At time T5=105, node B sends an interest 506 (/a/b, 80 ms) to node C. At time T6=115, node C receives interest 506, determines that a valid PIT entry does exist for an interest of this name, determines that interest 506 is the first similar interest received from this predecessor, and updates the PIT entry by adding the predecessor information. For example, node C sets the predecessor lifetime for B to 195 (by adding the interest lifetime of 80 to the current received time of 115 to obtain 195, shown by the block ending at T9=195). Note that node C does not modify the maximum lifetime of the interest because the predecessor lifetime (195 ms) is set to expire before the maximum lifetime (330 ms), nor does node C forward interest 506. Instead, node C aggregates interest 506 in its PIT entry because interest 506 is the first similar interest received from this predecessor (e.g., node A). This results in PIT entry 544 at time T6=115 with a value of {/a/b, 330 {A, 330} {B, 195}}. At time T7=145, node B sends a similar interest 508 (/a/b, 80 ms) to node C. At time T8=155, node C receives interest 508, determines that it is a second or subsequent similar interest from the same predecessor (e.g., node B), and forwards interest 508 (which can result in failure 564). Node C also updates the PIT entry by extending the predecessor lifetime for the corresponding predecessor entry to 235 (by adding the interest lifetime of 80 to the current received time of 155 to obtain 235). Note that node C does not modify the maximum lifetime of the interest because the predecessor lifetime (235 ms) is set to expire before the maximum lifetime (330 ms). This results in PIT entry 544 at time T8=155 with a value of {/a/b, 330 {A, 330} {B, 235}}. At time T10=235, the expiration of the predecessor lifetime for node B is reached, but the predecessor entry for node B is not removed from PIT entry 544, which at time T10=235 continues to have a value of {/a/b, 330 {A, 330} {B, 235}}.

[0038] At time T11=305, node B sends a similar interest 510 (/a/b, 80 ms) to node C. At time T12=315, node C receives interest 510, determines that it is a second or subsequent similar interest from the same predecessor (e.g., node B), and forwards interest 510 (which can successfully reach node D and be fulfilled by a content object 520). Node C also updates the PIT entry by extending the predecessor lifetime for the corresponding predecessor entry to 395 (by adding the interest lifetime of 80 to the current received time of 315 to obtain 395). Note that node C also modifies the maximum lifetime of the interest because the predecessor lifetime (395 ms) is set to expire after the maximum lifetime (330 ms). This results in PIT entry 544 at time T12=315 with a value of {/a/b, 395 {A, 330} {B, 395}}. At time T14=330, the expiration of the predecessor lifetime for node A is reached, but the predecessor entry for node A is not removed from PIT entry 544, which at time T14=330 continues to have a value of {/a/b, 395 {A, 330} {B, 395}}.

[0039] At time T15=335, node D receives interest 510, and at time T16=350, node D sends a matching content object 520 with a name of "/a/b" to node C. At time T17=370, node C receives content object 520, determines that a valid predecessor exists for the corresponding PIT entry (e.g., that the predecessor lifetime for node B has not yet expired), and forwards content object 520 to node B. Note that because the predecessor lifetime for node A has already expired, node C does not forward content object 520 to node A. Also, node C does not remove the predecessor entry for node A from the PIT entry because the maximum lifetime has not expired. Thus, this results in PIT entry 544 at time T17=370 with a value of {/a/b, 395 {A, 330}}. At time T18=380, node B receives content object 520 and acts upon its PIT based on the methods described herein. Because each node traversed by an interest or content object maintains its PIT based on its predecessor nodes, and because each such traversed (e.g., intermediate) node performs the same operations as described herein, the system efficiently aggregates interests at the pending interest table of each intermediate node. Finally, at time T19=395, the maximum lifetime for the PIT entry expires and node C removes the PIT entry (along with the remaining expired predecessor entry for node A) from the PIT.

Exemplary Computer and Communication System



[0040] FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary computer and communication system that facilitates efficient aggregation of multiple interest messages for the same content from multiple predecessors, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Computer and communication system 602 includes a processor 604, a memory 606, and a storage device 608. Memory 606 can include a volatile memory (e.g., RAM) that serves as a managed memory, and can be used to store one or more memory pools. Furthermore, computer and communication system 602 can be coupled to a display device 610, a keyboard 612, and a pointing device 614. Storage device 608 can store an operating system 616, a content-processing system 618, and data 632.

[0041] Content-processing system 618 can include instructions, which when executed by computer and communication system 602, can cause computer and communication system 602 to perform methods and/or processes described in this disclosure. Specifically, content-processing system 618 may include instructions for receiving, by an intermediate node, a packet from a predecessor node that corresponds to a first interest message (communication mechanism 620) and for identifying an entry in a pending interest table that corresponds to the first interest message (lookup mechanism 622). Content-processing system 618 can include instructions for, responsive to determining that the entry has not expired (lookup mechanism 622), determining whether a second interest message which indicates a same content object name as the first interest message has been received from the predecessor node (lookup mechanism 622). If it has, content-processing system 618 can include instructions for forwarding the first interest message (communication mechanism 620). If it has not, content processing-system 618 can include instructions for adding information associated with the predecessor node to the entry (aggregation mechanism 626). Content-processing system 618 can further include instructions for determining a predecessor lifetime associated with the entry (predecessor mechanism 624). Content-processing system 618 can include instructions for determining a maximum lifetime associated with the entry (expiration mechanism 624).

[0042] Content-processing system 618 can additionally include instructions for determining that an expiration of a maximum lifetime of an entry occurs after a current time (expiration mechanism 624). Content-processing system 618 can include instructions for determining a new expiration time based on a current time and the lifetime of the first interest message, and, responsive to determining that the new expiration occurs after an expiration of the predecessor lifetime, setting the predecessor lifetime associated with the entry to the new expiration time (predecessor mechanism 624). Content-processing system 618 can also include instructions for, responsive to determining that an expiration of the predecessor lifetime associated with the entry occurs after an expiration of the maximum lifetime, setting the maximum lifetime associated with the entry to the predecessor lifetime (expiration mechanism 628).

[0043] Content-processing system 618 can further include instructions for receiving a packet that corresponds to a content object corresponding to a matching entry in the pending interest table (communication mechanism 620). Content-processing system 618 can include instructions for determining a valid predecessor node based on the matching entry (lookup mechanism 622) and forwarding the content object to the valid predecessor node based on the predecessor information (communication mechanism 620). Content-processing system 618 can also include instructions for removing the predecessor information from the matching entry (removal mechanism 624). Content-processing system 618 can include instructions for, responsive to determining that no predecessor information remains for the matching entry (lookup mechanism 622), removing the matching entry from the pending interest table (removal mechanism 630).

[0044] Data 632 can include any data that is required as input or that is generated as output by the methods and/or processes described in this disclosure. Specifically, data 630 can store at least: a packet that corresponds to an interest message; a name for the interest or a content object; a lifetime associated with an interest; a lifetime based on a round trip time; a lifetime based on a subscription time; a pending interest table (PIT); an entry in a pending interest table; a maximum lifetime associated with a PIT entry; a predecessor entry associated with a PIT entry; a predecessor identifier for a predecessor entry; a predecessor lifetime for a predecessor entry; a new expiration time based on a current time and a lifetime of an interest; and a packet that corresponds to a content object.

[0045] The data structures and code described in this detailed description are typically stored on a computer-readable storage medium, which may be any device or medium that can store code and/or data for use by a computer system. The computer-readable storage medium includes, but is not limited to, volatile memory, non-volatile memory, magnetic and optical storage devices such as disk drives, magnetic tape, CDs (compact discs), DVDs (digital versatile discs or digital video discs), or other media capable of storing computer-readable media now known or later developed.

[0046] The methods and processes described in the detailed description section can be embodied as code and/or data, which can be stored in a computer-readable storage medium as described above. When a computer system reads and executes the code and/or data stored on the computer-readable storage medium, the computer system performs the methods and processes embodied as data structures and code and stored within the computer-readable storage medium.

[0047] Furthermore, the methods and processes described above can be included in hardware modules or apparatus. The hardware modules or apparatus can include, but are not limited to, application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), dedicated or shared processors that execute a particular software module or a piece of code at a particular time, and other programmable-logic devices now known or later developed. When the hardware modules or apparatus are activated, they perform the methods and processes included within them.

[0048] The foregoing descriptions of embodiments of the present invention have been presented for purposes of illustration and description only. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the present invention to the forms disclosed. Accordingly, many modifications and variations will be apparent to practitioners skilled in the art. Additionally, the above disclosure is not intended to limit the present invention. The scope of the present invention is defined by the appended claims.


Claims

1. A computer-implemented method for forwarding packets, the method comprising:

receiving, by an intermediate node, a packet from a predecessor node that corresponds to a first interest message, wherein the first interest message indicates a name for a content object and a lifetime associated with the first interest message;

identifying an entry in a pending interest table that corresponds to the first interest message; and

responsive to determining that the entry has not expired:

responsive to determining that a second interest message which indicates a same content object name as the first interest message has been received from the predecessor node, forwarding the first interest message;

responsive to determining that a second interest message which indicates a same content object name as the first interest message has not been received from the predecessor node, adding information associated with the predecessor node to the entry;

determining a predecessor lifetime associated with the entry; and

determining a maximum lifetime associated with the entry.


 
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the lifetime associated with the first interest message is based on one or more of:

a round trip time; and

a subscription time.


 
3. The method of claim 1, wherein an entry in the pending interest table indicates one or more of:

a name;

a maximum lifetime; and

predecessor information for one or more predecessor nodes, wherein the predecessor information includes a predecessor identifier and a predecessor lifetime.


 
4. The method of claim 1, further comprising:

receiving a packet that corresponds to a content object corresponding to a matching entry in the pending interest table;

determining a valid predecessor node based on the matching entry;

forwarding the content object to the valid predecessor node based on the predecessor information;

removing the predecessor information from the matching entry; and

responsive to determining that no predecessor information remains for the matching entry, removing the matching entry from the pending interest table.


 
5. A non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing instructions that when executed by a computer cause the computer to perform a method, the method comprising:

receiving, by an intermediate node, a packet from a predecessor node that corresponds to a first interest message, wherein the first interest message indicates a name for a content object and a lifetime associated with the first interest message;

identifying an entry in a pending interest table that corresponds to the first interest message; and

responsive to determining that the entry has not expired:

responsive to determining that a second interest message which indicates a same content object name as the first interest message has been received from the predecessor node, forwarding the first interest message;

responsive to determining that a second interest message which indicates a same content object name as the first interest message has not been received from the predecessor node, adding information associated with the predecessor node to the entry;

determining a predecessor lifetime associated with the entry; and

determining a maximum lifetime associated with the entry.


 
6. The storage medium of claim 5, wherein an entry in the pending interest table indicates one or more of:

a name;

a maximum lifetime; and

predecessor information for one or more predecessor nodes, wherein the predecessor information includes a predecessor identifier and a predecessor lifetime.


 
7. The storage medium of claim 5, wherein the method further comprises:

receiving a packet that corresponds to a content object corresponding to a matching entry in the pending interest table;

determining a valid predecessor node based on the matching entry;

forwarding the content object to the valid predecessor node based on the predecessor information;

removing the predecessor information from the matching entry; and

responsive to determining that no predecessor information remains for the matching entry, removing the matching entry from the pending interest table.


 
8. A computer system for facilitating forwarding of packets, the system comprising:

a processor; and

a storage device storing instructions that when executed by the processor cause the processor to perform a method, the method comprising:

receiving, by an intermediate node, a packet from a predecessor node that corresponds to a first interest message, wherein the first interest message indicates a name for a content object and a lifetime associated with the first interest message;

identifying an entry in a pending interest table that corresponds to the first interest message; and

responsive to determining that the entry has not expired:

responsive to determining that a second interest message which indicates a same content object name as the first interest message has been received from the predecessor node, forwarding the first interest message;

responsive to determining that a second interest message which indicates a same content object name as the first interest message has not been received from the predecessor node, adding information associated with the predecessor node to the entry;

determining a predecessor lifetime associated with the entry; and

determining a maximum lifetime associated with the entry.


 
9. The computer system of claim 8, wherein the lifetime associated with the first interest message is based on one or more of:

a round trip time; and

a subscription time.


 
10. The computer system of claim 8, wherein an entry in the pending interest table indicates one or more of:

a name;

a maximum lifetime; and

predecessor information for one or more predecessor nodes, wherein the predecessor information includes a predecessor identifier and a predecessor lifetime.


 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description