Tutorial TM6
Content Networking - Architecture, Protocols, and Practice

Half day, Level Intermediate to Advanced


Dr.-Ing. Markus Hofmann
Bell Labs Research / Lucent Technologies
Holmdel, NJ, USA
Web: http://www.mhof.com/


The tutorial is intended for professionals as well as for students and researchers coming from academia. The tutorial concentrates mainly on underlying principles, concepts and mechanisms and tries to explain and evaluate them. It uses many examples and case studies for illustration. Specific protocols are selected as examples of how the concepts and mechanisms can be incorporated in real-life networks, but the tutorial i s not intended to provide a reference guide to web-related protocols. It rather aims to provide a systematic and architectural view of the content networking and content services field. It helps the participant in understanding the overall picture and how all the components fit together.

As more and more people start using the Internet as an integral part of their lives, scalability and reliability of multimedia Internet services become more and more crucial. It is important to help people understand the reasons for current problems in the Internet and to explain the challenges of and possible solutions for building a more reliable and scalable Internet better supporting advanced multimedia applications. The author has been working in content networking and related fields for more than seven years and has gained valuable practical experience, which he would like to pass on the participants of this tutorial.

The Internet, and in particular the World Wide Web (WWW), have become an integral part of people’s life. With the increase in popularity, however, users have to face more and more problems when using the Internet - high access delays, poor quality of service and unreliable services. This tutorial helps participants in understanding the reasons for these problems. It explains the challenges in making content available on the WWW, describes basic concepts and principles for improving the current situation and outlines possibilities for tapping into the huge potential of custom-tailored provisioning of multimedia services over the Internet.

The tutorial starts with a discussion of fundamental techniques and protocols for moving content on the Internet, followed by an introduction to fundamental web caching techniques. From there, the tutorial outlines the evolution from web caching towards a flexible and open architecture to support a variety of content-oriented services. Evolutionary steps include support for streaming media, systems for global request routing, and the design of APIs and protocols enabling value-added services, such as compression, filtering, or transformation. The tutorial also explains how the different components interact with each other and how they can be used to build complex content networks.

The participant will learn how the technology evolved from traditional web caching towards more sophisticated content services. The participant will get a better understanding of the key components in modern content networks and of the protocols that make the components interact with each other. Various examples will help the participant to better understand how this technology can be deployed and how it could help their business. All parts of the tutorial will have a mix of research and industry flavor, addressing seminal research concepts and looking at the technology from an industry angle.

Detailed outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Content Transport
  3. Caching Techniques for Web Content
  4. Caching Techniques for Streaming Media
  5. Switching and Routing in Content Networks
  6. Beyond Web Surfing - Content Services
  7. Standards Efforts
  8. Summary and Future Trends

Lecturer's Biography

Markus Hofmann is currently Head of the Networked Services Research Department at Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies, where he is leading Research and Development efforts on next-generation communication services and on network convergence, bringing the Internet/Web and the telephony world together. In prior projects at Bell Labs, Markus was the principal researcher and lead architect on Lucent's content networking solution named "imminet". He is well regarded in the technical and research community for his contributions to the field of multicasting and group communication. Markus is active in the IETF and has been a long time contributor to the IRTF. Currently, he is co-chair of the OPES Working Group in the IETF and co-author of a multitude of recent Internet Drafts in the content networking area. Markus is also on the Editorial Board of the Computer Communications Journal and has served as co-chair of various conferences and workshops. Markus has published numerous papers in the areas of multicasting, multimedia communication and content networking, and he has filed more than ten patents. He has spoken at a variety of international conferences and workshops in the area of data networking and distributed systems. Over the last few years, he gave several graduate lectures on content networking at different universities.

Prior to joining Bell Labs, Markus was a research assistant at University of Karlsruhe, Germany, where he was leading major projects with German Telekom and other partners. In this position, he also taught several graduate courses on data networking and advised about 25 master students. He received his Ph.D. degree from University of Karlsruhe in 1998. His Ph.D. thesis won the 1998 GI/KuVS Doctoral Dissertation Award for the best Ph.D. thesis in Germany in the area of Distributed Systems and Telecommunications and the 1998 FZI Doctoral Dissertation Award for best Ph.D. thesis in Computer Science at University of Karlsruhe. For more information, see http://www.mhof.com/.