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NSF Future Internet Network Design Meeting

Westin Embassy Row Hotel
2100 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008

November 27-28, 2007

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FIND Working Meeting—Topics and structure for breakout sessions
November 27/28, Washington DC

We have four breakout sessions:

Networking at the information layer Moderator: Kevin Fall
Networking in times of disaster Moderator: Nick Feamster
Networks that provide high reliability and time-critical delivery Moderator: Dan Massey
Networks designed to make management easier Moderator: Mark Allman

The purpose of the breakout sessions is to carry out an exercise in which the group sketches an architecture for a network to meet a specific set of requirements. The different breakout groups have been given a different “target network”—a different set of requirements to meet. We hope that by narrowing the set of requirements, rather than looking at a very general target of “a future network for everything”, we can make this initial exercise more approachable.

We are suggesting an approach that the breakout group can take for this exercise—a process in five parts. While the groups are free to modify the approach (how could we stop you?), this outline may help make clear how we conceive the exercise.

The breakout has been split into a first part on day 1, and the bulk of the work on day 2. It sometimes helps to take a first step, and then take time to think, so we have set up this split format.

Day 1:

Step 1: Make sure there is convergence in the room as to what the objective of the target network is. We have offered a very brief description of the target, to help folks get into the right breakout session. But we expect you will need to make this description more specific.

  • Refine and elaborate the requirements that the target network should meet.
  • If there are alternative views as to the right set of requirements for the target network, capture those views and then converge on the specific set of requirements that this group will explore on day 2. (Try to settle on a scope for the discussion on day 2 that seems tractable.)
  • Prepare a brief writeup of the set of requirements, as the group has agreed, and any other viewpoints that were raised in the group.

Prepare for day 2:

  • Review the agenda for day 2. Is the group ready to go?
  • Does this group want to interact with other groups? (If your breakout group wants to have a common discussion with another group, try to arrange this with the other group moderator on day 1.)
  • Identify volunteers to prepare summary slides and report back to the plenary group at the end of day 2, and volunteers to help prepare a writeup of the breakout.
  • Make a list of “lightning talks”.

We have proposed that each breakout have a session of “lightning talks” by participants, in which they describe (in 3-5 minutes) the relevance of their work (FIND funded or other) to the target set of requirements. (This talk might be based on the poster that they prepare for the evening session of the first day.) The lightning talks are suggested as an early item on the second day. On the first day, the group should make a list of lightning talks that they will hear.

Get started:
If you have time, start on the day 2 agenda: start to catalog related work.

Day 2:

Step 2: Identify and discuss possible approaches to building the target network.

  • Lightning talks: review relevant approaches from inside the FIND community.
  • Related work: catalog relevant work being done elsewhere.

Step 3: Try fitting the various approaches together.

  • How do the identified approaches (from step 2) fit together? Are they consistent or at odds with each other?
  • What is missing? Where are inventions/discoveries needed?
  • How do these requirements and the known methods to achieve them influence or interact (or interfere with) other requirements (e.g. overall security, manageability, emerging technologies)
  • Is it possible to sketch an overall design? If so, do so.

Step 4: Draw some conclusions and think about going forward.

  • Are there non-technical barriers to achieving these goals?
    • Are there identifiable options for mitigating these barriers?
  • What other researchers (or research disciplines) should be engaged as part of addressing these requirements?
  • How close are we to meeting the requirements? What is the level of risk in trying to achieve them?
  • Are there folks in the room who want to continue this discussion? Can you identify volunteers to improve and elaborate what you have written in the breakout? Can you set a target (e.g. a month) for an improved writeup?

Step 5: Capture what you have learned.

  • For the group/NSF: summarize your discussion, using this outline as a framework. We have provided a slide template, which may be helpful in getting started. We also encourage a text-based writeup of the important discussion and conclusion, using what your note-takers provide you.
  • For GSC: The GENI Science Council is collecting examples of important outcomes and exciting research that will lead to those outcomes. The GSC also wants to identify any specific requirements that GENI must meet in order to perform the research. If your breakout has made progress, what you have done could be such an example. Please prepare a short writeup that we can convey to the GSC, which discusses:
    • What is the impact of meeting this set of requirements?
    • What is the important science and how can it be explored?
    • If these ideas were to be evaluated/demonstrated on a research facility like GENI, are there any special requirements for that facility?

If there is time...

  • We posed four challenges for the breakouts—four different sets of target networks with different requirements. Are there others we could explore?
  • Are there topical workshops we should consider organizing, in order to carry the research forward?

Return to the plenary prepared to give a 10-15 minute report at 2:00 PM.

We hope this was fun and effective. Tell us.