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U of M Receives NSF Grant to Help Design Next Generation Internet

For release: September 24, 2010
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843

Dr. Lan WangDr. Lan Wang of the Computer Science Department at the University of Memphis has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to create new and innovative ways to build a more reliable and robust Internet. The project, known as Named Data Networking (NDN), could redesign the Internet to offer better support for security, mobility and new applications.

In addition to the U of M, this collaborative project involves nine other colleges and universities: UCLA (the lead institution), PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), Colorado State University, the University of Arizona, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, the University of California Irvine, the University of California San Diego, Washington University, and Yale University. The award, worth $7.9 million over three years, is part of the NSF’s Future Internet Architecture (FIA) program.

The basic concept of NDN comes from the Content Centric Networking project led by Van Jacobson and Jim Thornton at PARC. The NDN network architecture differs from the current Internet in that it focuses on user data rather than where the data is hosted. By securing named data, NDN de-couples trust in data from trust in the host from which the user receives it. Together, this allows automatic caching to optimize bandwidth use and enables effective simultaneous utilization of multiple network interfaces. Wang’s work will focus on realizing the scalable name-based routing and forwarding over multiple paths. This will allow a user to retrieve data such as a photo or web page from the closest location.

“I’m very excited and privileged to work on the NDN project with top computer scientists from PARC, UCLA, UIUC, and six other universities,” said Wang, an associate professor and principal investigator for the project at the U of M. “If our prototype is successfully deployed on testbeds, we will have the opportunity to roll out our implementation on a larger scale on the real Internet. The impact of our work may reach every individual user in improving their Internet security, speed, mobility, and overall experience, as well as allowing them to build exciting new applications.”

According to the NSF, four research and system design projects were funded under the Future Internet Architecture program. Each project will explore different dimensions of the network architecture design space and emphasize different visions of future Internet. The NSF anticipates the teams will explore new directions and a diverse range of research areas, but also work together to enhance and possibly integrate architectural thinking, concepts, and components, paving the way to a comprehensive and trustworthy network architecture.

More information about the project is available online at www.named-data.org

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