Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why do we need a Content‐Centric Future Internet?

The EC published a position paper from the Future Content Network which comprises a proposals towards content‐centric Internet architectures. Here's the executive summary...

Executive Summary
The aim of this document is twofold: firstly, to report and analyse the main reasons, which support our claim that the Future Internet will be “Content‐Centric” and secondly to define two alternative solutions for a Future Content‐Centric Internet Architecture following an evolutionary and a clean‐slate approach.

The starting point of our discussion is the reasonable hypothesis that Future Internet will mainly simplify the usability, increase the efficiency, secure the privacy and enhance the media experience of the users (enhanced mobility, really broadband & flexible communications, immersion, enhanced interaction, involvement of all senses and emotions, navigation). New ways of media creation and consumption will emerge, aiming to cover the different human needs and preserve the revenue generation of the various stakeholders. Moreover, new content types will appear, which together with efficient handling, delivery and protection of the content (i.e. static or dynamic, pre‐recorded, cached or live) will be the Future Internet cornerstones. Thus, the content/media and its efficient handling are (in) the heart of the Future Internet.

Taking into account the fact that the current Internet cannot efficiently serve the increasing needs and the foreseen requirements, two Content‐Centric Internet Architectures are proposed: a “Logical Content‐Centric Architecture”, which consists of different virtual hierarchies of nodes with different functionality and an “Autonomic Content‐Centric‐Internet Architecture”, which relies on the completely novel concept of the “content object”.

Yet, the major objective of this position paper is to initiate a debate between all the interested stakeholders with respect to the following three fundamental arguments:
  1. Will the Future Internet be Content‐Centric?
  2. How a potential Content‐Centric Internet Architecture would look like?
  3. Which design principles and requirements would govern such Architecture?
Interesting to see this "content object" concept as it seems to borrow a lot from the MPEG-21 Multimedia Framework which aims to enable the transaction of Digital Items among Users. It would be very interesting seeing some of the MPEG-21 concepts being adopted into the Content-Centric Future Internet!
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