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Delay-Tolerant Networking Research Group

Document Charter Delay-Tolerant Networking RG (dtnrg)
Title Delay-Tolerant Networking Research Group
Last updated 2014-11-13
State Approved
RG State Concluded
Send notices to (None)


The Delay-Tolerant Networking Research Group (DTNRG) is chartered to address
the architectural and protocol design principles arising from the need to
provide interoperable communications with and among extreme and
performance-challenged environments where continuous end-to-end connectivity
cannot be assumed. Examples of such environments include spacecraft,
military/tactical, some forms of disaster response, underwater, and some forms
of ad-hoc sensor/actuator networks.

Among the challenges to be addressed are: large delay for transmissions
resulting from either physical link properties or extended periods of network
partitioning, routing capable of operating efficiently with
frequently-disconnected, pre-scheduled, or opportunistic link availability,
high per-link error rates making end-to-end reliability difficult,
heterogeneous underlying network technologies (including non-IP-based
internets), and application structure and security mechanisms capable of
limiting network access prior to data transit in an environment where
round-trip-times may be very large.

The group intends to build upon the extended “bundling” architecture created
originally for the Interplanetary Internet. This architecture proposes an
alternative to the Internet TCP/IP end-to-end model and employs hop-by-hop
storage and retransmission as a transport-layer overlay. It provides a
messaging service interface conceptually similar to electronic mail, but
generalized for application-independence and supported by specialized
reliability and routing capabilities.

The intended work products of the DTNRG include architectural descriptions
(concept documents) a bundling protocol specification, and a series of one or
more network-environment-specific “profile” documents. These profile documents
will include descriptions of ‘convergence layers’ intended to adapt the
overlying messaging architecture for use in specialized networking environments
(space, water, sensor networks), and are expected to be created by the study
teams described in the Membership section below. One study team output will be
an “Internet profile” document, developed in concert with the architectural and
protocol specification documents, giving suggested naming conventions and
protocols to use for transport within the public Internet.

Members of the DTNRG also intend to distribute source code of a reference
implementation of the architecture and protocols developed.


Membership is open to any interested parties who intend to remain current with
the published documents and mailing list issues. From time to time the primary
DTNRG will be augmented with special study teams who will address the use of
DTN architectures and protocols in specific networking environments.


Regular working meetings are typically held every 4-6 weeks at locations
convenient to the majority of the participants. Presentation-oriented
status/summary meetings are to be held once a year (or more frequently, at the
desire of the group) concurrent with IETF.

Additional Mailing Lists

In addition to the main mailing list, the DTNRG maintains
two additional mailing lists: to discuss security-related topics for developers and users of the DTN reference
implementation, for any questions about configuration, architecture,
installation, bugs, and development