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Challenges for the Internet Routing Systems Introduced by Semantic Routing

Document Type Replaced Internet-Draft (individual)
Expired & archived
Authors Daniel King , Adrian Farrel , Christian Jacquenet
Last updated 2022-04-25
Replaced by draft-king-rtgwg-challenges-in-routing
RFC stream (None)
Intended RFC status (None)
Stream Stream state (No stream defined)
Consensus boilerplate Unknown
RFC Editor Note (None)
IESG IESG state Replaced by draft-king-rtgwg-challenges-in-routing
Telechat date (None)
Responsible AD (None)
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This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft is available in these formats:


Historically, the meaning of an IP address has been to identify an interface on a network device. Routing protocols were developed based on the assumption that a destination address had this semantic. Over time, routing decisions have been enhanced to determine paths on which packets could be forwarded according to additional information carried principally within the packet headers, and dependent on policy coded in, configured at, or signaled to the routers. Many proposals have been made to add semantics to IP packets by placing additional information into existing fields, by adding semantics to IP addresses, or by adding fields to the packets. The intent is always to facilitate routing decisions based on these additional semantics in order to provide differentiated paths to enable forwarding of different packet flows on paths that may be distinct from those derived by shortest path first or path vector routing. We call this approach "Semantic Routing". This document describes the challenges to the existing routing system that are introduced by Semantic Routing. It then summarizes the opportunities for research into new or modified routing and forwarding approaches that make use of additional semantics. This document is presented as a study to support further research into clarifying and understanding the issues. It does not pass comment on the advisability or practicality of any of the proposals and does not define any technical solutions.


Daniel King
Adrian Farrel
Christian Jacquenet

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)