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Versions: 00 01                                                         
MANET Autoconfiguration (AUTOCONF)                           I. Chakeres
Internet-Draft                                                    Boeing
Expires: January 30, 2007                                      J. Macker
                                               Naval Research Laboratory
                                                              T. Clausen
                                                LIX, Ecole Polytechnique
                                                           July 29, 2006

                   Mobile Ad Hoc Network Architecture

Status of this Memo

   By submitting this Internet-Draft, each author represents that any
   applicable patent or other IPR claims of which he or she is aware
   have been or will be disclosed, and any of which he or she becomes
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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006).


   This document discusses Mobile Ad hoc NETworks (MANETs).  It
   discusses some basic MANET architectural concepts, related
   taxonomies, and MANETs' relationship to the Internet architecture.
   It also discusses the relevant node, interface, and network
   characteristics that influence Internet protocol development in

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   3.  MANET Motivation Discussion  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
   4.  Challenges and Design Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     4.1.  Wireless Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     4.2.  Neighbors and Neighborhoods  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     4.3.  Dynamic Network Topology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   5.  Architectural Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     5.1.  Local Connectivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     5.2.  MANET Membership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     5.3.  Border Connectivity  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   6.  Deployment Taxonomy  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     6.1.  Infrastructure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     6.2.  Number of Peer MANET Routers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     6.3.  Heterogeneity  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     6.4.  Example Deployments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   7.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   8.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   9.  Acknowledgments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   10. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . . . 17

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1.  Introduction

   A Mobile Ad hoc NETwork (MANET) is made up from a set of MANET
   routers (MRs).  These MRs organize and maintain a routing structure
   among themselves over dynamic wireless interfaces.  As any IP router,
   a MR may have an attached set of nodes.  These nodes access the MANET
   via the MR to which they are attached.

   Due, in part, to relative movements of MR and, in part, to
   environmental effects (especially wireless characteristics), the
   network topology and communication links in a MANET may change state
   more frequently than in fixed wired or fixed wireless networks.

   These attributes and others influence Internet Protocol (IP) design
   for MANETs.  This document elaborates on the many important
   properties and their impact.

2.  Terminology

   This document employs the following definitions:

      any device (router or host) which implements IP.

      a node that forwards IP packets not explicitly addressed to

   MANET Router (MR)
      a router that engages in a MANET routing protocol.  In certain
      scenarios a MR may forward packets only for itself (and its
      attached nodes).

      any node that is not a router, i.e. it does not forward packets
      addressed to others.

      A communication facility on a layer below IP, over which nodes
      exchange IP packets.  In a MANET, links may change quality on
      short time scales, present unique views of their local
      neighborhood, and have other challenging properties.

      Two nodes are neighbors if and only if their links intersect, i.e.
      data may be propagated between them without relying on assistance
      of any forwarding node.

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      A node's point of attachment to a link.

   Broadcast Interface (BI)
      An interface supporting many (more than two) attached routers,
      together with the capability to address a single physical message
      to all of the attached routers (broadcast).  The set of nodes
      receiving a given physical broadcast message are the neighbors of
      the node originating the message; this set of receiving nodes will
      themselves be neighbors with one another.  An ethernet segment is
      an example of a broadcast interface.

   Wireless Broadcast Interface (WBI)
      A broadcast interface that communicates over a wireless channel.
      Compared to traditional broadcast interfaces, a wireless broadcast
      interface has additional complexity: each device may have a unique
      local view of its local network.  The set of nodes receiving a
      given physical broadcast message are neighbors of the node
      originating the message; this set of receiving nodes will,
      however, not necessarily be neighbors with one another.  An IEEE
      802.11 interface is an example of a wireless broadcast interface.

   Autonomous System (AS)
      An Autonomous System (AS) is a network topology that consists of a
      collection of routers and their subnetworks (with hosts attached)
      interconnected by a set of routes.  The subnetworks and the
      routers are expected to be under the control of a single
      operations and maintenance (O&M) organization.  Within an AS,
      routers use the same routing protocol.  An AS is expected to
      present to other ASs the appearance of a coherent interior routing
      plan, and a consistent picture of the reachable nodes.

      A MANET is an AS made up of affiliated/associated MRs (and their
      connected nodes) that maintain a routing structure in arbitrarily
      dynamic network topologies, as illustrated in Figure 1.

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      /----------------------\        /----------------------\
      |        MANET         |        |        MANET         |
      |  +---+ +---+ +---+   |        |  +---+ +---+ +---+   |
      |  |RT1+-+RT2+-+RT3|   |        |  |RT1+-+RT2+-+RT3|   |
      |  +-+-+ +---+ +---+   |        |  +---+ +---+ +-+-+   |
      |    |                 |        |                |     |
      |  +-+-+               | Change |              +-+-+   |
      |  |RT4+               |   in   |              |RT7|   |
      |  +---+\              |  Time  |              +---+   |
      |        \+---+        |        \----------------------/
      |         +RT5+        |        /----------------------\
      |        /+---+\       |        |         MANET        |
      |  +---+/       \+---+ |        |  +---+  +-+-+  +---+ |
      |  |RT6+         +RT7| |        |  |RT6+--+RT4+--+RT5+ |
      |  +---+         +---+ |        |  +---+  +---+  +---+ |
      \----------------------/        \----------------------/

      Figure 1: MANET(s)

   MANET Border Router (MBR)
      A MANET border router is a MR that connects to two or more ASs, as
      illustrated in Figure 2.  A MBR presents a consistent picture of
      the nodes reachable through itself to connected ASs.  A MBR
      chooses the routing information to propagate between ASs.

        /------\         /------\
        |      |  +---+  |      |
        |  AS  +--+MBR+--+  AS  |
        |      |  +---+  |      |
        \------/         \------/

      Figure 2: MBR

      The process of forwarding information to MRs throughout a MANET.

   Much of this terminology was borrowed from existing documents, to
   list a few [RFC1812], [RFC2453], [RFC2460], [RFC2328], [RFC3513],
   [RFC3753], [I-D.thaler-autoconf-multisubnet-manets], and
   [I-D.templin-autoconf-dhcp].  Note that the original text for the
   terms was modified, though we have attempted to maintain the same
   meaning.  In the future, terms defined elsewhere will likely be cited
   instead of included.

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3.  MANET Motivation Discussion

   The Internet Protocol (IP) core design tenets -- connectionless
   networking and packet-based forwarding -- are ideally suited for use
   in highly dynamic contexts, such as MANETs.  Yet, some additional
   functionality is required to meet the unique challenges and
   opportunities present in MANETs.

   The initial motivation for MANETs was called Packet Radio (PR)
   networking [FL01].  In PR, each router is equipped with a single
   wireless broadcast interface (the simplest MR configuration).  Each
   router may be mobile, and the routers may be or may become spatially
   distributed such that all routers cannot communicate directly.  That
   is, two routers might require one or more other intermediate routers
   to forward (route) packets on their behalf.  In the example shown in
   Figure 3, for RT1 to send packets to RT3, the intermediary RT2 must
   relay the packets.  This implies that RT2 must receive the packet
   from RT1 on its interface and determine that it must retransmit the
   packet over the same interface as the one where the packet was
   received, in order for the packet to reach RT3.  This example also
   illustrates how WBIs differ from BIs: from the point of view of RT2,
   both RT1 and RT3 are neighbors, whereas RT1 and RT2 are not
   themselves neighbors with one another.

         <~~~~~~+~~~~~~>   <~~~~~~+~~~~~~>
   Single       | <~~~~~~+~~~~~~> |
   Wireless   +-|-+    +-|-+    +-|-+
   Interface  |RT1|    |RT2|    |RT3|
              +---+    +---+    +---+

   Figure 3: Basic MANET Network

   The attachment of PR networks to the fixed ARPANET stimulated early
   introduction of the first Internet architecture approaches and
   designs enabling heterogeneous interconnection.  The taxonomy of
   scenarios in which MANETs may be deployed is rich, making it
   important to develop flexible MANET protocols and discuss
   architectural approaches that cover a set of deployment scenarios
   reasonably well.

   The two characteristics having the largest impact on MANET protocol
   design are:

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   o  wireless interface characteristics and

   o  frequent topological change.

   One more important point to emphasize is that the fundamental MANET
   design motivation is the same as existing IP intra-domain routing
   goals, except MANET protocols account for more challenging
   topological conditions and wireless interface behaviors.  These
   challenging conditions often require new protocols or extensions.

4.  Challenges and Design Considerations

   As mentioned in Section 3, the wireless interface characteristics and
   the frequently changing topology present challenges, under which
   MANET protocols must be developed.  These challenges are detailed
   further in this section.

4.1.  Wireless Interface

   Wireless interface characteristics differ from wired interface
   characteristics in several ways:

   Shared resource
      In wireless networks since the physical channel resources are
      shared between many devices, the transmission on each wireless
      interface influences the resources available to all nearby devices
      often including nodes multiple hops away.  Therefore, the overhead
      of signaling, message exchange, and control plane flooding often
      induced by protocol designs needs special consideration to reduce
      channel contention and congestion.  In some cases, underlying
      lower layer protocols may change the shared resource in dynamic
      ways, and these mechanism also contribute to changing topological
      and quality conditions.

   High loss statistics
      In comparison to wired interfaces, wireless interfaces experience
      loss statistics which can be several orders of magnitude higher
      than in wired environments.  Furthermore, the losses can vary
      temporally and dramatically dependent upon the environment
      scenario and type of wireless technology.  Therefore, signaling
      and message exchange may be unreliable, and this fact must be
      accommodated in MANET protocols.

   Time varying interface performance
      In comparison to wired interfaces, wireless interfaces experience
      significant changes in performance over time.  The capacity, loss,
      delay, jitter, and other metrics of neighbor quality may vary by

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      several orders of magnitude at large and small time scales.  Some
      of these characteristics can be quantified by the position and
      distance between devices, but more often these characteristics are
      unpredictable and related to environmental effects and must be
      included in higher layer protocol design decisions.

   Stochastic neighborhoods
      Given the variance associated with wireless interfaces mentioned
      above, from an IP perspective the neighbor relationships may
      change state often.  Handling the rapid insertion, deletion, and
      symmetric variability of wireless channels is a challenge.

   Wireless broadcast
      A wireless broadcast/multicast packet reaches only nodes that are
      neighbors to the node which transmitted the broadcast packet, as
      described for wireless broadcast interfaces.  Given that each MR
      can be located in a different arbitrary position, or may have
      unique antenna characteristics, each MR may have a unique set of
      neighbors.  Therefore, a MR may be required to forward a packet
      out the same logical interface upon which the packet was received
      to reach another MR.  Logically, each MRs' wireless interface may
      communicate with a unique set of neighboring MR, since no other MR
      may have the same logical connectivity.  This fact and its impact
      will be discussed further in Section 4.2.

   Other characteristics
      There are numerous other factors related to wireless interfaces
      and MANET routing, but these factors will not be elaborated upon
      here.  For more information on wireless interfaces and other MANET
      performance characteristics please see [RFC2501].

4.2.  Neighbors and Neighborhoods

   Given a wireless interface and spatially distributed MRs, each device
   may have a different unique partial view of the MANET.  That is, each
   MR may have a different set of adjacent MRs, and this set may change
   over time.

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         <~~~~~~+~~~~~~>   <~~~~~~+~~~~~~>
   Single       | <~~~~~~+~~~~~~> |
   Wireless   +-|-+    +-|-+    +-|-+
   Interface  |RT1|    |RT2|    |RT3|
              +---+    +---+    +---+

               RT1      RT2      RT3
   Neighbors * RT2      RT1      RT2
             *          RT3

   Figure 4: Wireless Broadcast Interface             (WBI) Neighbors

   The possibly unique set of adjacent MRs requires MRs to forward
   packets in and out the same wireless interface.  The act of
   forwarding packets in and out of the same interface, while reaching a
   new subset of MRs, results in duplicate IP messaging being received
   at MR with more than one neighboring MR.  For unicast traffic, the
   next-hop designation in each packet ensures that such traffic is
   simply ignored by routers, other than the designated next hop router,
   as in all other IP networks.  For non-link-local multicast and
   broadcast traffic, recognition of this duplicate reception needs to
   be accounted for explicitly in protocol designs.  Present MANET
   routing protocol designs that employ flooding techniques for control
   traffic meet this requirement.

   Due to MANETs wireless nature, communication between MRs can be
   asymmetric: MR X may receive traffic from MR Y, whereas MR Y does not
   receive traffic from MR X. In other words, the MRs X and Y links
   provides for unidirectional communication from MR Y to MR X. This is
   also an example showing that each MR may have its own unique view of
   the local topology.  Generally, MANET routers should use only
   bidirectional communication links between routing peers.  One reason
   to prefer bidirectional communication between routing pairs is that
   some common L2 protocols (e.g.  IEEE 802.11) employ positive
   acknowledgments for unicast data traffic and simply won't work
   otherwise.  The mechanisms for sensing and maintaining bidirectional
   communication are important to the design of MANET routing protocols.

4.3.  Dynamic Network Topology

   In the typical use case scenario, MRs are assumed to be mobile and
   communicating over wireless interfaces, both of these properties
   create a dynamic arbitrary network topology with varying adjacency
   statistics.  The local topology, as seen by a given MR, is expected

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   to change rapidly and unpredictably.  Existing protocols for wired
   networks are typically not designed or able to manage wireless links
   and converge on a time-scale appropriate for MANETs.  However, MANET
   extensions for existing wired routing protocols such as OSPF have
   been developed and are being further explored within the IETF.
   Another outcome of the dynamic operation requirement is that MANET
   protocols must be able to operate effectively without strict network
   wide convergence.

5.  Architectural Issues

   The topology within a MANET is expected to change, and the routing
   protocol should operate effectively given arbitrary dynamic changes.
   Changes can happen at three different levels: local connectivity,
   MANET membership, and MANET border connectivity.

5.1.  Local Connectivity

   Locally topology changes are the result of either addition or loss of
   neighbors.  That is, two or more MRs are either connected and can
   communicate (i.e. their links intersect) or they are disconnected and
   can not communicate.  The detection and determination of local
   connectivity is outside the scope of this document.

   MRs may need to be aware of these local connectivity changes and
   handle them appropriately.

   There are several possible logical local connectivity states that may
   exist between a pair of MRs:

      The two MRs links do not intersect.

      The two MRs links intersect.

      The two MRs links might intersect.  The MRs are not sure whether
      their links intersect or not.  Given wireless interfaces it may be
      difficult to classify two MR as connected or disconnected.

   Note that when local connectivity changes, MANET membership and
   border connectivity may also be change.

5.2.  MANET Membership

   The membership within a MANET may change based on changes to the

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   local connectivity between MRs.  A MANET may partition into multiple
   separate smaller MANETs when two MRs which used to be connected
   becomes disconnected.  Alternatively, when two MANETs collide, i.e.
   at least one MR from each MANET becomes connected, the two MANETs can
   merge and form a single, large MANET.  These membership events can
   happen between any pair of MRs.  The detection and determination of
   MANET membership is outside the scope of this document.

   The following membership events may occur:

      Loss of a neighbor can cause a MANET to partition into multiple
      smaller MANETs.  Partitioning may also decrease each new MANETs
      border connectivity.

      Connection to a new neighboring MR can cause multiple MANETs to
      merge into a single larger MANET.  This new MANET may have
      additional border connectivity, via now reachable MBR.

   Note that MANET membership events may happen more quickly than MANET
   wide communication can occur.  This fact is important since a part of
   a MANET may become its own MANET, while another part of the MANET may
   merge with another MANET.

5.3.  Border Connectivity

   MANET border routers (MBR) hide the details of the internal MANET
   topology from other ASs.  There may be multiple external connections
   to a MANET, via one or more MBR.  A MBR may disseminate routing
   information about other connected ASs, to each connected AS.

   A local connectivity or MANET membership change may result in changed
   MBR connectivity.

6.  Deployment Taxonomy

   The present and future proliferation of inexpensive wireless
   interfaces continues to stimulate technical interest and developments
   in the area of MANET for a wide variety of deployment scenarios.  In
   this section, we present several key characteristics for describing
   expected MANET deployments.

6.1.  Infrastructure

   We define infrastructure as the assumed availability of services,
   devices, and resources .  This axis of the taxonomy falls into

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   several broad categories:

   Infrastructure is always available

   Infrastructure is sometimes available

   Infrastructure is never available

   When describing a deployment scenario, it is important to specify the
   expected infrastructure connection constraints and expectations,
   especially whether the infrastructure resides in the MANET or behind
   a MBR.  Different frameworks for autoconfiguration, network
   management, and fundamental services can be developed based upon the
   expected constraints and operating conditions.

6.2.  Number of Peer MANET Routers

   The number of peer MRs in a MANET is an important consideration.
   This number is not the complete number of nodes in a MANET (since MRs
   may support an arbitrary number of connected nodes) but a measure of
   the number of peer MR participating as a cohesive flat routing area.
   While the number of MRs does not define scalability of a MANET
   protocol, it is often useful discuss the number of peer MR to get a
   feel for maturity of typical deployment solutions.  For simplicity we
   define the following network sizes to aid in discussion:

      2-30 MANET peers

      30-100 MANET peers

      100-1000 MANET peers

   Very large
      Larger than 1000 MANET peers

   At the time of writing, small and moderate size peer MANET routing
   scenarios have matured and have reasonable testing and deployment
   experience.  These sizes can perform reasonably well in many cases
   without hierarchy.  MANET architectures can, of course, support
   routing hierarchies to improve scaling.  Large and very large MANET
   routing areas that are flat are still a topic of active research and
   are not considered here.  Existing MANET routing developments, such
   as SMF [I-D.ietf-manet-smf], have shown significant performance
   improvements and capabilities even in small peer router size
   deployments and experiments.

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6.3.  Heterogeneity

   The Internet Protocol provides a least common denominator for
   heterogeneous network interconnection.  It allows devices independent
   of lower layer connectivity properties to inter-operate and
   communicate seamlessly.  This document has concentrated on the
   architectural description in which MANET technology provides Internet
   layer routing and possibly between heterogeneous interfaces, although
   variants of IETF MANET routing solutions have been implemented or
   adapted at lower layers below IP.  Within IP-based MANETs, while a
   single wireless broadcast interface may be used to support multi-hop
   IP routing, we allow for the possibility of several different types
   of lower layer link technologies to be used within the same MANET.
   Developing MANET routing protocols at the IP layer seamlessly enables
   lower layer heterogeneity.  Also, the initial term MANET was
   developed by a group of engineers doing this work at the IP layer and
   envisioning heterogeneity support.

6.4.  Example Deployments

   Here we provide a short list of example deployment scenarios:

   Wireless mesh networks

   Disaster relief

   Sensor networks

   Range extension

   Military communication

   Automotive networks

7.  Security Considerations


8.  IANA Considerations

   This is an informational document.  IANA requirements for MANET
   related protocols will be developed within the protocol
   specifications for MANET protocols.

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9.  Acknowledgments

   Discussions and developments concepts and architectural issues have
   evolved over many years of discussion of related work within the
   MANET WG.  There are obviously many people that have contributed to
   past discussions and related draft documents within the WG that have
   influenced the development of these concepts that deserve
   acknowledgment.  The authors would like to thank all contributors to
   the MANET and AUTOCONF WG efforts and those that have helped in the
   review and content process.

      While not entirely complete the authors would like to in
      particular thank the following individuals for there discussions
      and contributions:

      Fred Templin

      Christopher Dearlove

      Charles Perkins

      Justin Dean

      Subhranshu Singh

      Thomas Henderson

      Emmanuel Baccelli

      Dave Thaler

      Jari Akko

      Thomas Nartan

   The RFC text was produced using Marshall Rose's xml2rfc tool.

10.  Informative References

   [FL01]     Freebersyser, J. and B. Leiner, "A DoD perspective on
              mobile ad hoc networks", Addison Wesley C. E. Perkin, Ed.,
              2001, pp. 29--51, July 2001.

              Macker, J., "Simplified Multicast Forwarding for MANET",
              draft-ietf-manet-smf-02 (work in progress), March 2006.


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              Templin, F., "MANET Autoconfiguration using DHCP",
              draft-templin-autoconf-dhcp-01 (work in progress),
              June 2006.

              Thaler, D., "Multi-Subnet MANETs",
              draft-thaler-autoconf-multisubnet-manets-00 (work in
              progress), February 2006.

   [RFC1812]  Baker, F., "Requirements for IP Version 4 Routers",
              RFC 1812, June 1995.

   [RFC2328]  Moy, J., "OSPF Version 2", STD 54, RFC 2328, April 1998.

   [RFC2453]  Malkin, G., "RIP Version 2", STD 56, RFC 2453,
              November 1998.

   [RFC2460]  Deering, S. and R. Hinden, "Internet Protocol, Version 6
              (IPv6) Specification", RFC 2460, December 1998.

   [RFC2501]  Corson, M. and J. Macker, "Mobile Ad hoc Networking
              (MANET): Routing Protocol Performance Issues and
              Evaluation Considerations", RFC 2501, January 1999.

   [RFC3513]  Hinden, R. and S. Deering, "Internet Protocol Version 6
              (IPv6) Addressing Architecture", RFC 3513, April 2003.

   [RFC3753]  Manner, J. and M. Kojo, "Mobility Related Terminology",
              RFC 3753, June 2004.

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Authors' Addresses

   Ian Chakeres
   The Boeing Company
   P.O. Box 3707 Mailcode 7L-49
   Seattle, WA  98124-2207

   Email: ian.chakeres@gmail.com

   Joe Macker
   Naval Research Laboratory
   Washington, DC  20375

   Email: macker@itd.nrl.navy.mil

   Thomas Heide Clausen
   LIX, Ecole Polytechnique
   91128 Palaiseau CEDEX

   Email: T.Clausen@computer.org
   URI:   http://www.lix.polytechnique.fr/Labo/Thomas.Clausen/

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Intellectual Property Statement

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