Next Steps in Signaling                                   H. Schulzrinne
Internet-Draft                                               Columbia U.
Expires: November 28, 2004                                    R. Hancock
                                                            May 30, 2004

       GIMPS:  General Internet Messaging Protocol for Signaling

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).  All Rights Reserved.


   This document specifies protocol stacks for the routing and transport
   of per-flow signaling messages along the path taken by that flow
   through the network.  The design uses existing transport and security
   protocols under a common messaging layer, the General Internet
   Messaging Protocol for Signaling (GIMPS), which provides a universal
   service for diverse signaling applications.  GIMPS does not handle
   signaling application state itself, but manages its own internal
   state and the configuration of the underlying transport and security

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   protocols to enable the transfer of messages in both directions along
   the flow path.  The combination of GIMPS and the lower layer
   protocols provides a solution for the base protocol component of the
   "Next Steps in Signaling" framework.

Table of Contents

   1.   Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     1.1  Restrictions on Scope  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   2.   Requirements Notation and Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   3.   Design Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     3.1  Overall Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     3.2  Design Attributes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     3.3  Example of Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   4.   GIMPS Processing Overview  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
     4.1  GIMPS State  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
     4.2  Basic Message Processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
     4.3  Routing State and Messaging Association Maintenance  . . .  21
   5.   Message Formats and Encapsulations . . . . . . . . . . . . .  25
     5.1  GIMPS Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  25
     5.2  Information Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  26
     5.3  Encapsulation in Datagram Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  29
     5.4  Encapsulation in Connection Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . .  29
   6.   Advanced Protocol Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  32
     6.1  Route Changes and Local Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  32
     6.2  Policy-Based Forwarding and Flow Wildcarding . . . . . . .  38
     6.3  NAT Traversal  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  38
     6.4  Interaction with IP Tunnelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  40
     6.5  IPv4-IPv6 Transition and Interworking  . . . . . . . . . .  40
     6.6  Messaging Association Protocol Negotiation . . . . . . . .  42
   7.   Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  44
     7.1  Message Confidentiality and Integrity  . . . . . . . . . .  44
     7.2  Peer Node Authentication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  45
     7.3  Routing State Integrity  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  45
     7.4  Denial of Service Prevention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  47
   8.   Open Issues  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  49
     8.1  Protocol Naming  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  49
     8.2  General IP Layer Issues  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  49
     8.3  Encapsulation and Addressing for Datagram Mode . . . . . .  50
     8.4  Intermediate Node Bypass and Router Alert Values . . . . .  51
     8.5  Messaging Association Flexibility  . . . . . . . . . . . .  52
     8.6  Messaging Association Setup Message Sequences  . . . . . .  53
     8.7  GIMPS Support for Message Scoping  . . . . . . . . . . . .  54
     8.8  Additional Discovery Mechanisms  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  54
     8.9  Alternative Message Routing Requirements . . . . . . . . .  55
     8.10   Congestion Control in Datagram Mode  . . . . . . . . . .  56
     8.11   Message Format Issues  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  56
     8.12   Protocol Design Details  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  57

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   9.   Change History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  58
     9.1  Changes In Version -02 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  58
     9.2  Changes In Version -01 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  59
   10.  References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  61
   10.1   Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  61
   10.2   Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  61
        Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  63
   A.   Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  64
   B.   Example Message Routing State Table  . . . . . . . . . . . .  65
   C.   Bit-Level Formats  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  66
     C.1  General NSIS Formatting Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . .  66
     C.2  The GIMPS Common Header  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  67
     C.3  GIMPS TLV Objects  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  67
   D.   API between GIMPS and NSLP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  71
     D.1  SendMessage  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  71
     D.2  RecvMessage  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  72
     D.3  MessageReceived  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  73
     D.4  MessageDeliveryError . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  73
     D.5  NetworkNotification  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  74
     D.6  SecurityProtocolAttributesRequest  . . . . . . . . . . . .  74
     D.7  SetStateLifetime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  74
        Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . .  76

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1.  Introduction

   Signaling involves the manipulation of state held in network
   elements.  'Manipulation' could mean setting up, modifying and
   tearing down state; or it could simply mean the monitoring of state
   which is managed by other mechanisms.

   This specification concentrates specifically on the case of
   "path-coupled" signaling, which involves network elements which are
   located on the path taken by a particular data flow, possibly
   including but not limited to the flow endpoints.  Indeed, there are
   almost always more than two participants in a path-coupled-signaling
   session, although there is no need for every router on the path to
   participate.  Path-coupled signaling thus excludes end-to-end
   higher-layer application signaling (except as a degenerate case) such
   as ISUP (telephony signaling for Signaling System #7) messages being
   transported by SCTP between two nodes.

   In the context of path-coupled signaling, examples of state
   management include network resource allocation (for "resource
   reservation"), firewall configuration, and state used in active
   networking; examples of state monitoring are the discovery of
   instantaneous path properties (such as available bandwidth, or
   cumulative queuing delay).  Each of these different uses of
   path-coupled signaling is referred to as a signaling application.

   Every signaling application requires a set of state management rules,
   as well as protocol support to exchange messages along the data path.
   Several aspects of this support are common to all or a large number
   of applications, and hence should be developed as a common protocol.
   The framework given in [22] provides a rationale for a function split
   between the common and application specific protocols, and gives
   outline requirements for the former, the 'NSIS Transport Layer
   Protocol' (NTLP).

   This specification provides a concrete solution for the NTLP.  It is
   based on the use of existing transport and security protocols under a
   common messaging layer, the General Internet Messaging Protocol for
   Signaling (GIMPS).  Different signaling applications may make use of
   different services provided by GIMPS, but GIMPS does not handle
   signaling application state itself; in that crucial respect, it
   differs from application signaling protocols such as the control
   component of FTP, SIP and RTSP.  Instead, GIMPS manages its own
   internal state and the configuration of the underlying transport and
   security protocols to ensure the transfer of signaling messages on
   behalf of signaling applications in both directions along the flow

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1.1  Restrictions on Scope

   This section briefly lists some important restrictions on GIMPS
   applicability and functionality.  In some cases, these are implicit
   consequences of the functionality splits developed in the framework;
   in others, they are restrictions on the types of scenario in which
   GIMPS can operate correctly.

   Flow splitting: In some cases, e.g.  where packet-level load sharing
      has been implemented, the path taken by a single flow in the
      network may not be well defined.  If this is the case, GIMPS
      cannot route signaling meaningfully.  (In some circumstances,
      GIMPS can detect this condition, but this cannot be guaranteed.)

   Multicast: GIMPS does not handle multicast flows.  This includes
      'classical' IP multicast and any of the 'small group multicast'
      schemes recently proposed.

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2.  Requirements Notation and Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [2].

   The terminology used in this specification is fully defined in this
   section.  The basic entities relevant at the GIMPS level are shown in
   Figure 1.

                          GIMPS (adjacent) peer nodes
                           IP addresses = Signaling
   IP address            Source/Destination Addresses         IP address
   = Flow             (depending on signaling direction)      = Flow
   Source                   |                   |             Destination
   Address                  |                   |             Address
                            V                   V
   +--------+  Data     +------+             +------+         +--------+
   |  Flow  |-----------|------|-------------|------|-------->|  Flow  |
   | Sender |  Flow     |      |             |      |         |Receiver|
   +--------+           |GIMPS |============>|GIMPS |         +--------+
                        | Node |<============| Node |
                        +------+  Signaling  +------+
                          GN1       Flow       GN2

                  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>  =  Downstream direction
                  <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<  =  Upstream direction

                      Figure 1: Basic Terminology

   [Data] Flow: A set of packets identified by some fixed combination of
      header fields.  Flows are unidirectional (a bidirectional
      communication is considered a pair of unidirectional flows).

   Session: A single application layer flow of information for which
      some network control state information is to be manipulated or
      monitored.  IP mobility may cause the mapping between sessions and
      flows to change, and IP multihoming may mean there is more than
      one flow for a given session.

   [Flow] Sender: The node in the network which is the source of the
      packets in a flow.  Could be a host or a router (if the flow is
      actually an aggregate).

   [Flow] Receiver: The node in the network which is the sink for the
      packets in a flow.

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   Downstream: In the same direction as the data flow.

   Upstream: In the opposite direction to the data flow.

   GIMPS Node: Any node along the data path supporting GIMPS (regardless
      of what signaling applications it supports).

   Adjacent peer: The next GIMPS node along the data path, in the
      upstream or downstream direction.  Whether two nodes are adjacent
      is determined implicitly by the GIMPS peer discovery mechanisms;
      it is possible for adjacencies to 'skip over' intermediate GIMPS
      nodes if they have no interest in the signaling messages being

   Datagram mode: A mode of sending GIMPS messages between nodes without
      using any transport layer state or security protection.  Upstream
      messages are sent UDP encapsulated directly to the signaling
      destination; downstream messages are sent towards the flow
      receiver with a router alert option.

   Connection mode: A mode of sending GIMPS messages directly between
      nodes using point to point "messaging associations" (see below),
      i.e.  transport protocols and security associations.

   Messaging association: A single connection between two explicitly
      identified GIMPS adjacent peers, i.e.  between a given signaling
      source and destination address.  A messaging association uses a
      specific transport protocol and known ports, and may be run over
      specific network layer security associations, or use a transport
      layer security association internally.  A messaging association is

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3.  Design Methodology

3.1  Overall Approach

   The generic requirements identified in [22] for transport of
   path-coupled signaling messages are essentially two-fold:

   "Routing": Determine how to reach the adjacent signaling node along
      the data path (the GIMPS peer);

   "Transport": Deliver the signaling information to that peer.

   To meet the routing requirement, for downstream signaling the node
   can either use local state information (e.g.  gathered during
   previous signaling exchanges) to determine the identity of the GIMPS
   peer explicitly, or it can just send the signaling towards the flow
   destination address and rely on the peer to intercept it.  For
   upstream signaling, only the first technique is possible.

   Once the routing decision has been made, the node has to select a
   mechanism for transport of the message to the peer.  GIMPS divides
   the transport problems into two categories, the easy and the
   difficult ones.  It handles the easy cases within GIMPS itself,
   avoiding complexity and latency, while drawing on the services of
   well-understood reliable transport protocols for the harder cases.
   Here, with details discussed later, "easy" messages are those that
   are sized well below the lowest MTU along a path, are infrequent
   enough not to cause concerns about congestion and flow control, and
   do not need transport or network-layer security protection.

   However, in many cases, signaling information needs to be delivered
   between GIMPS peers with additional transport or security properties.
   For example, signaling applications could implement their own
   reliability mechanism, but experience with RSVP has shown [14] that
   relying solely on soft-state refreshes may yield unsatisfactory
   performance if signaling messages are lost even occasionally.  The
   provision of this type of reliability is therefore also the
   responsibility of the underlying transport protocols.

   In [22] all of these routing and transport requirements are assigned
   to a single notional protocol, the 'NSIS Transport Layer Protocol'
   (NTLP).  The strategy of splitting the transport problem leads to a
   layered structure for the NTLP, as a specialised GIMPS 'messaging'
   layer running over standard transport and security protocols, as
   shown in Figure 2.

   GIMPS offers two modes of transport operation:

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   Datagram mode: for small, infrequent messages with modest delay
      constraints; and

   Connection mode: for larger data objects or where fast setup in the
      face of packet loss is desirable, or where channel security is

          ^^                       +-------------+
          ||                       |  Signaling  |
          ||          +------------|Application 2|
          ||          |  Signaling +-------------+
         NSIS         |Application 1|         |
       Signaling      +-------------+         |
      Application         |   +-------------+ |
         Level            |   |  Signaling  | |
          ||              |   |Application 3| |
          ||              |   +-------------+ |
          VV              |          |        |
          ^^        +------------------------------------------------+
          ||        |+-----------------------+      +--------------+ |
          ||        ||         GIMPS         |      |    GIMPS     | |
          ||        ||     Encapsulation     |      |Internal State| |
          ||        ||                       |<<<>>>| Maintenance  | |
          ||        |+-----------------------+      +--------------+ |
          ||        |GIMPS: Messaging Layer                          |
          ||        +------------------------------------------------+
         NSIS               |       |       |       |
       Transport          .............................
         Level            . Transport Layer Security  .
       ("NTLP")           .............................
          ||                |       |       |       |
          ||              +----+  +----+  +----+  +----+
          ||              |UDP |  |TCP |  |SCTP|  |DCCP|....
          ||              +----+  +----+  +----+  +----+
          ||                |       |       |       |
          ||              .............................
          ||              .     IP Layer Security     .
          ||              .............................
          VV                |       |       |       |
                            |       |       |       |
                    |                      IP                      |

           Figure 2: Protocol Stacks for Signaling Transport

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   The datagram mode uses an unreliable unsecured datagram transport
   mechanism, with UDP as the initial choice.  The connection mode can
   use any stream or message-oriented transport protocol.  It may employ
   specific network layer security associations (e.g.  IPsec), or an
   internal transport layer security association (e.g.  TLS).

   It is possible to mix these two modes along a chain of nodes, without
   coordination or manual configuration.  This allows, for example, the
   use of datagram mode at the edges of the network and connection mode
   in the core of the network.  Such combinations may make operation
   more efficient for mobile endpoints, while allowing multiplexing of
   signaling messages across shared security associations and transport
   connections between core routers.

   It must be understood that the routing and transport decisions made
   by GIMPS are not totally independent.  If the message transfer has
   requirements that enforce the use of connection mode (e.g.  because
   fragmentation is required), this can only be used between explicitly
   identified nodes.  In such cases, the GIMPS node must carry out
   signaling in datagram mode to identify the peer and then set up the
   necessary transport connection.  The datagram mode option of sending
   the message in the direction of the flow receiver and relying on
   interception is not available.

   In general, the state associated with connection mode messaging to a
   particular peer (signaling destination address, protocol and port
   numbers, internal protocol configuration and state information) is
   referred to as a "messaging association".  There may be any number of
   messaging associations between two GIMPS peers (although the usual
   case is 0 or 1), and they are set up and torn down by management
   actions within GIMPS itself.

3.2  Design Attributes

   Soft state: All parts of GIMPS state are subject to time-out
      ("soft-state").  'State' here includes the messaging associations
      managed by GIMPS.

   Application-neutral: GIMPS is designed to support the largest range
      of signaling applications.  While a number of such applications
      have been identified, it appears likely that new ones will emerge.

   Mobility support: End systems can change their network attachment
      point and network address during a session.  GIMPS minimises the
      use of IP addresses as identifiers for non-topological information
      (e.g.  authentication state).

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   Efficient: Signaling often occurs before an application such as an IP
      telephone conversation can commence, so that any signaling delay
      becomes noticeable to the application.  Signaling delays are
      incurred by the delay in finding signaling nodes along the path
      (peer discovery), in retransmitting lost signaling messages and in
      setting up security associations between nodes, among other
      factors.  GIMPS attempts to minimise these delays by several
      mechanisms, such as the use of high performance transport
      protocols to circumvent message loss, and the re-use of messaging
      associations to avoid setup latency.  If explicit discovery is
      needed it is a lightweight process which only probes local
      topology, and GIMPS also allows it to be bypassed completely for
      downstream datagram mode messages.

   IP version neutral: GIMPS supports both IPv4 and IPv6: it can use
      either for transport, largely as a result of their support in the
      underlying transport protocols, and can signal for either type of
      flow.  In addition, GIMPS is able to operate on dual-stack nodes
      (to bridge between v4 and v6 regions) and also to operate across
      v4/v6 boundaries and other addressing boundaries.  Specific
      transition issues are considered in Section 6.5.

   Transport neutral: GIMPS can operate over any message or
      stream-oriented transport layer, including UDP, DCCP, TCP and
      SCTP.  Messages sent over protocols that do not offer a native
      fragmentation service, such as UDP or DCCP, are strictly limited
      in size to avoid loss-amplification; in the case of UDP, they must
      also be limited in rate to avoid network congestion.

   Proxy support: The end systems in a session may not be capable of
      handling either the signaling transport or the application and may
      instead rely on proxies to initiate and terminate signaling
      sessions.  Proxy support is limited to nodes that are actually on
      the data path (for example, access routers for stub networks);
      signaling from a 3rd party node not associated with the data path
      is not considered.  GIMPS decouples the operation of the messaging
      functions from the flow source and destination addresses, treating
      these primarily as data.

   Scaleable: As will be discussed in Section 4.3, up to one messaging
      association is generally kept for each adjacent GIMPS peer and
      thus association state scales better than the number of sessions.
      (Many peers may not have association state at all, if there are no
      messages for sessions visiting those nodes that warrant such
      treatment.) Messaging associations are managed based on policy at
      each node, depending on trade-offs between fast peer-to-peer
      communication and state overhead.  Messaging association state can
      be removed immediately after the last signaling session to a

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      particular next-hop is removed, after some delay to wait for new
      sessions, or only if resource demands warrant it.

3.3  Example of Operation

   This section presents an example of GIMPS usage in a relatively
   simple (in particular, NAT-free) signaling scenario, to illustrate
   its main features.

   Consider the case of an RSVP-like signaling application which
   allocates resources for a flow from sender to receiver; we will
   consider how GIMPS transfers messages between two adjacent peers
   along the path, GN1 and GN2 (see Figure 1).  In this example, the
   end-to-end exchange is initiated by the signaling application
   instance in the sender; we take up the story at the point where the
   first message is being processed (above the GIMPS layer) by the
   signaling application in GN1.

   1.  The signaling application in GN1 determines that this message is
       a simple description of resources that would be appropriate for
       the flow.  It determines that it has no special security or
       transport requirements for the message, but simply that it should
       be transferred to the next downstream signaling application peer
       on the path that the flow will take.

   2.  The message payload is passed to the GIMPS layer in GN1, along
       with a definition of the flow and description of the transfer
       requirements {downstream, unsecured, unreliable}.  GIMPS
       determines that this particular message does not require
       fragmentation and that it has no knowledge of the next peer for
       this flow and signaling application; however, it also determines
       that this application is likely to require secured upstream and
       downstream transport of large messages in the future.  This
       determination is a function of node-local policy, and some
       options for how it may be communicated between NSLP and GIMPS
       implementations within a node are indicated in Appendix D.

   3.  GN1 therefore constructs a UDP datagram with the signaling
       application payload, and additional payloads at the GIMPS level
       to be used to initiate the possible setup of a messaging
       association.  This datagram is injected into the network,
       addressed towards the flow destination and with a Router Alert
       Option included.

   4.  This D-mode message passes through the network towards the flow
       receiver, and is seen by each router in turn.  GIMPS-unaware
       routers will not recognise the RAO value and will forward the

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       message unchanged; GIMPS-aware routers which do not support the
       signaling application in question will also forward the message
       unchanged, although they may need to process more of the message
       to decide this.

   5.  The message is finally intercepted at GN2.  The GIMPS layer
       identifies that the message is relevant to a local signaling
       application, and passes the signaling application payload and
       flow description to upwards to it.  From there, the signaling
       application in GN2 can continue to process this message as in GN1
       (compare step 1), and this will eventually result in the message
       reaching the flow receiver.

   6.  In parallel, the GIMPS instance in GN2 recognises that GN1 is
       attempting to discover GN2 in order to set up a messaging
       association for future signaling for the flow.  There are two
       possible cases:

       A.  GN1 and GN2 already have an appropriate association.  GN2
           simply records the identity of GN1 as its upstream peer for
           that flow and signaling application, and sends a GIMPS
           message back to GN1 over the association identifying itself
           as the peer for this flow.

       B.  No messaging association exists.  Again, GN2 records the
           identity of GN1 as before, but sends an upstream D-mode
           message to GN1, identifying itself and agreeing to the
           association setup.  The protocol exchanges needed to complete
           this will proceed in the background, controlled by GN1.

   7.  Eventually, another signaling application message works its way
       upstream from the receiver to GN2.  This message contains a
       description of the actual resources requested, along with
       authorisation and other security information.  The signaling
       application in GN2 passes this payload to the GIMPS level, along
       with the flow definition and transfer requirements {upstream,
       secured, reliable}.

   8.  The GIMPS layer in GN2 identifies the upstream peer for this flow
       and signaling application as GN1, and determines that it has a
       messaging association with the appropriate properties.  The
       message is queued on the association for transmission (this may
       mean some delay if the negotiations begun in step 6.B have not
       yet completed).

   Further messages can be passed in each direction in the same way.
   The GIMPS layer in each node can in parallel carry out maintenance
   operations such as route change detection (this can be done by

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   sending additional GIMPS-only datagram mode messages, see Section 6.1
   for more details).

   It should be understood that many of these details of GIMPS
   operations can be varied, either by local policy or according to
   signaling application requirements, and they are also subject to
   development and refinement as the protocol design proceeds.  The
   authoritative details are contained in the remainder of this

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4.  GIMPS Processing Overview

   This section defines the basic structure and operation of GIMPS.  It
   is divided into three parts.  Section 4.1 gives an overview of the
   per-flow and per-peer state that GIMPS maintains for the purpose of
   transferring messages.  Section 4.2 describes how messages are
   processed in the case where any necessary messaging associations and
   associated routing state already exist; this includes the simple
   scenario of pure datagram mode operation, where no messaging
   associations are necessary in the first place (equivalent to the
   transport functionality of base RSVP as defined in [9]).  Section 4.3
   describes how routing state is maintained and how messaging
   associations are initiated and terminated.

4.1  GIMPS State

4.1.1  Message Routing State

   For each flow, the GIMPS layer can maintain message routing state to
   manage the processing of outgoing messages.  This state is
   conceptually organised into a table with the following structure.

   The primary key (index) for the table is the combination of the
   information about how the message is to be routed, the session being
   signalled for, and the signaling application itself:

   Message Routing Information (MRI): This defines the method to be used
      to route the message, and any associated addressing information.
      In the simplest case, the message routing method is to follow the
      path that is being taken by the data flow, and the associated
      addressing is the flow header N-tuple (i.e.  the Flow-Identifier
      of [22]).

   Session Identification (SID): This is a cryptographically random and
      (probabilistically) globally unique identifier of the application
      layer session that is using the flow.  For a given flow, different
      signaling applications may or may not use the same session
      identifier.  Often there will only be one flow for a given
      session, but in mobility/multihoming scenarios there may be more
      than one and they may be differently routed.

   Signaling Application Identification (NSLPID): This is an IANA
      assigned identifier of the signaling application which is
      generating messages for this flow.  The inclusion of this
      identifier allows the routing state to be different for different
      signaling applications (e.g.  because of different adjacencies).

   The state information for a given key is as follows:

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   Upstream peer: the adjacent GIMPS peer closer to the flow source.
      This could be an IP address (learned from previous signaling) or a
      pointer to a messaging association.  It could also be null, if
      this node is the flow sender or this node is not storing reverse
      routing state, or a special value to indicate that this node is
      the last upstream node (but not the sender).

   Downstream peer: the adjacent GIMPS peer closer to the flow
      destination.  This could be a pointer to a messaging association,
      or it could be null, if this node is the flow receiver or this
      node is only sending downstream datagram mode messages for this
      flow and signaling application, or a special value to indicate
      that this node is the last downstream node (but not the receiver).

   Note that both the upstream and downstream peer state may be null,
   and that the session identifier information is not actually required
   for message processing; in that case, no state information at all
   needs to be stored in the table.  Both items of peer identification
   state have associated timers for how long the identification can be
   considered accurate; when these timers expire, the peer
   identification (IP address or messaging association pointer) is
   purged if it has not been refreshed.  An example of a routing state
   table for a simple scenario is given in Appendix B.

   Note also that the information is described as a table of flows, but
   that there is no implied constraint on how the information is stored.
   For example, in a network using pure destination address routing
   (without load sharing or any form of policy-based forwarding), the
   downstream peer information might be possible to store in an
   aggregated form in the same manner as the IP forwarding table.  In
   addition, many of the per-flow entries may point to the same per-peer
   state (e.g.  the same messaging association) if the flows go through
   the same adjacent peer.  However, in general, and especially if GIMPS
   peers are several IP hops away, there is no way to identify the
   correct downstream peer for a flow and signaling application from the
   local forwarding table using prefix matching, and the same applies
   always to upstream peer state because of the possibility of
   asymmetric routing.  Per-flow routing state has to be stored, just as
   for RSVP [9].

4.1.2  Messaging Association State

   The per-flow message routing state is not the only state stored by
   GIMPS.  There is also the state required to manage the messaging
   associations.  Since we assume that these associations are typically
   per-peer rather than per-flow, they are stored in a separate table,
   including the following information:

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   o  messages pending transmission while an association is being

   o  an inactivity timer for how long the association has been idle.

   In addition, per-association state is held in the messaging
   association protocols themselves.  However, the details of this state
   are not directly visible to GIMPS, and they do not affect the rest of
   the protocol description.

4.2  Basic Message Processing

   This section describes how signaling application messages are
   processed in the simple case where any necessary messaging
   associations and routing state are already in place.  The description
   is divided into several parts.  Firstly, message reception, local
   processing and message transmission are described for the case where
   the node handles the NSLPID in the message.  Secondly, the case where
   the message is forwarded directly in the IP or GIMPS layer (because
   there is no matching signaling application on the node) is given.  An
   overview is given in Figure 3.

       |        >>  Signaling Application Processing   >>        |
       |                                                         |
                ^                                       V
                ^             NSLP Payloads             V
                ^                                       V
       |                    >>    GIMPS   >>                     |
       |  ^           ^  ^     Processing      V  V           V  |
          x           u  d                     d  u           x
          x           u  d>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>d  u           x
          x           u  d      Bypass at      d  u           x
       +--x-----+  +--u--d--+  GIMPS level  +--d--u--+  +-----x--+
       | C-mode |  | D-mode |               | D-mode |  | C-mode |
       |Handling|  |Handling|               |Handling|  |Handling|
       +--x-----+  +--u--d--+               +--d--u--+  +-----x--+
          x          u   d                     d   u          x
          x    uuuuuu    d>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>d    uuuuuu    x
          x   u          d      Bypass at      d          u   x
       +--x--u--+  +-----d--+    router     +--d-----+  +--u--x--+
       |IP Host |  |  RAO   |  alert level  |  RAO   |  |IP Host |
       |Handling|  |Handling|               |Handling|  |Handling|
       +--x--u--+  +-----d--+               +--d-----+  +--u--x--+
          x  u           d                     d           u  x

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       +--x--u-----------d--+               +--d-----------u--x--+
       |      IP Layer      |               |      IP Layer      |
       |   (Receive Side)   |               |  (Transmit Side)   |
       +--x--u-----------d--+               +--d-----------u--x--+
          x  u           d                     d           u  x
          x  u           d                     d           u  x
          x  u           d                     d           u  x

            uuuuuuuuuuuuuu = upstream datagram mode messages
            dddddddddddddd = downstream datagram mode messages
            xxxxxxxxxxxxxx = connection mode messages
                       RAO = Router Alert Option

              Figure 3: Message Paths through a GIMPS Node

   Note that the same messages are used for maintaining internal GIMPS
   state and carrying signaling application payloads.  The state
   maintenance takes place as a result of processing specific GIMPS
   payloads in these messages.  The processing of these payloads is the
   subject of Section 4.3.

4.2.1  Message Reception

   Messages can be received in connection or datagram mode, and from
   upstream or downstream peers.

   Reception in connection mode is simple: incoming packets undergo the
   security and transport treatment associated with the messaging
   association, and the messaging association provides complete messages
   to the GIMPS layer for further processing.  Unless the message is
   protected by a query/response cookie exchange (see Section 4.3, the
   routing state table is checked to ensure that this messaging
   association is associated with the MRI/SID/NSLPID combination.

   Reception in datagram mode depends on the message direction.
   Upstream messages (from a downstream peer) will arrive UDP
   encapsulated and addressed directly to the receiving signaling node.
   Each datagram contains a single complete message which is passed to
   the GIMPS layer for further processing, just as in the connection
   mode case.

   Downstream datagram mode messages are UDP encapsulated with an IP
   router alert option to cause interception.  The signaling node will
   therefore 'see' all such messages.  The case where the NSLPID does
   not match a local signaling application is considered below in
   Section 4.2.4; otherwise, it is passed up to the GIMPS layer for
   further processing as in the other cases.

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4.2.2  Local Processing

   Once a message has been received, by any method, it is processed
   locally within the GIMPS layer.  The GIMPS processing to be done
   depends on the payloads carried; most of the GIMPS-internal payloads
   are associated with state maintenance and are covered in Section 4.3.

   One GIMPS-internal payload which is carried in each message and
   requires processing is the GIMPS hop count.  This is decremented on
   input processing, and checked to be greater than zero on output
   processing.  The primary purpose of the GIMPS hop count is to prevent
   message looping.

   The remainder of the GIMPS message consists of an NSLP payload.  This
   is delivered locally to the signaling application identified at the
   GIMPS level; the format of the NSLP payload is not constrained by
   GIMPS, and the content is not interpreted.

   Signaling applications can generate their messages for transmission,
   either asynchronously, or in response to an input message, and GIMPS
   can also generate messages autonomously.  Regardless of the source,
   outgoing messages are passed downwards for message transmission.

4.2.3  Message Transmission

   When a message is available for transmission, GIMPS uses internal
   policy and the stored routing state to determine how to handle it.
   The following processing applies equally to locally generated
   messages and messages forwarded from within the GIMPS or signaling
   application levels.

   The main decision is whether the message must be sent in connection
   mode or datagram mode.  Reasons for using the former could be:

   o  NSLP requirements: for example, the signaling application has
      requested channel secured delivery, or reliable delivery;

   o  protocol specification: for example, this document could specify
      that a message that requires fragmentation MUST be sent over a
      messaging association;

   o  local GIMPS policy: for example, a node may prefer to send
      messages over a messaging association to benefit from congestion

   In principle, as well as determining that some messaging association
   must be used, GIMPS could select between a set of alternatives, e.g.
   for load sharing or because different messaging associations provide

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   different transport or security attributes (see Section 8.5 for
   further discussion).

   If the use of a messaging association is selected, the message is
   queued on the association (found from the upstream or downstream peer
   state table), and further output processing is carried out according
   to the details of the protocol stack used for the association.  If no
   appropriate association exists, the message is queued while one is
   created (see Section 4.3).  If no association can be created, this is
   again an error condition, and should be indicated back to the NSLP.

   If a messaging association is not required, the message is sent in
   datagram mode.  The processing in this case depends on whether the
   message is directed upstream or downstream.

   o  If the upstream peer IP address is available from the per-flow
      routing table, the message is UDP encapsulated and sent directly
      to that address.  Otherwise, the message cannot be forwarded (i.e.
      this is again an error condition).

   o  In the downstream direction, messages can always be sent.  They
      are simply UDP encapsulated and IP addressed using information
      from the MRI, with the appropriate router alert option.

4.2.4  Bypass Forwarding

   A GIMPS node may have to handle messages for which it has no
   signaling application corresponding to the message NSLPID.  There are
   several possible cases depending mainly on the RAO setting (see
   Section 8.4 for more details):

   A downstream datagram mode message contains an RAO value associated
   with NSIS, and the IP layer is unable to determine whether to forward

   A downstream datagram mode message contains an RAO value which is
   relevant to the node, but the signaling application for the actual
   NSLPID is not processed.

   A message is delivered directly (e.g.  in C-mode) to the node for
   which there is no corresponding signaling application.  (According to
   the rules of the current specification, this should never happen.
   However, future versions might find a use for such a feature.)

   In all cases, the role of GIMPS is to forward the message essentially
   unchanged.  However, a GIMPS implementation must ensure that the IP
   TTL field and GIMPS hop count are managed correctly to prevent

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   message looping, and this should be done consistently independently
   of whether the processing (e.g.  for case (1)) takes place on the
   fast path or in GIMPS-specific code.  The rules are that in cases (1)
   and (2), the IP TTL is decremented just as if the message was a
   normal IP forwarded packet; in cases (2) and (3) the GIMPS hop count
   is decremented as in the case of normal input processing.

4.3  Routing State and Messaging Association Maintenance

   The main responsibility of the GIMPS layer is to manage the routing
   state and messaging associations which are used in the basic message
   processing described above.  Routing state is installed and
   maintained by datagram mode messages containing specific GIMPS
   payloads.  Messaging associations are dependent on the existence of
   routing state, but are actually set up by the normal procedures of
   the transport and security protocols that comprise the messaging
   association.  Timers control routing state and messaging association
   refresh and expiration.

   The complete sequence of possible messages for state setup between
   adjacent peers is shown in Figure 4 and described in detail in the
   following text.

   The initial message in any routing state maintenance operation is a
   downstream datagram mode message, sent from the querying node and
   intercepted at the responding node.  This is encapsulated and
   addressed just as in the normal case; in particular, it has
   addressing and other identifiers appropriate for the flow and
   signaling application that state maintenance is being done for, and
   it is allowed to contain an NSLP payload.  Processing at the querying
   and responding nodes is also essentially the same.  However, the
   querying node includes additional payloads: its own address
   information, a proposal for possible messaging association protocol
   stacks, and optionally 'Discover-Query' information, including a
   Response Request flag and a Query Cookie.  This message is informally
   referred to as a 'GIMPS-query'.  The role of the cookies in this and
   subsequent messages is to protect against certain denial of service

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           +----------+              +----------+
           | Querying |              |Responding|
           |   Node   |              |   Node   |
           +----------+              +----------+

                Router Alert Option
                MRI/SID/NSLPID           ...........
                Q-Node Addressing        . Routing .
                [Stack Proposal]         .  state  .  ^
                [Query Cookie]           .installed.  |     Existing
                [Response Request]       .   at    .  |    messaging
                [NSLP Payload]           .R-node(1).  |   associations
                                         ...........  |   can be used
                    GIMPS-response                    |    from here
   ...........  <----------------------               |     onwards
   . Routing .  MRI/SID/NSLPID                        |
   .  state  .  Query cookie                          |
   .installed.  R-Node Addressing                     | ^
   .   at    .            (D Mode only)               | |
   . Q-node  .  [Stack Proposal]                      | |
   ...........  [Responder Cookie]                    | |
                [Response Request]                    | |     New
                [NSLP Payload]                        | |  messaging
                                                      | | associations
                    Final handshake                   | |  can be set
                ---------------------->               | | up from here
                MRI/SID/NSLPID           ...........  | |   onwards
                Responder Cookie         . Routing .  | |
                Q-Node Addressing        .  state  .  | |
                         (D Mode only)   .installed.  | |
                [NSLP Payload]           .   at    .  | |
                                         .R-node(2).  | |
                                         ...........  | |

               Figure 4: Message Sequence at State Setup

   In the responding node, the GIMPS level processing of the
   Discover-Query information triggers the generation of a
   'GIMPS-response' message.  This is also a normally encapsulated and
   addressed message with particular payloads, this time in the upstream
   direction.  Again, it can contain an NSLP payload (possibly a
   response to the NSLP payload in the initial message).  It includes
   its own addressing information, a counter-proposal for messaging
   association protocol stacks, and the Query Cookie, and optionally
   'Discover-Response' information, including another Response Request
   flag and a Responder Cookie.  Note that if a messaging association

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   already exists towards the querying node, this can be used to deliver
   the GIMPS-response message; otherwise, datagram mode is used.

   The querying node installs the responder address as downstream peer
   state information after verifying the Query Cookie in the
   GIMPS-response.  The responding node can install the querying address
   as upstream peer state information at two points in time:

   1.  after the receipt of the initial GIMPS-query, or

   2.  after a third message in the downstream direction containing the
       Responder Cookie.

   The detailed constraints on precisely when state information is
   installed are driven by local policy driven by security
   considerations on prevention of denial-of-service attacks and state
   poisoning attacks, which are discussed further in Section 7.

   Setup of messaging associations begins when both downstream peer
   addressing information is available and a new messaging association
   is actually needed.  (In many cases, the GIMPS-response message above
   will identify a downstream peer for whom an appropriate messaging
   association already exists, in which case no further action is
   needed.) Setup of the messaging association always starts from the
   upstream node, but it can be used equally in both directions.  The
   negotiation of what protocols to use for the messaging association is
   controlled by the Stack Proposal information exchanged, and the
   processing is outline in Section 6.6.

   Refresh and expiration of all types of state is controlled by timers.
   State in the routing table has a per-flow, per-direction timer, which
   expires after a routing state lifetime.  It is the responsibility of
   the querying node to generate a GIMPS-query message, optionally with
   a Discover-Query payload, before this timer expires, if it believes
   that the flow is still active.  Receipt of the message at the
   responding node will refresh upstream peer addressing state, and
   receipt of a GIMPS-response at the querying node will refresh any
   downstream peer addressing state if it exists.  Note that nodes do
   not control the refresh of upstream peer state themselves, they are
   dependent on the upstream peer for this.

   Messaging associations can be managed by either end.  Management
   consists of tearing down unneeded associations.  Whether an
   association is needed is a local policy decision, which could take
   into account the cost of keeping the messaging association open, the
   level of past activity on the association, and the likelihood of
   future activity (e.g.  if there are flows still in place which might
   generate messages that would use it).  Messaging associations can

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   always be set up on demand, and messaging association status is not
   made directly visible outside the GIMPS layer.  Therefore, even if
   GIMPS tears down and later re-establishes a messaging association,
   signaling applications cannot distinguish this from the case where
   the association is kept permanently open.

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5.  Message Formats and Encapsulations

5.1  GIMPS Messages

   All GIMPS messages begin with a common header, which includes a
   version number, information about message type, signaling
   application, and additional control information.  The remainder of
   the message is encoded in an RSVP-style format, i.e., as a sequence
   of type-length-value (TLV) objects.  This subsection describes the
   possible GIMPS messages and their contents at a high level; a more
   detailed description of each information element is given in Section

   The following gives the syntax of GIMPS messages in ABNF [3].

   GIMPS-message: A message is either a datagram mode message or a
   connection mode message.  GIMPS can detect which by the encapsulation
   the message arrives over.

       GIMPS-message = D-message / C-message

   D-message: A datagram mode message is either upstream or downstream
   (slightly different contents are allowed); the common header contains
   a flag to say which.

       D-message = D-upstream-message / D-downstream-message

   C-message: A connection mode message is either upstream or downstream
   (again, slightly different contents are allowed); the common header
   contains a flag to say which.  Note that upstream and downstream
   messages can be mixed on a single messaging association.

       C-message = C-upstream-message / C-downstream-message

   D-downstream-message: A downstream datagram mode message is used for
   the GIMPS-query and final handshake in the discovery procedure, and
   can also be used simply for carrying NSLP data.  Note that the
   Common-Header includes a flag to indicate whether an explicit
   response is required.

       D-downstream-message = Common-Header
                              [ Stack-Proposal ]
                              [ Query-Cookie / Responder-Cookie ]
                              [ Routing-State-Lifetime ]
                              [ NSLP-Data ]

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   D-upstream-message: An upstream datagram mode message is used for the
   GIMPS-response in the discovery procedure, and can also be used
   simply for carrying NSLP data.

       D-upstream-message   = Common-Header
                              [ Stack-Proposal ]
                              [ Query-Cookie [ Responder-Cookie ] ]
                              [ Routing-State-Lifetime ]
                              [ NSLP-Data ]

   C-downstream-message: A downstream connection mode message is used
   primarily for carrying NSLP data, but can also be used for the final
   handshake during discovery.  Connection mode messages do not carry
   node addressing, since this can be inferred from the messaging

       C-downstream-message = Common-Header
                              [ Responder-Cookie ]
                              [ Routing-State-Lifetime ]
                              [ NSLP-Data ]

   C-upstream-message: An upstream connection mode message is used
   primarily for carrying NSLP data, but can also be used for the
   GIMPS-response during discovery (which is the only case where a
   Stack-Proposal TLC can be included).

       C-upstream-message   = Common-Header
                              [ Stack-Proposal ]
                              [ Query-Cookie [ Responder-Cookie ] ]
                              [ Routing-State-Lifetime ]
                              [ NSLP-Data ]

5.2  Information Elements

   This section describes the content of the various information
   elements that can be present in each GIMPS message, both the common
   header, and the individual TLVs.  The format description in terms of
   bit patterns is provided (in an extremely preliminary form) in
   Appendix C.

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5.2.1  The Common Header

   Each message begins with a fixed format common header, which contains
   the following information:

   Version: The version number of the GIMPS protocol.

   Length: The number of TLVs following in this message.

   Signaling application identifier (NSLPID): This describes the
      specific signaling application, such as resource reservation or
      firewall control.

   GIMPS hop counter: A hop counter to prevent a message from looping

   U/D flag: A bit to indicate if this message is to propagate upstream
      or downstream relative to the flow.

   Response requested flag: A bit to indicate that this message contains
      a cookie which must be echoed in the response.

5.2.2  TLV Objects

   All data following the common header is encoded as a sequence of
   type-length-value objects.  Currently, each object can occur at most
   once; the set of required and permitted objects is determined by the
   message type and further information in the common header.

   These items are contained in each GIMPS message:

   Message-Routing-Information (MRI): Information sufficient to define
      the route that the flow will take through the network.

       Message-Routing-Information = message-routing-method

       The format of the method-specific-information depends on the
      message-routing-method requested by the signaling application.  In
      the basic path-coupled case, it is just the Flow Identifier as in
      [22].  Minimally, this could just be the flow destination address;
      however, to account for policy based forwarding and other issues a
      more complete set of header fields should be used (see Section 6.2
      and Section 6.3 for further discussion).

       Flow-Identifier = network-layer-version
                         source-address prefix-length

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                         destination-address prefix-length
                         [ flow-label ]
                         [ ipsec-SPI / L4-ports]

      Additional control information defines whether the flow-label, SPI
      and port information are present, and whether the IP-protocol and
      traffic-class fields should be interpreted as significant.

   Session-Identification (SID): The GIMPS session identifier is a long,
      cryptographically random identifier chosen by the node which
      begins the signaling exchange (the signaling application at the
      node may specify it explicitly, or leave it up to GIMPS to select
      a value).  The length is open, but 128 bits should be more than
      sufficient to make the probability of collisions orders of
      magnitude lower than other failure reasons.  The session
      identifier should be considered immutable end-to-end along the
      flow path (GIMPS never changes it, and signaling applications
      should propagate it unchanged on messages for the same session).

   The following items are optional:

   Node addressing: Minimally, this is the IP address at which the GIMPS
      node originating the message can be reached; this will be used to
      fill in peer routing state.  It may also include a logical
      interface identifier to assist in route change handling, see
      Section 6.1, and port and other information relevant to the
      messaging association protocols.  This field must be considered
      mutable to allow for NAT traversal.  The level of flexibility
      required in this field is discussed in Section 8.5.

   Stack Proposal: This field contains information about which
      combinations of transport and security protocols are proposed for
      use in messaging associations.  This field must be considered
      immutable between GIMPS peers; see Section 6.6 for further

   Query-Cookie/Responder-Cookie: A query-cookie is optional in a
      GIMPS-query message and if present must be echoed in a
      GIMPS-response; a response-cookie is optional in a GIMPS-response
      message, and if present must be echoed in the following downstream
      message.  Cookies are variable length (chosen by the cookie
      generator) and need to be designed so that a node can determine
      the validity of a cookie without keeping state.  A future version
      of this specification will include references to techniques for
      generating such cookies.

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   Routing-State-Lifetime: The lifetime of GIMPS routing state in the
      absence of refreshes, measured in seconds.  Defaults to 30

   NSLP-Data: The NSLP payload to be delivered to the signaling
      application.  GIMPS does not interpret the payload content.

5.3  Encapsulation in Datagram Mode

   Encapsulation in datagram mode is simple.  The complete set of GIMPS
   payloads for a single message is concatenated together with the
   common header, and placed in the data field of a UDP datagram.  UDP
   checksums should be enabled.  Upstream messages are directly
   addressed to the adjacent peer.  Downstream messages are addressed
   using information from the Message-Routing-Information and
   encapsulated with a Router Alert Option.  Open issues about
   alternative encapsulations, addressing possibilities, and router
   alert option value-field setting are discussed in Section 8.2,
   Section 8.3 and Section 8.4 respectively.

   The source UDP port is selected by the message sender.  A destination
   UDP port should be allocated by IANA.  Note that GIMPS may send
   messages addressed as {flow sender, flow receiver} which could make
   their way to the flow receiver even if that receiver were
   GIMPS-unaware.  This should be rejected (with an ICMP message) rather
   than delivered to the user application (which would be unable to use
   the source address to identify it as not being part of the normal
   data flow).  Therefore, a "well-known" port would seem to be

   For the case of basic path-coupled signaling where the MRI
   information is the Flow Identifier, it is vital that the D-mode
   message truly mimics the actual data flow, since this is the basis of
   how the signaling message is attached to the data path.  To this end,
   GIMPS may set the traffic class and (for IPv6) flow label to match
   the values in the Flow-Identifier if this would be needed to ensure
   correct routing.  Similar considerations may apply to other message
   routing methods if defined.

5.4  Encapsulation in Connection Mode

   Encapsulation in connection mode is more complex, because of the
   variation in available transport functionality.  This issue is
   treated in Section 5.4.1.  The actual encapsulation is given in
   Section 5.4.2.

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5.4.1  Choice of Transport Protocol

   It is a general requirement of the NTLP defined in [22] that it
   should be able to support bundling (of small messages), fragmentation
   (of large messages), and message boundary delineation.  Not all
   transport protocols natively support all these features.

   SCTP [6] satisfies all requirements.  (The bundling requirement is
      met implicitly by the use of Nagle-like algorithms inside the SCTP

   DCCP [7] is message based but does not provide bundling or
      fragmentation.  Bundling can be carried out by the GIMPS layer
      sending multiple messages in a single datagram; because the common
      header includes length information (number of TLVs), the message
      boundaries within the datagram can be discovered during parsing.
      Fragmentation of GIMPS messages over multiple datagrams should be
      avoided, because of amplification of message loss rates that this
      would cause.

   TCP provides both bundling and fragmentation, but not message
      boundaries.  However, the length information in the common header
      allows the message boundary to be discovered during parsing.

   UDP can be augmented as in the DCCP case.  (An additional reason for
      avoiding fragmentation is the lack of congestion control
      functionality in UDP.)

   It can be seen that all of these protocol options can be supported by
   the basic GIMPS message format already presented.  GIMPS messages
   requiring fragmentation must be carried using a reliable transport
   protocol, TCP or SCTP.

5.4.2  Encapsulation Format

   The GIMPS message, consisting of common header and TLVs, is carried
   directly in the transport protocol (possibly incorporating transport
   layer security protection).  Further GIMPS messages can be carried in
   a continuous stream (for TCP), or up to the next transport layer
   message boundary (for SCTP/DCCP/UDP).  This situation is shown in
   Figure 5; it applies to both upstream and downstream messages.

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      |                  L2 Header                  |
      |                  IP Header                  |   ^
      |      Source address = signaling source      |   ^
      | Destination address = signaling destination |   .
      +---------------------------------------------+   .
      |                  L4 Header                  |   . ^
      |     (Standard TCP/SCTP/DCCP/UDP header)     |   . ^
      +---------------------------------------------+   . .
      |                GIMPS Message                |   . . ^
      | (Common header and TLVs as in section 5.1)  |   . . ^  Scope of
      +---------------------------------------------+   . . .  security
      | Additional GIMPS messages, each with its    |   . . . protection
      | own common header, either as a continuous   |   . . . (depending
      |   stream, or continuing to the next L4      |   . . . on channel
      .             message boundary                .   . . .  security
      .                                             .   V V V  mechanism
      .                                             .   V V V   in use)

                Figure 5: Connection Mode Encapsulation

   Note that when GIMPS messages are carried in connection mode in this
   way, between the GIMPS peers they are treated just like any other
   traffic by intermediate routers.  Indeed, it would be impossible for
   intermediate routers to carry out any processing on the messages
   without terminating the transport and security protocols used.

   Signaling messages are only ever delivered between peers established
   in GIMPS-query/response exchanges.  Any route change is not detected
   until another GIMPS-query/response procedure takes place; in the
   meantime, signaling messages are misdelivered.  GIMPS is responsible
   for prompt detection of route changes to minimise the period during
   which this can take place.

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6.  Advanced Protocol Features

6.1  Route Changes and Local Repair

6.1.1  Introduction

   When re-routing takes place in the network, GIMPS and signaling
   application state needs to be updated for all flows whose paths have
   changed.  The updates to signaling application state are usually
   signaling application dependent: for example, if the path
   characteristics have actually changed, simply moving state from the
   old to the new path is not sufficient.  Therefore, GIMPS cannot carry
   out the complete path update processing.  Its responsibilities are to
   detect the route change, update its own routing state consistently,
   and inform interested signaling applications at affected nodes.

   Route change management is complicated by the distributed nature of
   the problem.  Consider the re-routing event shown in Figure 6.  An
   external observer can tell that the main responsibility for
   controlling the updates will probably lie with nodes A and E;
   however, D1 is best placed to detect the event quickly at the GIMPS
   level, and B1 and C1 could also attempt to initiate the repair.

   On the assumption that NSLPs are soft-state based and operate end to
   end, and because GIMPS also periodically updates its picture of
   routing state, route changes will eventually be repaired
   automatically.  However, especially if NSLP refresh times are
   extended to reduce signaling load, the duration of inconsistent state
   may be very long indeed.  Therefore, GIMPS includes logic to deliver
   prompt notifications to NSLPs, to allow NSLPs to carry out local
   repair if possible.

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               x  +--+        +--+        +--+  x      Initial
              x  .|B1|_.......|C1|_.......|D1|   x     Configuration
             x  . +--+.      .+--+.      .+--+\.  x
            x  .       .    .      .    .       .  x
    >>xxxxxx  .         .  .        .  .         .  xxxxxx>>
         +-+ .           ..          ..           . +-+
    .....|A|/            ..          ..            .|E|_....
         +-+ .          .  .        .  .          . +-+
              .        .    .      .    .        .
               .      .      .    .      .      .
                . +--+        +--+        +--+ .
                  +--+        +--+        +--+

                  +--+        +--+        +--+         Configuration
                 .|B1|........|C1|........|D1|         after failure
                . +--+       .+--+        +--+         of D1-E link
               .      \.    .     \.    ./
              .         .  .        .  .
         +-+ .           ..          ..             +-+
    .....|A|.            ..          ..            .|E|_....
         +-+\.          .  .        .  .          . +-+
    >>xxxxxx  .        .    .      .    .        .  xxxxxx>>
            x  .      .      .    .      .      .  x
             x  . +--+        +--+        +--+ .  x
              x  .|B2|_.......|C2|_.......|D2|/  x
               x  +--+        +--+        +--+  x

               ........... = physical link topology

               >>xxxxxxx>> = flow direction

               _.......... = indicates outgoing link
                             for flow xxxxxx given
                             by local forwarding table

                      Figure 6: A Re-Routing Event

6.1.2  Route Change Detection

   There are two aspects to detecting a route change at a single node:

   o  Detecting that the downstream path has (or may have) changed.

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   o  Detecting that the upstream path has (or may have) changed (in
      which case the node may no longer be on the path at all).

   At a single node, these processes are largely independent, although
   clearly a change in downstream path at a node corresponds to a change
   in upstream path at the downstream peer.  Note that there are two
   possible aspects of route change:

   Interface: The interface through which a flow leaves or enters a node
      may change.

   Peer: The adjacent upstream peer or downstream peer may change.

   In general, a route change could include one or the other or both.
   (In theory it could include neither, although such changes are hard
   to detect and even harder to do anything useful about.)

   There are five mechanisms for a GIMPS node to detect that a route
   change has occurred, which are listed below.  They apply differently
   depending on whether the change is in the upstream or downstream
   path, and these differences are summarised in the following table.

   Local Trigger: In trigger mode, a node finds out that the next hop
      has changed.  This is the RSVP trigger mechanism where some form
      of notification mechanism from the routing table to the protocol
      handler is assumed.  Clearly this only works if the routing change
      is local, not if the routing change happens somewhere a few
      routing hops away (including the case that the change happens at a
      GIMPS-unaware node).

   Extended Trigger: An extended trigger, where the node checks a
      link-state routing table to discover that the path has changed.
      This makes certain assumptions on consistency of route computation
      (but you probably need to make those to avoid routing loops) and
      only works within a single area for OSPF and similar link-state
      protocols.  Where available, this offers the most accurate and
      expeditious indication of route changes, but requires more access
      to the routing internals than a typical OS may provide.

   GIMPS C-mode Monitoring: A node may find that C-mode packets are
      arriving (from upstream or downstream peer) with a different TTL
      or on a different interface.  This provides no direct information
      about the new flow path, but indicates that routing has changed
      and that rediscovery may be required.

   Data Plane Monitoring: The signaling application on a node may detect
      a change in behaviour of the flow, such as TTL change, arrival on
      a different interface, or loss of the flow altogether.  The

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      signaling application on the node is allowed to notify this
      information locally to GIMPS.

   GIMPS D-mode Probing: In probing mode, each GIMPS node periodically
      repeats the discovery (GIMPS-query/GIMPS-response) operation.  The
      querying node will discover the route change by a modification in
      the Node-Addressing information in the GIMPS-response.  This is
      similar to RSVP behavior, except that there is an extra degree of
      freedom since not every message needs to repeat the discovery,
      depending on the likely stability of routes.  All indications are
      that, leaving mobility aside, routes are stable for hours and
      days, so this may not be necessary on a 30-second interval,
      especially if the other techniques listed above are available.

   When these methods discover a route change in the upstream direction,
   this cannot be handled directly by GIMPS at the detecting node, since
   route discovery proceeds only in the downstream direction.
   Therefore, to exploit these mechanisms, it must be possible for GIMPS
   to send a notification message in the upstream direction to initiate
   this.  (This would be possible for example by setting an additional
   flag in the Common-Header of an upstream message.)

   | Method               | Downstream           | Upstream            |
   | Local Trigger        | Discovers new        | Not applicable      |
   |                      | downstream interface |                     |
   |                      | (and peer if local)  |                     |
   |                      |                      |                     |
   | Extended Trigger     | Discovers new        | May determine that  |
   |                      | downstream interface | route from upstream |
   |                      | and may determine    | peer will have      |
   |                      | new downstream peer  | changed             |
   |                      |                      |                     |
   | C-Mode Monitoring    | Provides hint that   | Provides hint that  |
   |                      | change has occurred  | change has occurred |
   |                      |                      |                     |
   | Data Plane           | Not applicable       | NSLP informs GIMPS  |
   | Monitoring           |                      | that a change may   |
   |                      |                      | have occurred       |
   |                      |                      |                     |
   | D-Mode Probing       | Discovers changed    | Discovers changed   |
   |                      | Node-Addressing in   | Node-Addressing in  |
   |                      | GIMPS-response       | GIMPS-query         |

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6.1.3  Local Repair

   Once a node has detected that a change may have occurred, there are
   three possible cases:

   1.  Only an upstream change is indicated.  There is nothing that can
       be done locally; GIMPS must propagate a notification to its
       upstream peer.

   2.  A downstream change has been detected and an upstream change
       cannot be ruled out.  Although some local repair may be
       appropriate, it is difficult to decide what, since the path
       change may actually have taken place upstream of the detecting
       node (so that this node is no longer on the path at all).

   3.  A downstream change has been detected, but there is no upstream
       change.  In this case, the detecting node is the true crossover
       router, i.e.  the point in the network where old and new paths
       diverge.  It is the correct node to initiate the local repair

   In case (3), i.e.  at the upstream crossover node, the local repair
   process is initiated by the GIMPS level as follows:

   o  GIMPS marks its downstream routing state information for this flow
      as 'invalid', unless the route change was actually detected by
      D-mode probing (in which case the new state has already been

   o  GIMPS notifies the local NSLP that local repair is necessary.

   It is assumed that the second step will typically trigger the NSLP to
   generate a downstream message, and the attempt to send it will
   stimulate a GIMPS-query/response.  This signaling application message
   will propagate downstream, also discovering the new route, until it
   rejoins the old path; the node where this happens may also have to
   carry out local repair actions.

   A problem is that there is usually no robust technique to distinguish
   case (2) from case (3), because of the relative weakness of the
   techniques in determining that upstream change has not occurred.
   (They can be effective in determining that a change has occurred;
   however, even where they can tell that the route from the upstream
   peer has not changed, they cannot rule out a change beyond that
   peer.) There is therefore a danger that multiple nodes within the
   network would attempt to carry out local repair in parallel.

   One possible technique to address this problem is that a GIMPS node

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   that detects case (3) locally, rather than initiating local repair
   immediately, still sends a route change notification upstream, just
   in case (2) actually applies.  If the upstream peer locally detects
   no downstream route change, it can signal this to the downstream node
   (e.g.  by setting another flag in the Common-Header of a GIMPS
   message).  This acts to damp the possibility of a 'local repair
   storm', at the cost of an additional peer-peer round trip time.

6.1.4  Local Signaling Application State Removal

   After a route change, a signaling application may wish to remove
   state at another node which is no longer on the path.  However, since
   it is no longer on the path, in principle GIMPS can no longer send
   messages to it.  (In general, provided this state is soft, it will
   time out anyway; however, the timeouts involved may have been set to
   be very long to reduce signaling load.) The requirement to remove
   state in a specific peer node is identified in [25].

   This requirement can be met provided that GIMPS is able to 'remember'
   the old path to the signaling application peer for the period while
   the NSLP wishes to be able to use it.  Since NSLP peers are a single
   GIMPS hop apart, the necessary information is just the old entry in
   the node's routing state table for that flow.  Rather than requiring
   the GIMPS level to maintain multiple generations of this information,
   it can just be provided to the signaling application in the same node
   (in an opaque form), which can store it if necessary and provide it
   back to the GIMPS layer in case it needs to be used.  This
   information is denoted as 'SII-Handle' in the abstract API of
   Appendix D; however, the details are an implementation issue which do
   not affect the rest of the protocol.

6.1.5  Operation with Heterogeneous NSLPs

   A potential problem with route change detection is that the detecting
   GIMPS node may not implement all the signaling applications that need
   to be informed.  Therefore, it would need to be able to send a
   notification back along the unchanged path to trigger the nearest
   signaling application aware node to take action.  If multiple
   signaling applications are in use, it would be hard to define when to
   stop propagating this notification.  However, given the rules on
   message interception and routing state maintenance in Section 4.2,
   Section 4.3 and Section 8.4, this situation cannot arise: all NSLP
   peers are exactly one GIMPS hop apart.

   The converse problem is that the ability of GIMPS to detect route
   changes by purely local monitoring of forwarding tables is more
   limited.  (This is probably an appropriate limitation of GIMPS
   functionality.  If we need a protocol for distributing notifications

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   about local changes in forwarding table state, a flow signaling
   protocol is probably not the right starting point.)

6.2  Policy-Based Forwarding and Flow Wildcarding

   Signaling messages almost by definition need to contain address and
   port information to identify the flow they are signaling for.  We can
   divide this information into two categories:

   Message-Routing-Information: This is the information needed to
      determine how a message is routed within the network.  It may
      include a number of flow N-tuple parameters, and is carried as an
      object in each GIMPS message (see Section 5.1).

   Additional Packet Classification Information: This is any further
      higher layer information needed to select a subset of packets for
      special treatment by the signaling application.  The need for this
      is highly signaling application specific, and so this information
      is invisible to GIMPS (if indeed it exists); it will be carried
      only in the corresponding NSLP.

   The correct pinning of signaling messages to the data path depends on
   how well the downstream messages in datagram mode can be made to be
   routed correctly.  Two strategies are used:

      The messages themselves match the flow in destination address and
      possibly other fields (see Section 5.3 and Section 8.3 for further
      discussion).  In many cases, this will cause the messages to be
      routed correctly even by GIMPS-unaware nodes.

      A GIMPS-aware node carrying out policy based forwarding on higher
      layer identifiers (in particular, the protocol and port numbers
      for IPv4) should take into account the entire
      Message-Routing-Information object in selecting the outgoing
      interface rather than relying on the IP layer.

   The current Message-Routing-Information format allows a limited
   degree of 'wildcarding', for example by applying a prefix length to
   the source or destination address, or by leaving certain fields
   unspecified.  A GIMPS-aware node must verify that all flows matching
   the Message-Routing-Information would be routed identically in the
   downstream direction, or else reject the message with an error.

6.3  NAT Traversal

   As already noted, GIMPS messages must carry packet addressing and
   higher layer information as payload data in order to define the flow
   signalled for.  (This applies to all GIMPS messages, regardless of

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   how they are encapsulated or which direction they are travelling in.)
   At an addressing boundary the data flow packets will have their
   headers translated; if the signaling payloads are not likewise
   translated, the signaling messages will refer to incorrect (and
   probably meaningless) flows after passing through the boundary.

   The simplest solution to this problem is to require that a NAT is
   GIMPS-aware, and to allow it to modify datagram mode messages based
   on the contents of the Message-Routing-Information payload.  (This is
   making the implicit assumption that NATs only rewrite the header
   fields included in this payload, and not higher layer identifiers.)
   Provided this is done consistently with the data flow header
   translation, signaling messages will be valid each side of the
   boundary, without requiring the NAT to be signaling application
   aware.  An outline of the set of operations necessary on a downstream
   datagram mode message is as follows:

   1.  Verify that bindings for the data flow are actually in place.

   2.  Create bindings for subsequent C-mode signaling (based on the
       information in the Node-Addressing field).

   3.  Create a new Message-Routing-Information payload with fields
       modified according to the data flow bindings.

   4.  Create a new Node-Addressing payload with fields to force
       upstream D-mode messages through the NAT, and to allow C-mode
       exchanges using the C-mode signaling bindings.

   5.  Forward the message with these new payloads.

   The original Message-Routing-Information and Node-Addressing payloads
   should be retained in the message, but encapsulated in a new TLV
   type.  (In the case of a sequence of NATs, this TLV would become a
   list.) This TLV essentially becomes a recorded route for the D-mode
   message; a GIMPS node that wished to do topology hiding could replace
   these original payloads with opaque tokens, or omit them altogether.
   Note that a consequence of this approach is that the routing state
   tables at the actual signaling application peers (either side of the
   NAT) are no longer directly compatible (in particular, the values of
   Message-Routing-Information are different.

   The case of traversing a GIMPS unaware NAT is for further study.
   There is a dual problem of whether the GIMPS peers either side of the
   boundary can work out how to address each other, and whether they can
   work out what translation to apply to the Message-Routing-Information
   from what is done to the signaling packet headers.  The fundamental
   problem is that GIMPS messages contain 3 or 4 interdependent

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   addresses which all have to be consistently translated, and existing
   generic NAT traversal techniques such as STUN [21] can process only

6.4  Interaction with IP Tunnelling

   The interaction between GIMPS and IP tunnelling is very simple.  An
   IP packet carrying a GIMPS message is treated exactly the same as any
   other packet with the same source and destination addresses: in other
   words, it is given the tunnel encapsulation and forwarded with the
   other data packets.

   Tunnelled packets will not be identifiable as GIMPS messages until
   they leave the tunnel, since any router alert option and the standard
   GIMPS protocol encapsulation (e.g.  port numbers) will be hidden
   behind the standard tunnel header.  If signaling is needed for the
   tunnel itself, this has to be initiated as a separate signaling
   session by one of the tunnel endpoints - that is, the tunnel counts
   as a new flow.  Because the relationship between signaling for the
   'microflow' and signaling for the tunnel as a whole will depend on
   the signaling application in question, we are assuming that it is a
   signaling application responsibility to be aware of the fact that
   tunnelling is taking place and to carry out additional signaling if
   necessary; in other words, one tunnel endpoint must be signaling
   application aware.

   In some cases, it is the tunnel exit point (i.e.  the node where
   tunnelled data and downstream signaling packets leave the tunnel)
   that will wish to carry out the tunnel signaling, but this node will
   not have knowledge or control of how the tunnel entry point is
   carrying out the data flow encapsulation.  This information could be
   carried as additional data (an additional GIMPS payload) in the
   tunnelled signaling packets if the tunnel entry point was at least
   GIMPS aware.  This payload would be the GIMPS equivalent of the RSVP
   SESSION_ASSOC object of [12].  Whether this functionality should
   really be part of GIMPS and if so how the payload should be handled
   will be considered in a later version.

6.5  IPv4-IPv6 Transition and Interworking

   GIMPS itself is essentially IP version neutral (version dependencies
   are isolated in the formats of the Message-Routing-Information and
   Node-Addressing TLVs, and GIMPS also depends on the version
   independence of the protocols that support messaging associations).
   In mixed environments, GIMPS operation will be influenced by the IP
   transition mechanisms in use.  This section provides a high level
   overview of how GIMPS is affected, considering only the currently
   predominant mechanisms.

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   Dual Stack: (This applies both to the basic approach described in
      [26] as well as the dual-stack aspects of more complete
      architectures such as [28].) In mixed environments, GIMPS should
      use the same IP version as the flow it is signaling for; hosts
      which are dual stack for applications and routers which are dual
      stack for forwarding should have GIMPS implementations which can
      support both IP versions.

      In theory, for some connection mode encapsulation options, a
      single messaging association could carry signaling messages for
      flows of both IP versions, but the saving seems of limited value.
      The IP version used in datagram mode is closely tied to the IP
      version used by the data flow, so it is intrinsically impossible
      for a IPv4-only or IPv6-only GIMPS node to support signaling for
      flows using the other IP version.

      Applications with a choice of IP versions might select a version
      for which GIMPS support was available in the network, which could
      be established by running parallel discovery procedures.  In
      theory, a GIMPS message related to a flow of one IP version could
      flag support for the other; however, given that IPv4 and IPv6
      could easily be separately routed, the correct GIMPS peer for a
      given flow might well depend on IP version anyway, making this
      flagged information irrelevant.

   Packet Translation: (Applicable to SIIT [5] and NAT-PT [13].) Some
      transition mechanisms allow IPv4 and IPv6 nodes to communicate by
      placing packet translators between them.  From the GIMPS
      perspective, this should be treated essentially the same way as
      any other NAT operation (e.g.  between 'public' and 'private'
      addresses) as described in Section 6.3.  In other words, the
      translating node needs to be GIMPS aware; it will run GIMPS with
      IPv4 on some interfaces and with IPv6 on others, and will have to
      translate the Message-Routing-Information payload between IPv4 and
      IPv6 formats for flows which cross between the two.  The
      translation rules for the fields in the payload (including e.g.
      traffic class and flow label) are as defined in [5].

   Tunnelling: (Applicable to 6to4 [15] and a whole host of other
      tunnelling schemes.) Many transition mechanisms handle the problem
      of how an end to end IPv6 (or IPv4) flow can be carried over
      intermediate IPv4 (or IPv6) regions by tunnelling; the methods
      tend to focus on minimising the tunnel administration overhead.

      From the GIMPS perspective, the treatment should be as similar as
      possible to any other IP tunnelling mechanism, as described in
      Section 6.4.  In particular, the end to end flow signaling will
      pass transparently through the tunnel, and signaling for the

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      tunnel itself will have to be managed by the tunnel endpoints.
      However, additional considerations may arise because of special
      features of the tunnel management procedures.  For example, [16]
      is based on using an anycast address as the destination tunnel
      endpoint.  It might be unwise to carry out signaling for the
      tunnel to such an address, and the GIMPS implementation there
      would not be able to use it as a source address for its own
      signaling messages (e.g.  GIMPS-responses).  Further analysis will
      be contained in a future version of this specification.

6.6  Messaging Association Protocol Negotiation

   A key attribute of GIMPS is that it is flexible in its ability to use
   existing transport and security protocols.  Different transport
   protocols may have performance attributes appropriate to different
   environments; different security protocols may fit appropriately with
   different authentication infrastructures.  Even if a single choice
   for GIMPS could be agreed today, the need to support new protocols in
   the future cannot be ruled out.  Therefore, some sort of protocol
   negotiation capability is required.

   The implicit requirements for protocol negotiation are as follows:

   o  It should be possible to request a set of protocols (e.g.  TLS/TCP
      or SCTP/IPsec), not just a single protocol.

   o  The negotiation should complete in 1 RTT.

   o  The negotiation should be resistant to bidding-down ("man in the
      middle") attacks.

   o  At the same time, the message elements involved should allow NAT

   o  The set of possible protocols should be extensible.

   The stacking requirements are reminiscent of [10], and the
   negotiation requirements of [20], and the following outline is based
   on the same principles.  In particular, the latter should be read for
   a more detailed security discussion.

   o  Each possible "protocol layer" is represented by an IANA-assigned
      tag.  A protocol layer defines a well-known protocol (such as
      "TCP") and a set of rules for its use (such as "Connect from
      Querying Node").

   o  A protocol layer may define some security related parameters, and

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      will probably also define some addressing options; the latter
      would be carried in the Node-Addressing TLV and are not considered
      further here.

   o  A "profile" is a sequence of protocol layers.

   o  A Stack-Proposal TLV consists of a sequence of profiles, and any
      associated security parameters.

   o  When attempting to set up a messaging association, a node includes
      a Stack-Proposal TLV in the GIMPS-query.  The contents of the TLV
      must be fixed for a given outbound interface and NSLPID.

   o  The responding node includes another Stack-Proposal in the
      GIMPS-Response.  The contents of this TLV must also be fixed for a
      given outbound interface and NSLPID.

   o  The querying node selects a common profile from the proposals and
      sets up the protocol layers accordingly.  Once the messaging
      association is open, it repeats the Stack-Proposal from the
      GIMPS-Response.  The responding node can verify this to ensure
      that no bidding down attack has occurred.

   The exchanges parallel the cookie exchanges which protect routing
   state setup, but they are largely independent.  (The cookie exchanges
   can be used to protect nodes from denial of service attacks
   masquerading as a messaging association protocol setup, in case the
   connection setup procedure for one of the protocols is
   DoS-vulnerable, as is the case with TCP.)

   It is expected that the initial set of protocol layers will be very
   small; however, it could be extended, e.g.  to allow for different
   configurations (e.g.  "Connect from Responding Node" or requiring the
   use of particular protocol options) or entirely new protocols.

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7.  Security Considerations

   The security requirement for the GIMPS layer is to protect the
   signaling plane against identified security threats.  For the
   signaling problem as a whole, these threats have been outlined in
   [23]; the NSIS framework [22] assigns a subset of the responsibility
   to the NTLP.  The main issues to be handled can be summarised as:

   Message Protection: Signaling message content should be protected
      against eavesdropping, modification, injection and replay while in
      transit.  This applies both to GIMPS payloads, and GIMPS should
      also provide such protection as a service to signaling
      applications between adjacent peers.

   State Integrity Protection: It is important that signaling messages
      are delivered to the correct nodes, and nowhere else.  Here,
      'correct' is defined as 'the appropriate nodes for the signaling
      given the Message-Routing-Information'.  In the case where the MRI
      is the Flow Identification for path-coupled signalling,
      'appropriate' means 'the same nodes that the infrastructure will
      route data flow packets through'.  (GIMPS has no role in deciding
      whether the data flow itself is being routed correctly; all it can
      do is ensure the signaling is routed consistently with it.) GIMPS
      uses internal state to decide how to route signaling messages, and
      this state needs to be protected against corruption.

   Prevention of Denial of Service Attacks: GIMPS nodes and the network
      have finite resources (state storage, processing power,
      bandwidth).  The protocol should try to minimise exhaustion
      attacks against these resources and not allow GIMPS nodes to be
      used to launch attacks on other network elements.

   The main missing issue is handling authorisation for executing
   signaling operations (e.g.  allocating resources).  This is assumed
   to be done in each signaling application.

   In many cases, GIMPS relies on the security mechanisms available in
   messaging associations to handle these issues, rather than
   introducing new security measures.  Obviously, this requires the
   interaction of these mechanisms with the rest of the GIMPS protocol
   to be understood and verified, and some aspects of this are discussed
   in Section 6.6.

7.1  Message Confidentiality and Integrity

   GIMPS can use messaging association functionality, such as TLS or
   IPsec, to ensure message confidentiality and integrity.  In many
   cases, confidentiality of GIMPS information itself is not likely to

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   be a prime concern, in particular since messages are often sent to
   parties which are unknown ahead of time, although the content visible
   even at the GIMPS level gives significant opportunities for traffic
   analysis.  Signaling applications may have their own mechanism for
   securing content as necessary; however, they may find it convenient
   to rely on protection provided by messaging associations,
   particularly if this is provided efficiently and if it runs unbroken
   between signaling application peers.

7.2  Peer Node Authentication

   Cryptographic protection (of confidentiality or integrity) requires a
   security association with session keys, which can be established
   during an authentication and key exchange protocol run based on
   shared secrets, public key techniques or a combination of both.
   Authentication and key agreement is possible using the protocols
   associated with the messaging association being secured (TLS
   incorporates this functionality directly; IKE, IKEv2 or KINK can
   provide it for IPsec).  GIMPS nodes rely on these protocols to
   authenticate the identity of the next hop, and GIMPS has no
   authentication capability of its own.

   However, with discovery, there are few effective ways to know what is
   the legitimate next or previous hop as opposed to an impostor.  In
   other words, cryptographic authentication here only provides
   assurance that a node is 'who' it is (i.e.  the legitimate owner of
   identity in some namespace), not 'what' it is (i.e.  a node which is
   genuinely on the flow path and therefore can carry out signaling for
   a particular flow).  Authentication provides only limited protection,
   in that a known peer is unlikely to lie about its role.  Additional
   methods of protection against this type of attack are considered in
   Section 7.3 below.

   It is open whether peer node authentication should be made signaling
   application dependent; for example, whether successful authentication
   could be made dependent on presenting authorisation to act in a
   particular signaling role (e.g.  signaling for QoS).  The abstract
   API of Appendix D allows GIMPS to forward such policy and
   authentication decisions to the NSLP it is serving.

7.3  Routing State Integrity

   The internal state in a node (see Section 4.1), specifically the
   upstream and downstream peer identification, is used to route
   messages.  If this state is corrupted, signaling messages may be

   In the case where the message routing method is path-coupled

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   signaling, the messages need to be routed identically to the data
   flow described by the Flow Identifier, and the routing state table is
   the GIMPS view of how these flows are being routed through the
   network in the immediate neighbourhood of the node.  Routes are only
   weakly secured (e.g.  there is usually no cryptographic binding of a
   flow to a route), and there is no other authoritative information
   about flow routes than the current state of the network itself.
   Therefore, consistency between GIMPS and network routing state has to
   be ensured by directly interacting with the routing mechanisms to
   ensure that the upstream and downstream signaling peers are the
   appropriate ones for any given flow.  A good overview of security
   issues and techniques in this sort of context is provided in [27].

   Downstream peer identification is installed and refreshed only on
   receiving a GIMPS-reponse message (compare Figure 4).  This must echo
   the cookie from a previous GIMPS-query message, which will have been
   sent downstream along the flow path (in datagram mode, i.e.
   end-to-end addressed).  Hence, only the true next peer or an on-path
   attacker will be able to generate such a message, provided freshness
   of the cookie can be checked at the querying node.

   Upstream peer identification can be installed directly on receiving a
   GIMPS-query message containing addressing information for the
   upstream peer.  However, any node in the network could generate such
   a message (indeed, almost any node in the network could be the
   genuine upstream peer for a given flow).  To protect against this,
   two strategies are possible:

   Filtering: the receiving node may be able to reject signaling
      messages which claim to be for flows with flow source addresses
      which would be ruled out by ingress filtering.  An extension of
      this technique would be for the receiving node to monitor the data
      plane and to check explicitly that the flow packets are arriving
      over the same interface and if possible from the same link layer
      neighbour as the datagram mode signaling packets.  (If they are
      not, it is likely that at least one of the signaling or flow
      packets is being spoofed.) Signaling applications should only
      install state on the route taken by the signaling itself.

   Authentication (weak or strong): the receiving node may refuse to
      install upstream state until it has handshaked by some means with
      the upstream peer.  This handshaking could be as simple as
      requesting the upstream peer to echo the response cookie in the
      discover-response payload of a GIMPS-response message (to
      discourage nodes impersonating upstream peers from using forged
      source addresses); or, it could be full peer authentication within
      the messaging association, the reasoning being that an
      authenticated peer can be trusted not to pretend that it is on

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      path when it is not.

   The second technique also plays a role in denial of service
   prevention, see below.  In practice, a combination of both techniques
   may be appropriate.

7.4  Denial of Service Prevention

   GIMPS is designed so that each connectionless discovery message only
   generates at most one response, so that a GIMPS node cannot become
   the source of a denial of service amplification attack.

   However, GIMPS can still be subjected to denial-of-service attacks
   where an attacker using forged source addresses forces a node to
   establish state without return routability, causing a problem similar
   to TCP SYN flood attacks.  In addition to vulnerabilities of a next
   peer discovery an unprotected path discovery procedure might
   introduce more denial of service attacks since a number of nodes
   could possibly be forced to allocate state.  Furthermore, an
   adversary might modify or replay unprotected signaling messages.
   There are two types of state attacks and one computational resource
   attack.  In the first state attack, an attacker floods a node with
   messages that the node has to store until it can determine the next
   hop.  If the destination address is chosen so that there is no
   GIMPS-capable next hop, the node would accumulate messages for
   several seconds until the discovery retransmission attempt times out.
   The second type of state-based attack causes GIMPS state to be
   established by bogus messages.  A related computational/
   network-resource attack uses unverified messages to cause a node to
   make AAA queries or attempt to cryptographically verify a digital
   signature.  (RSVP is vulnerable to this type of attack.) Relying only
   on upper layer security, for example based on CMS, might open a
   larger door for denial of service attacks since the messages are
   often only one-shot-messages without utilizing multiple roundtrips
   and DoS protection mechanisms.

   There are at least three defenses against these attacks:

   1.  The responding node does not establish a session or discover its
       next hop on receiving the GIMPS-query message, but can wait for a
       setup message on a reliable channel.  If the reliable channel
       exists, the additional delay is a one one-way delay and the total
       is no more than the minimal theoretically possible delay of a
       three-way handshake, i.e., 1.5 node-to-node round-trip times.
       The delay gets significantly larger if a new connection needs to
       be established first.

   2.  The response to the initial discovery message contains a cookie.

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       The previous hop repeats the discovery with the cookie included.
       State is only established for messages that contain a valid
       cookie.  The setup delay is also 1.5 round-trip times.  (This
       mechanism is similar to that in SCTP [6] and other modern

   3.  If there is a chance that the next-hop node shares a secret with
       the previous hop, the sender could include a hash of the session
       ID and the sender's secret.  The receiver can then verify that
       the message was likely sent by the purported source.  This does
       not scale well, but may work if most nodes tend to communicate
       with a small peer clique of nodes.  (In that case, however, they
       might as well establish more-or-less permanent transport sessions
       with each other.)

   These techniques are complementary; we chose a combination of the
   first and second method.

   Once a node has decided to establish routing state, there may still
   be transport and security state to be established between peers.
   This state setup is also vulnerable to additional denial of service
   attacks.  GIMPS relies on the lower layer protocols that make up
   messaging associations to mitigate such attacks.  The current
   description assumes that the upstream node is always the one wishing
   to establish a messaging association, so it is typically the
   downstream node that needs to be protected.  Extensions are
   considered in Section 8.6; these would require further analysis.

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8.  Open Issues

8.1  Protocol Naming

   Alternate names:
   GIST: General Internet Signaling Transport
   GIMPS: General Internet Messaging Protocol for Signaling
   LUMPS: Lightweight Universal Messaging for Path associated Signaling

   There is a danger of some ambiguity as to whether the protocol name
   refers to the complete transport stack below the signaling
   applications, or only to the additional protocol functionality above
   the standard transport protocols (UDP, TCP etc.) The NSIS framework
   uses the term NTLP for the first, but this specification uses the
   GIST/variants names for the second (see Figure 2 in Section 3.1).  In
   other words, this specification proposes to meet the requirements for
   NTLP functionality by layering GIMPS/...  over existing standard
   transport protocols.  It isn't clear if additional terminological
   surgery is needed to make this clearer.

8.2  General IP Layer Issues

   Some NSIS messages have to be addressed end-to-end but intercepted at
   intermediate routers, and this imposes some special constraints on
   how they can be encapsulated.  RSVPv1 [9] primarily uses raw IP with
   a specific protocol number (46); a UDP encapsulation is also possible
   for hosts unable to perform raw network i/o.  RSVP aggregation [18]
   uses an additional protocol number (134) to bypass certain interior

   The critical requirements for the encapsulation at this level are
   that routers should be able to identify signaling packets for
   processing, and that they should not mis-identify packets for
   'normal' end-to-end user data flows as signaling packets.  The
   current assumption is that UDP encapsulation can be used for such
   messages, by allocating appropriate (new) value codes for the router
   alert option (RAO) [1][4] to identify NSIS messages.  Specific open
   issues about how to allocate such values are discussed in Section

   An alternative approach would be to use raw IP with the RSVP protocol
   numbers and a new RSVP version number.  Although this would provide
   some more commonality with existing RSVP implementations, the NAT
   traversal problems for such an encapsulation seem much harder to
   solve.  Specifically, any unmodified NAT (which performed address
   sharing) would be unable to process any such traffic since they need
   to understand a higher-layer field (such as TCP or UDP port) to use
   as a demultiplexer.

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8.3  Encapsulation and Addressing for Datagram Mode

   The discussion in Section 4 essentially assumes that datagram mode
   messages are UDP encapsulated.  This leaves open the question of
   whether other encapsulations are possible, and exactly how these
   messages should be addressed.

   As well as UDP/IP (and raw IP as discussed and temporarily ruled out
   in Section 8.2), DCCP/IP and UDP/IPsec could also be considered as
   'datagram' encapsulations.  However, they still require explicit
   addressing between GIMPS peer nodes and some per-peer state to be set
   up and maintained.  Therefore, it seems more appropriate to consider
   these encapsulation options as possible messaging association types,
   for use where there is a need for congestion control or security
   protection but without reliability.  This would leave UDP/IP as the
   single encapsulation allowed for all datagram mode messages.

   Addressing for upstream datagram mode messages is simple: the IP
   source address is the signaling source address, and the IP
   destination address is the signaling destination address (compare
   Figure 1).  For downstream datagram mode messages, the IP destination
   address will be the flow destination address, but the IP source
   address could be either of the flow source address or signaling
   source address.  Some of the relative merits of these options are as

   o  Using the flow source address makes it more likely that the
      message will be correctly routed through any intermediate
      NSIS-unaware region which is doing load sharing or policy routing
      on the {source, destination} address pair.  If the signaling
      source address is used, the message will be intercepted at some
      node closer to the flow destination, but it may not be the same as
      the next node for the data flow packets.

   o  Conversely, using the signaling source address means that ICMP
      error messages (specifically, unreachable port or address) will be
      correctly delivered to the message originator, rather than being
      sent back to the flow source.  Without seeing these messages, it
      is very difficult for the querying node to recognise that it is
      the last NSIS node on the path.  In addition, using the signaling
      source address may make it possible to exchange messages through
      GIMPS unaware NATs (although it isn't clear how useful the
      resulting messages will be, see Section 6.3).

   It is not clear which of these situations it is more important to
   handle correctly and hence which source addressing option to use.
   (RSVP uses the flow source address, although this is primarily for
   multicast routing reasons.) A conservative approach would be to allow

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   both, possibly even in parallel (although this might open up the
   protocol to amplification attacks).

8.4  Intermediate Node Bypass and Router Alert Values

   We assume that the primary mechanism for intercepting messages is the
   use of the RAO.  The RAO contains a 16 bit value field, within which
   35 values have currently been assigned by IANA.  It is open how to
   assign values for use by GIMPS messages to optimise protocol
   processing, i.e.  to minimise the amount of slow-path processing that
   nodes have to carry out for messages they are not actually interested
   in the content of.

   There are two basic reasons why a GIMPS node might wish to ignore a

   o  because it is for a signaling application that the node does not

   o  because even though the signaling application is present on the
      node, the interface on which the message arrives is only
      processing signaling messages at the aggregate level and not for
      individual flows (compare [18]).

   Conversely, note that a node might wish to process a number of
   different signaling applications, either because it was genuinely
   multifunctional or because it processed several versions of the same
   application.  (Note from Appendix C.1 that different versions are
   distinguished by different NSLP identifiers.)

   Some or all of this information could be encoded in the RAO value
   field, which would then allow messages to be filtered on the fast
   path.  There is a tradeoff between two approaches here, whose
   evaluation depends on whether the processing node is specialised or
   general purpose:

   Fine-Grained: The signaling application (including specific version)
      and aggregation level are directly identified in the RAO value.  A
      specialised node which handles only a single NSLP can efficiently
      ignore all other messages; a general purpose node may have to
      match the RAO value in a message against a long list of possible

   Coarse-Grained: IANA allocates RAO values for 'popular' applications
      or groups of applications (such as 'All QoS Signaling
      Applications').  This speeds up the processing in a general
      purpose node, but a specialised node may have to carry out further
      processing on the GIMPS common header to identify the precise

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      messages it needs to consider.

   These considerations imply that the RAO value should not be tied
   directly to the NSLP id, but should be selected for the application
   on broader considerations of likely deployment scenarios.  Note that
   the exact NSLP is given in the GIMPS common header, and some
   implementations may still be able to process it on the fast path.
   The semantics of the node dropping out of the signaling path are the
   same however the filtering is done.

   There is a special consideration in the case of the aggregation
   level.  In this case, whether a message should be processed depends
   on the network region it is in (specifically, the link it is on).
   There are then two basic possibilities:

   1.  All routers have essentially the same algorithm for which
       messages they process, i.e.  all messages at aggregation level 0.
       However, messages have their aggregation level incremented on
       entry to an aggregation region and decremented on exit.

   2.  Router interfaces are configured to process messages only above a
       certain aggregation level and ignore all others.  The aggregation
       level of a message is never changed; signaling messages for end
       to end flows have level 0, but signaling messages for aggregates
       are generated with a higher level.

   The first technique requires aggregating/deaggregating routers to be
   configured with which of their interfaces lie at which aggregation
   level, and also requires consistent message rewriting at these
   boundaries.  The second technique eliminates the rewriting, but
   requires interior routers to be configured also.  It is not clear
   what the right trade-off between these options is.

8.5  Messaging Association Flexibility

   Section 4 discusses the use of 0 or 1 messaging associations between
   any pair of GIMPS nodes.  However, logically it would be quite
   possible to have more than one association, for example:

   o  to allow different reliability characteristics;

   o  to provide different levels of security protection or to have
      security separation between different signaling streams;

   o  even simply to have load split between different connections
      according to priority (so there could be two associations with
      identical protocol stacks).

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   It is possible to imagine essentially infinite flexibility in these
   options, both in terms of how many possibilities are allowed and how
   nodes signal their capabilities and preferences, without much
   changing the overall GIMPS structure.  (The GIMPS-query and
   GIMPS-response messages described in section Section 4.3 can be used
   to exchange this information.) What is not clear is how much
   flexibility is actually needed.

8.6  Messaging Association Setup Message Sequences

   The discussion of Section 4.3 assumes a simple fixed message
   sequence, which we can picture as follows:

   |            Direction            | Message                         |
   |               --->              | GIMPS-query message             |
   |                                 |                                 |
   |               <---              | GIMPS-response message          |
   |                                 |                                 |
   |               ===>              | Querying node initiates         |
   |                                 | messaging association setup     |
   |                                 | messages                        |
   |                                 |                                 |
   |               <-->              | Signaling messages exchanged    |

   There are several variants which could be considered at this level,
   for example whether the messaging association could be set up by the
   responding node:

   |            Direction            | Message                         |
   |               --->              | GIMPS-query message             |
   |                                 |                                 |
   |               <===              | Responding node initiates       |
   |                                 | messaging association setup     |
   |                                 | messages                        |
   |                                 |                                 |
   |               <-->              | Signaling messages exchanged    |

   This saves a message but may be vulnerable to additional denial of
   service attacks.

   Another open area is how to manage the protocol exchanges that take
   place in setting up the messaging association itself.  It is probably

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   an implementation matter to consider whether to carry out, for
   example, the SCTP 4-way handshake only after IKE exchanges (for IPsec
   SA initialisation) have completed, or whether these can be done
   partly in parallel.  A more radical step is to carry the initial
   request and response messages of both exchanges as payloads in the
   GIMPS-query/response exchange, with the request message initially
   formatted by the querying node with an unspecified destination IP
   address.  This would require modifications to the protocol
   implementations (especially at the querying node) similar to what is
   needed for NAT traversal; it would have to be evaluated whether this
   was worth the one or two round trip times that are saved.  Both this
   technique and the "reverse connection" approach above can be
   considered optimisations; given an appropriate negotiation procedure
   in the base protocol as discussed in Section 6.6 they probably do not
   need to be considered further for the initial version.

   A final area is how the responding node propagates the signaling
   message downstream.  It could initiate the downstream discovery
   process as soon as it received the initial GIMPS-query message, or it
   could wait until the first signaling application message has been
   received (which might not be until a messaging association has been
   established).  A similar timing question applies to when it should
   initiate its own downstream messaging associations.  It is possible
   that all these options are simply a matter for implementation
   freedom, although leaving them open will make mobility and re-routing
   behaviour rather harder to analyse, and again there are denial of
   service implications for some approaches (see Section 7.4).

8.7  GIMPS Support for Message Scoping

   Many signaling applications are interested in sending messages over a
   specific region of the network.  Message scoping of this nature seems
   to be hard to achieve in a topologically robust way, because such
   region boundaries are not well defined in the network layer.

   It may be that the GIMPS layer can assist such scoping, by detecting
   and counting different types of nodes in the signaling plane.  The
   simplest solution would be to count GIMPS nodes supporting the
   relevant signaling application - this is already effectively done by
   the GIMPS hop count.  A more sophisticated approach would be to track
   the crossing of aggregation region boundaries, as introduced in
   Section 8.4.  Whether this is plausible depends on the willingness of
   operators to configure such boundary information in their routers.

8.8  Additional Discovery Mechanisms

   The routing state maintenance procedures described in Section 4.3 are
   strongly focussed on the problem of discovering, implicitly or

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   explicitly, the neighbouring peers on the flow path - which is the
   necessary functionality for path-coupled signaling.

   As well as the GIMPS-query/response discovery mechanism, other
   techniques may sometimes also be possible.  For example, in many
   environments, a host has a single access router, i.e.  the downstream
   peer (for outgoing flows) and the upstream peer (for incoming ones)
   are known a priori.  More generally, a link state routing protocol
   database can be analysed to determine downstream peers in more
   complex topologies, and maybe upstream ones if strict ingress
   filtering is in effect.  More radically, much of the GIMPS protocol
   is unchanged if we consider off-path signaling nodes, although there
   are significant differences in some of the security analysis (Section
   7.3).  However, none of these possibilities are considered further in
   this specification.

8.9  Alternative Message Routing Requirements

   The initial assumption of GIMPS is that signaling messages are to be
   routed identically to data flow messages.  For this case of
   path-coupled signaling, the MRI and upstream/downstream flag (in the
   Common-Header) define the flow and the relationship of the signaling
   to it sufficiently for GIMPS to route its messages correctly.
   However, some additional modes of routing signaling messages have
   been identified:

   Predictive Routing: Here, the intent is to send signaling along a
      path that the data flow may or will follow in the future.
      Possible cases are pre-installation of state on the backup path
      that would be used in the event of a link failure; and predictive
      installation of state on the path that will be used after a mobile
      node handover.  It is currently unclear whether these cases can be
      met using the existing GIMPS routing capabilities (and if they
      cannot, whether they are in the initial scope of the work).

   NAT Address Reservations: This applies to the case where a node
      behind a NAT wishes to use NSIS signaling to reserve an address
      from which it can be reached by a sender on the other side.  This
      requires a message to be sent outbound from what will be the flow
      receiver although no reverse routing state exists.  One possible
      solution (assumed in [24]) is to construct a message with the
      Flow-Routing-Information matching the possible senders and send it
      as though it was downstream signaling.  It is not clear whether
      signaling for the 'wrong direction' in this way will always be
      treated consistently by GIMPS, especially if routing policies and
      encapsulations for inbound and outbound traffic are treated very
      differently within the rest of the network.

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   In the current structure of the protocol definition, the way to
   handle these requirements (if they are needed) is to define a new
   message routing method which replaces the basic path-coupled version.
   The requirements for defining a new routing method include the

   o  Defining the format of the MRI for the new message routing method

   o  Defining how D-mode messages should be encapsulated and routed
      corresponding to this MRI.

   o  Defining any filtering or other security mechanisms that should be
      used to validate the MRI in a D-mode message.

   o  Defining how the MRI format is processed on passing through a NAT.

8.10  Congestion Control in Datagram Mode

   The GIMPS-query and GIMPS-response messages may suffer from message
   loss (e.g.  due to congestion or corruption).  Because a successful
   handshake is necessary before a messaging association can even be
   initiated, GIMPS must provide its own recovery method for these
   cases.  A working assumption is that the querying node can repeat the
   GIMPS-query with an exponential backoff until a response is received
   or some retry threshold is reached.

   More subtle is the case where there is a stream of D-mode messages
   with no immediate feedback from the neighbour node.  This could be
   the case where a signaling application was generating messages for
   stateless processing in the interior of the network.  Here, the
   appropriate approach may be to use rate-limiting algorithms such as
   in ICMPv6 [11].  Another possibility would be to use ECN [17], if the
   datagram mode messages can be correlated with a congestion controlled
   messaging association which also supports ECN.  Details are clearly
   for further study.

8.11  Message Format Issues

   NSIS message formats are defined as a set of objects (see Appendix
   C.1).  Some aspects are left open:

   Ordering: Traditionally, Internet protocols require a node to be able
      to process a message with objects in any order.  However, this has
      some costs in parser complexity, testing interoperability, ease of
      compression; there is a special issue with GIMPS that for
      efficiency, the NTLP-Data object (which may be large) should come

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      last.  Should object order be fixed or unspecified?

   Capabilities: For extensibility, it is useful to be able to mark
      objects with some information about how they should be treated if
      the receiving node does not implement them (e.g.  ignore or
      reject).  Since the object space is shared between all protocols,
      this marking has to be standardised across all the NSIS protocols.
      Is an object marking scheme based on some flags in the object
      header appropriate, or a more flexible scheme based on some type
      of capability encoding?

8.12  Protocol Design Details

   Clearly, not all details of GIMPS operation have been defined so far.
   This section provides a list of slightly non-trivial areas where more
   detail is need, where these have not been mentioned elsewhere in the

   o  Receiver initiated signaling applications need to have reverse
      path state set up in the network, before the signaling application
      itself can originate any messages.  Should this be done by GIMPS
      carrying out the discovery for the specific signaling application
      (which requires the flow sender to know what signaling
      applications are going to be used), or should the discovery
      attempt to find every GIMPS node and the signaling applications
      they support?

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9.  Change History

9.1  Changes In Version -02

   Version -02 does not represent any radical change in design or
   structure from version -01; the emphasis has been on adding details
   in some specific areas and incorporation of comments, including early
   review comments.  The full list of changes is as follows:

   1.  Added a new Section 1.1 which summarises restrictions on scope
        and applicability; some corresponding changes in terminology in
        Section 2.

   2.  Closed the open issue on including explicit GIMPS state teardown
        functionality.  On balance, it seems that the difficulty of
        specifying this correctly (especially taking account of the
        security issues in all scenarios) is not matched by the saving
        of state enabled.

   3.  Removed the option of a special class of message transfer for
        reliable delivery of a single message.  This can be implemented
        (inefficiently) as a degenerate case of C-mode if required.

   4.  Extended Appendix C with a general discussion of rules for
        message and object formats across GIMPS and other NSLPs.  Some
        remaining open issues are noted in Section 8.11.

   5.  Updated the discussion of Section 8.4 to take into account the
        proposed message formats and rules for allocation of NSLP id,
        and propose considerations for allocation of RAO values.

   6.  Modified the description of the information used to route
        messages (first given in Section 4.1.1 but also throughout the
        document).  Previously this was related directly to the flow
        identification and described as the Flow-Routing-Information.
        Now, this has been renamed Message-Routing-Information, and
        identifies a message routing method and any associated

   7.  Modified the text in Section 4.2 and elsewhere to impose sanity
        checks on the Message-Routing-Information carried in C-mode
        messages, including the case where these messages are part of a
        GIMPS-Query/Response exchange.

   8.  Added rules for message forwarding to prevent message looping in
        a new Section 4.2.4, including rules on IP TTL and GIMPS hop
        count processing.  These take into account the new RAO
        considerations of Section 8.4.

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   9.  Added an outline mechanism for messaging association protocol
        stack negotiation, with the details in a new Section 6.6 and
        other changes in Section 4.3 and the various sections on message

   10.  Removed the open issue on whether storing reverse routing state
        is mandatory or optional.  This is now explicit in the API
        (under the control of the local NSLP).

   11.  Added an informative annex describing an abstract API between
        GIMPS and NSLPs in Appendix D.

9.2  Changes In Version -01

   The major change in version -01 is the elimination of
   'intermediaries', i.e.  imposing the constraint that signaling
   application peers are also GIMPS peers.  This has the consequence
   that if a signaling application wishes to use two classes of
   signaling transport for a given flow, maybe reaching different
   subsets of nodes, it must do so by running different signaling
   sessions; and it also means that signaling adaptations for passing
   through NATs which are not signaling application aware must be
   carried out in datagram mode.  On the other hand, it allows the
   elimination of significant complexity in the connection mode handling
   and also various other protocol features (such as general route

   The full set of changes is as follows:

   1.  Added a worked example in Section 3.3.

   2.  Stated that nodes which do not implement the signaling
        application should bypass the message (Section 4.2).

   3.  Decoupled the state handling logic for routing state and
        messaging association state in Section 4.3.  Also, allow
        messaging associations to be used immediately in both directions
        once they are opened.

   4.  Added simple ABNF for the various GIMPS message types in a new
        Section 5.1, and more details of the common header and each
        object in Section 5.2, including bit formats in Appendix C.  The
        common header format means that the encapsulation is now the
        same for all transport types (Section 5.4.1).

   5.  Added some further details on datagram mode encapsulation in
        Section 5.3, including more explanation of why a well known port

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        it needed.

   6.  Removed the possibility for fragmentation over DCCP (Section
        5.4.1), mainly in the interests of simplicity and loss

   7.  Removed all the tunnel mode encapsulations (old sections 5.3.3
        and 5.3.4).

   8.  Fully re-wrote the route change handling description (Section
        6.1), including some additional detection mechanisms and more
        clearly distinguishing between upstream and downstream route
        changes.  Included further details on GIMPS/NSLP interactions,
        including where notifications are delivered and how local repair
        storms could be avoided.  Removed old discussion of propagating
        notifications through signaling application unaware nodes (since
        these are now bypassed automatically).  Added discussion on how
        to route messages for local state removal on the old path.

   9.  Revised discussion of policy-based forwarding (Section 6.2) to
        account for actual FLow-Routing-Information definition, and also
        how wildcarding should be allowed and handled.

   10.  Removed old route recording section (old Section 6.3).

   11.  Extended the discussion of NAT handling (Section 6.3) with an
        extended outline on processing rules at a GIMPS-aware NAT and a
        pointer to implications for C-mode processing and state

   12.  Clarified the definition of 'correct routing' of signaling
        messages in Section 7 and GIMPS role in enforcing this.  Also,
        opened the possibility that peer node authentication could be
        signaling application dependent.

   13.  Removed old open issues on Connection Mode Encapsulation
        (section 8.7); added new open issues on Message Routing (Section
        8.9) and Datagram Mode congestion control (Section 8.10).

   14.  Added this change history.

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10.  References

10.1  Normative References

   [1]  Katz, D., "IP Router Alert Option", RFC 2113, February 1997.

   [2]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement
        Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [3]  Crocker, D. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax
        Specifications: ABNF", RFC 2234, November 1997.

   [4]  Partridge, C. and A. Jackson, "IPv6 Router Alert Option", RFC
        2711, October 1999.

   [5]  Nordmark, E., "Stateless IP/ICMP Translation Algorithm (SIIT)",
        RFC 2765, February 2000.

   [6]  Stewart, R., Xie, Q., Morneault, K., Sharp, C., Schwarzbauer,
        H., Taylor, T., Rytina, I., Kalla, M., Zhang, L. and V. Paxson,
        "Stream Control Transmission Protocol", RFC 2960, October 2000.

   [7]  Kohler, E., "Datagram Congestion Control Protocol (DCCP)",
        draft-ietf-dccp-spec-06 (work in progress), February 2004.

   [8]  Stewart, R., "SCTP Partial Reliability Extension",
        draft-ietf-tsvwg-prsctp-03 (work in progress), January 2004.

10.2  Informative References

   [9]   Braden, B., Zhang, L., Berson, S., Herzog, S. and S. Jamin,
         "Resource ReSerVation Protocol (RSVP) -- Version 1 Functional
         Specification", RFC 2205, September 1997.

   [10]  Harkins, D. and D. Carrel, "The Internet Key Exchange (IKE)",
         RFC 2409, November 1998.

   [11]  Conta, A. and S. Deering, "Internet Control Message Protocol
         (ICMPv6) for the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6)
         Specification", RFC 2463, December 1998.

   [12]  Terzis, A., Krawczyk, J., Wroclawski, J. and L. Zhang, "RSVP
         Operation Over IP Tunnels", RFC 2746, January 2000.

   [13]  Tsirtsis, G. and P. Srisuresh, "Network Address Translation -
         Protocol Translation (NAT-PT)", RFC 2766, February 2000.

   [14]  Berger, L., Gan, D., Swallow, G., Pan, P., Tommasi, F. and S.

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         Molendini, "RSVP Refresh Overhead Reduction Extensions", RFC
         2961, April 2001.

   [15]  Carpenter, B. and K. Moore, "Connection of IPv6 Domains via
         IPv4 Clouds", RFC 3056, February 2001.

   [16]  Huitema, C., "An Anycast Prefix for 6to4 Relay Routers", RFC
         3068, June 2001.

   [17]  Ramakrishnan, K., Floyd, S. and D. Black, "The Addition of
         Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) to IP", RFC 3168,
         September 2001.

   [18]  Baker, F., Iturralde, C., Le Faucheur, F. and B. Davie,
         "Aggregation of RSVP for IPv4 and IPv6 Reservations", RFC 3175,
         September 2001.

   [19]  Rosenberg, J., Schulzrinne, H., Camarillo, G., Johnston, A.,
         Peterson, J., Sparks, R., Handley, M. and E. Schooler, "SIP:
         Session Initiation Protocol", RFC 3261, June 2002.

   [20]  Arkko, J., Torvinen, V., Camarillo, G., Niemi, A. and T.
         Haukka, "Security Mechanism Agreement for the Session
         Initiation Protocol (SIP)", RFC 3329, January 2003.

   [21]  Rosenberg, J., Weinberger, J., Huitema, C. and R. Mahy, "STUN -
         Simple Traversal of User Datagram Protocol (UDP) Through
         Network Address Translators (NATs)", RFC 3489, March 2003.

   [22]  Hancock, R., "Next Steps in Signaling: Framework",
         draft-ietf-nsis-fw-05 (work in progress), October 2003.

   [23]  Tschofenig, H. and D. Kroeselberg, "Security Threats for NSIS",
         draft-ietf-nsis-threats-04 (work in progress), February 2004.

   [24]  Stiemerling, M., "A NAT/Firewall NSIS Signaling Layer Protocol
         (NSLP)", draft-ietf-nsis-nslp-natfw-02 (work in progress), May

   [25]  Bosch, S., Karagiannis, G. and A. McDonald, "NSLP for
         Quality-of-Service signaling", draft-ietf-nsis-qos-nslp-03
         (work in progress), May 2004.

   [26]  Nordmark, E. and R. Gilligan, "Basic Transition Mechanisms for
         IPv6 Hosts and Routers", draft-ietf-v6ops-mech-v2-02 (work in
         progress), February 2004.

   [27]  Nikander, P., "Mobile IP version 6 Route Optimization Security

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         Design Background", draft-nikander-mobileip-v6-ro-sec-02 (work
         in progress), December 2003.

   [28]  Bound, J., "Dual Stack Transition Mechanism",
         draft-bound-dstm-exp-01 (work in progress), April 2004.

Authors' Addresses

   Henning Schulzrinne
   Columbia University
   Department of Computer Science
   450 Computer Science Building
   New York, NY  10027

   Phone: +1 212 939 7042

   Robert Hancock
   Siemens/Roke Manor Research
   Old Salisbury Lane
   Romsey, Hampshire  SO51 0ZN


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Appendix A.  Acknowledgements

   This document is based on the discussions within the IETF NSIS
   working group.  It has been informed by prior work and formal and
   informal inputs from: Cedric Aoun, Attila Bader, Bob Braden, Marcus
   Brunner, Xiaoming Fu, Ruediger Geib, Eleanor Hepworth, Georgios
   Karagiannis, John Loughney, Jukka Manner, Andrew McDonald, Glenn
   Morrow, Dave Oran, Charles Shen, Melinda Shore, Martin Stiemerling,
   Mike Thomas, Hannes Tschofenig, Sven van den Bosch, Michael Welzl,
   and Lars Westberg.  In particular, Hannes Tschofenig provided a
   detailed set of review comments on the security section, and Andrew
   McDonald provided the formal description for the initial packet
   formats.  We look forward to inputs and comments from many more in
   the future.

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Appendix B.  Example Message Routing State Table

   Figure 7 shows a signaling scenario for a single flow being managed
   by two signaling applications.  The flow sender and receiver and one
   router support both, two other routers support one each.

       A                        B          C          D           E
   +------+                  +-----+    +-----+    +-----+    +--------+
   | Flow |    +-+    +-+    |NSLP1|    |NSLP1|    |     |    |  Flow  |
   |Sender|====|R|====|R|====|NSLP2|====|     |====|NSLP2|====|Receiver|
   |      |    +-+    +-+    |GIMPS|    |GIMPS|    |GIMPS|    |        |
   +------+                  +-----+    +-----+    +-----+    +--------+

                              Flow Direction

                     Figure 7: A Signaling Scenario

   Routing state table at node B:

   |   Message Routing  |  Session |  NSLP ID | Upstream |  Downstream |
   |     Information    |    ID    |          |   Peer   |     Peer    |
   |    Method = Path   |  0xABCD  |   NSLP1  |   IP-#A  |    (null)   |
   | Coupled; Flow ID = |          |          |          |             |
   |   {IP-#A, IP-#E,   |          |          |          |             |
   |  protocol, ports}  |          |          |          |             |
   |                    |          |          |          |             |
   |    Method = Path   |  0x1234  |   NSLP2  |   IP-#A  |  Pointer to |
   | Coupled; Flow ID = |          |          |          |     B-D     |
   |   {IP-#A, IP-#E,   |          |          |          |  messaging  |
   |  protocol, ports}  |          |          |          | association |

   The table shows the routing state at Node B for the single flow from
   A to E.  The upstream state is just the same address for each
   application.  For the downstream case, NSLP1 only requires datagram
   mode messages and so no explicit routing state towards C is needed.
   NSLP2 requires a messaging association for its messages towards node
   D, and node C does not process NSLP2 at all, so the downstream peer
   state for NSLP2 is a pointer to a messaging association that runs
   directly from B to D.  Note that E is not visible in the state table
   (except implicitly in the address in the message routing
   information); routing state is stored only for adjacent peers.

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Appendix C.  Bit-Level Formats

   This appendix provides initial formats for the various component
   parts of the GIMPS messages defined abstractly in Section 5.2.  It
   should be noted that these formats are extremely preliminary and
   should be expected to change completely several times during the
   further development of this specification.

   In addition, this appendix includes some general rules for the format
   of messages and message objects across all protocols in the NSIS
   protocol suite (i.e.  the current and future NSLPs as well as GIMPS
   itself).  The intention of these common rules is to encourage
   commonality in implementations, ease of testing and debugging, and
   sharing of object definitions across different applications.

C.1  General NSIS Formatting Guidelines

   Each NSIS message consists of a header and a sequence of objects.  An
   NSLP message is one object within a GIMPS message.  The GIMPS header
   has a specific format, described in more detail in Appendix C.2
   below; the NSLP header format is common to all signaling applications
   and includes simply a message type (which may be structured into a
   type field and some processing flags, depending on the application).
   Note that GIMPS provides the message length information and signaling
   application identification.  There is no version information; if an
   NSLP is extended so much that it stops being backwards compatible, a
   new signaling application identifier is allocated.

   Every object has the following general format:

   o  The overall format is Type-Length-Value (in that order).

   o  Assignments for the Type field are common across all NSIS
      protocols (i.e.  there is a single registry).  This is to
      facilitate the sharing of common objects across different
      signaling applications.  How to encode capability information
      therefore has to be standardised across signaling applications;
      this is still an open issue (see Section 8.11.

   o  Length has the units of 32 bit words, and measures the length of
      Value.  If there is no Value, Length=0.

   o  Value is (therefore) a whole number of 32 bit words.  If there is
      any padding required, this must be defined by the object-specific
      format information; objects which contain variable length (e.g.
      string) types may need to include additional length subfields to
      do so.

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   Error messages are identified by containing an error object (i.e.  an
   object with Type='Error').  There should be a common error object
   format, whose Value field includes a severity indication, an error
   code, and optionally additional error-specific information.  Again,
   the error code space is common across all protocols.

C.2  The GIMPS Common Header

   This header precedes all GIMPS messages.  It has a fixed format, as
   shown below.  Note that (unlike NSLP messages) the GIMPS header does
   include a version number, since allocating new lower layer
   identifiers to demultiplex a new GIMPS version will be significantly
   harder than allocating a new NSLP identifier.

    0                   1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   |    Version    |  GIMPS hops   |        Number of TLVs         |
   |   Signalling Application ID   |D|R|         Reserved          |

   The flags are:
   D - Direction (Set for "Upstream", Unset for "Downstream")
   R - Response requested

C.3  GIMPS TLV Objects

C.3.1  Standard Object Header

   Each object begins with a fixed header giving the object type and
   object length.  See Section 8.11 for a discussion of extensibility
   issues for object encoding.

    0                   1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   |             Type              |            Length             |

   In the following object diagrams, '//' is used to indicate a variable
   sized field and ':' is used to indicate a field that is optionally

C.3.2  Message-Routing-Information

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   Type: Message-Routing-Information

   Length: Variable (depends on message routing method)

   | Message-Routing-Method        |                               |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+                               +
   //     Method-specific addressing information (variable)       //

   In the case of basic path-coupled routing, the addressing information
   takes the following format:

                                   |IP-Ver |P|T|F|S|O|    Reserved |
   //                       Source Address                        //
   //                      Destination Address                    //
   | Source Prefix |  Dest Prefix  |   Protocol    | Traffic Class |
   :       Reserved        :              Flow Label               :
   :                              SPI                              :
   :          Source Port          :       Destination Port        :

   The flags are:
   P - Protocol
   T - Traffic Class
   F - Flow Label
   S - SPI
   O - Source/Destination Ports

C.3.3  Session Identification

   Type: Session-Identification

   Length: Fixed (TBD 4 32-bit words)

   |                                                               |
   +                                                               +

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   |                                                               |
   +                          Session ID                           +
   |                                                               |
   +                                                               +
   |                                                               |

C.3.4  Node Addressing

   Type: Node-Addressing

   Length: Variable (depends on detailed format and what optional fields
      are present)

   |                                                               |
   //                       Node Addressing                       //
   |                                                               |

C.3.5  Query Cookie

   Type: Query-Cookie

   Length: Variable (selected by querying node)

   |                                                               |
   //                        Query Cookie                         //
   |                                                               |

C.3.6  Responder Cookie

   Type: Responder-Cookie

   Length: Variable (selected by querying node)

   |                                                               |
   //                      Responder Cookie                       //
   |                                                               |

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C.3.7  Lifetime

   Type: Lifetime

   Length: Fixed - 1 32-bit word

   Value: Routing state lifetime in seconds

   |                           Lifetime                            |

C.3.8  NSLP Data

   Type: NSLP-Data

   Length: Variable (depends on NSLP)

   |                                                               |
   //                          NSLP Data                          //
   |                                                               |

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Appendix D.  API between GIMPS and NSLP

   This appendix provides an initial abstract API between GIMPS and

   This does not constrain implementors, but rather helps clarify the
   interface between the different layers of the NSIS protocol suite.
   In addition, although some of the data types carry the information
   from GIMPS Information Elements, this does not imply that the format
   of that data as sent over the API is the same.

   Conceptually the API has similarities to the UDP sockets API,
   particularly that for unconnected UDP sockets.  An extension for an
   API like that for UDP connected sockets could be considered.  In this
   case, for example, the only information needed in a SendMessage
   primitive would be NSLP-Data, NSLP-Data-Size, and NSLP-Message-Handle
   (which can be null).  Other information which was persistent for a
   group of messages could be configured once for the socket.

D.1  SendMessage

   This primitive is passed from an NSLP to GIMPS.  It is used whenever
   the NSLP wants to send a message.

   SendMessage ( NSLP-Data, NSLP-Data-Size, NSLP-Message-Handle,
                 NSLP-Id, Session-ID,
                 MRI, Direction, SII-Handle,
                 Transfer-Attributes, Timeout, IP-TTL )

   NSLP-Data: The NSLP message itself.

   NSLP-Data-Size: The length of NSLP-Data.

   NSLP-Message-Handle: A handle for this message, that can be used
      later by GIMPS to reference it in error messages, etc.  A NULL
      handle may be supplied if the NSLP is not interested in receiving
      MessageDeliveryError notifications for this message.

   NSLP-Id: An identifier indicating which NSLP this is.

   Session-ID: The NSIS session identifier.

   MRI: Message routing information for use by GIMPS in determining the
      correct next GIMPS hop for this message.  It contains, for
      example, the flow source/destination addresses and the type of
      routing to use for the signalling message.

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   Direction: A flag indicating whether the message is to be sent in the
      upstream or downstream direction (in relation to the MRI).

   SII-Handle: A handle, previously supplied by GIMPS, to a data
      structure (identifying peer addresses and interfaces) that should
      be used to explicitly route the message to a particular GIMPS next
      hop.  If supplied, GIMPS should validate that it is consistent
      with the MRI.

   Transfer-Attributes: Reliability, security, priority etc.  attributes
      to be used for sending this particular message.  A value
      indicating "default" or "don't care" may be given.

   Timeout: Length of time GIMPS should attempt to send this message
      before indicating an error.  A value indicating "default" or
      "don't care" may be given.

   IP-TTL: The value of the IP TTL that should be used when sending this
      message.  A value indicating "default" or "don't care" may be

D.2  RecvMessage

   This primtive is passed from GIMPS to an NSLP.  It is used whenever
   GIMPS receives a message.

   RecvMessage ( [NSLP-Data, NSLP-Data-Size,]
                 NSLP-Id, Session-ID,
                 MRI, Direction, SII-Handle,
                 IP-TTL, Original-TTL )

   NSLP-Data: The NSLP message itself (may be empty).

   NSLP-Data-Size: The length of NSLP-Data (may be zero).

   NTLP-Message-Handle: A handle for this message, that can be used
      later by the NSLP to reference it in a MessageReceived primitive.

   NSLP-Id: An identifier indicating which NSLP this is message is for.

   Session-ID: The NSIS session identifier.

   MRI: Message routing information that was used by GIMPS in forwarding
      this message.  It contains, for example, the flow source/
      destination addresses and the type of routing to used for the
      signalling message.

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   Direction: A flag indicating whether the message was received going
      in the upstream or downstream direction (in relation to the MRI).

   SII-Handle: A handle to a data structure, identifying peer addresses
      and interfaces.  Can be used to identify route changes and for
      explicit routing to a particular GIMPS next hop.

   Transfer-Attributes: Reliability, security, priority, etc.
      attributes that were used for this particular message.

   IP-TTL: The value of the IP TTL (or Hop Limit) associated with this

   Original-TTL: The value of the IP TTL (or Hop Limit) at the time of
      sending of the packet that contained this message.

D.3  MessageReceived

   This primitive is passed from an NSLP to GIMPS.  It is used after a
   RecvMessage primitive has been passed from GIMPS to an NSLP to inform
   GIMPS whether the NSLP wishes GIMPS to retain state.

   MessageReceived ( NTLP-Message-Handle, Retain-State )

   NTLP-Message-Handle: A handle on a message, previously supplied by
      GIMPS in a RecvMessage primitive.

   RetainState: A value indicating whether or not the NSLP wishes GIMPS
      to retain path state.

D.4  MessageDeliveryError

   This primitive is passed from GIMPS to an NSLP.  It is used to notify
   the NSLP that a message that it requested to be sent has failed to be

   MessageDeliveryError ( NSLP-Message-Handle, Error-Type )

   NSLP-Message-Handle: A handle for the message provided by the NSLP at
      the time of sending.

   Error-Type: Indicates the type of error that occurred.  For example,
      'no next node found'.

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D.5  NetworkNotification

   This primitive is passed from GIMPS to an NSLP.  It indicates that a
   network event of possible interest to the NSLP occurred.

   NetworkNotification ( MRI, Network-Notification-Type )

   MRI: Provides the message routing information to which the network
      notification applies.

   Network-Notification-Type: Indicates the type of event that caused
      the notification, e.g.  downstream route change, upstream route
      change, detection that this is the last node.

D.6  SecurityProtocolAttributesRequest

   This primitive is passed from GIMPS to an NSLP.  It is sent when
   GIMPS requires the NSLP to make decisions (e.g.  check policy) or
   provide information for authentication parameters to be used when
   setting up a messaging association.

   SecurityProtocolAttributesRequest ( Peer-Info, Security-Protocol, Request-Type )

   Peer-Info: Information identifying the GIMPS peer and interface

   Security-Protocol: A value indicating the security protocol being
      used (TLS, IPsec, etc).

   Request-Type: An indication of the type of information required (e.g.
      client certificate)

D.7  SetStateLifetime

   This primitive is passed from an NSLP to GIMPS.  It indicates the
   lifetime for which the NSLP would like GIMPS to retain its state.  It
   can also give a hint that the NSLP is no longer interested in the

   SetStateLifetime ( MRI, Direction, State-Lifetime )

   MRI: Provides the message routing information to which the network
      notification applies.

   Direction: A flag indicating whether this relates to state for the
      upstream or downstream direction (in relation to the MRI).

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   State-Lifetime: Indicates the lifetime for which the NSLP wishes
      GIMPS to retain its state (may be zero, indicating that the NSLP
      has no further interest in the GIMPS state).

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