Next Steps in Signaling                                   H. Schulzrinne
Internet-Draft                                               Columbia U.
Expires: August 25, 2005                                      R. Hancock
                                                       February 21, 2005

       GIMPS:  General Internet Messaging Protocol for Signaling

Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is subject to all provisions
   of Section 3 of RFC 3667.  By submitting this Internet-Draft, each
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   which he or she become aware will be disclosed, in accordance with
   RFC 3668.

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).


   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

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   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
   protocols to enable the transfer of messages in both directions along
   the flow path.  The combination of GIMPS and the lower layer
   transport and security 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 Overview  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     3.1  Overall Design Approach  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     3.2  Example of Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   4.   GIMPS Processing Overview  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     4.1  GIMPS Service Interface  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     4.2  GIMPS State  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
     4.3  Basic Message Processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
     4.4  Routing State and Messaging Association Maintenance  . . .  22
   5.   Message Formats and Transport  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  28
     5.1  GIMPS Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  28
     5.2  Information Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  29
     5.3  Datagram Mode Transport  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  33
     5.4  Connection Mode Transport  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  38
     5.5  Messaging Association Negotiation  . . . . . . . . . . . .  40
   6.   Advanced Protocol Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  43
     6.1  Route Changes and Local Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  43
     6.2  Policy-Based Forwarding and Flow Wildcarding . . . . . . .  49
     6.3  NAT Traversal  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  49
     6.4  Interaction with IP Tunnelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  51
     6.5  IPv4-IPv6 Transition and Interworking  . . . . . . . . . .  52
   7.   Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  54
     7.1  Message Confidentiality and Integrity  . . . . . . . . . .  54
     7.2  Peer Node Authentication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  55
     7.3  Routing State Integrity  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  55
     7.4  Denial of Service Prevention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  57
   8.   IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  59
   9.   Open Issues  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  61
     9.1  Additional Discovery Mechanisms  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  61
     9.2  Alternative Message Routing Requirements . . . . . . . . .  61
     9.3  Message Format Issues  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  62
   10.  Change History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  64
     10.1   Changes In Version -05 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  64
     10.2   Changes In Version -04 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  65
     10.3   Changes In Version -03 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  66
     10.4   Changes In Version -02 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  67

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     10.5   Changes In Version -01 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  68
   11.  References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  71
     11.1   Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  71
     11.2   Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  71
        Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  73
   A.   Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  74
   B.   Example Message Routing State Table  . . . . . . . . . . . .  75
   C.   Bit-Level Formats  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  77
     C.1  General NSIS Formatting Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . .  77
     C.2  The GIMPS Common Header  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  78
     C.3  General Object Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  78
     C.4  GIMPS Specific TLV Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  79
     C.5  Generic NSIS TLV Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  85
   D.   API between GIMPS and NSLP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  87
     D.1  SendMessage  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  87
     D.2  RecvMessage  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  89
     D.3  MessageStatus  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  90
     D.4  NetworkNotification  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  90
     D.5  SetStateLifetime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  90
     D.6  InvalidateRoutingState . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  91
        Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . .  92

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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 signaling applications, and hence should be developed as a common
   protocol.  The framework given in [20] 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.  However, 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 split 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 even this cannot be

   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.

   Source                GIMPS (adjacent) peer nodes         Destination

   IP address              IP addresses = Signaling          IP address
   = Flow                Source/Destination Addresses        = Flow
   Source             (depending on signaling direction)     Destination
   Address                  |                   |            Address
                            V                   V
   +--------+           +------+  Data Flow  +------+         +--------+
   |  Flow  |-----------|------|-------------|------|-------->|  Flow  |
   | Sender |           |      |             |      |         |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.  GIMPS implements the session
      concept by allowing signaling applications to associate messages
      with a Session Identifier; however, GIMPS does not place any
      constraints on how this association should be done.

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

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

   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 it can be determined that they have no interest in the
      signaling messages being exchanged.

   Datagram mode: A mode of sending GIMPS messages between nodes without
      using any transport layer state or security protection.  Datagram
      mode uses UDP encapsulation, with IP addresses derived either from
      the flow definition or previously discovered adjacency
      information; the details depend on the direction of the message.

   Connection mode: A mode of sending GIMPS messages directly between
      nodes using point to point "messaging associations" (see below).
      Connection mode allows the re-use of existing transport and
      security protocols where such functionality is required.

   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 may use a
      specific transport protocol and known ports.  If security
      protection is required, it may use a specific network layer
      security association, or use a transport layer security
      association internally.  A messaging association is bidirectional;
      signaling messages can be sent over it in either direction, and
      can refer to flows of either direction.

   Message Routing Method: Even in the path-coupled case, there can be
      different alogorithms for discovering the route that signaling
      messages should take.  These are referred to as message routing
      methods, and GIMPS supports alternatives within a common protocol
      framework.  See also Section 4.2.1.

   Transfer Attributes: A description of the requirements which a
      signaling application has for the delivery of a particular
      message; for example, whether the message should be delivered
      reliably.  See Section 4.1.2.

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3.  Design Overview

3.1  Overall Design Approach

   The generic requirements identified in the NSIS framework [20] for
   transport of path-coupled signaling messages are essentially

   "Routing": Determine how to reach the adjacent signaling node along
      each direction of the data path (the GIMPS peer), and if necessary
      explicitly establish the identity of that peer;

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

   To meet the routing requirement, one possibility is for the node to
   use local routing state information to determine the identity of the
   GIMPS peer explicitly.  GIMPS defines a 3-way handshake
   (Query/Response/optional Confirm) which sets up the necessary routing
   state between adjacent peers; the Query message is encapsulated in a
   special way, depending on the message routing method, in order to
   probe the network infrastructure so that the correct peer will
   intercept it.  If the routing state does not exist, it may be
   possible for GIMPS to send a message anyway, with the same
   encapsulation tricks as used for a Query.

   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 internally, and uses
   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 or
   guaranteed delivery.

   In [20] 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.  This also shows GIMPS offering its services to
   upper layers at an abstract interface, the GIMPS API, further
   discussed in Section 4.1.

   Internally, GIMPS has two modes of operation:

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   Datagram mode is used for small, infrequent messages with modest
      delay constraints; it is also used at least for the Query message
      of the 3-way handshake.

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

          ^^                       +-------------+
          ||                       |  Signaling  |
         NSIS         +------------|Application 2|
       Signaling      |  Signaling +-------------+
      Application     |Application 1|         |
         Level        +-------------+         |
          ||              |                   |
          VV              |                   |
                 =========|===================|=====  <-- GIMPS API
                          |                   |
          ^^        +------------------------------------------------+
          ||        |+-----------------------+      +--------------+ |
          ||        ||         GIMPS         |      | GIMPS State  | |
          ||        ||     Encapsulation     |<<<>>>| 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

   Datagram mode uses UDP, as this is the only encapsulation which does

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   not require shared state to be established between the peers.  The
   connection mode can in principal use any stream or message-oriented
   transport protocol; this specification currently defines the use of
   TCP as the initial choice.  It may employ specific network layer
   security associations (such as IPsec), or an internal transport layer
   security association (such as 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.  the
   message is so large that fragmentation is required), this can only be
   used between explicitly identified nodes.  In such cases, GIMPS must
   carry out the 3-way handshake initially in datagram mode to identify
   the peer and then set up the necessary transport connection if it
   does not already exist.  It must also be understood that the
   signaling application does not make the datagram vs.  connection mode
   selection directly; rather, this decision is made by GIMPS on the
   basis of the message characteristics and the transfer attributes
   stated by the application.  The distinction is not visible at the
   GIMPS service interface.

   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  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

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   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 message
       transfer attributes {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 GIMPS-Query message, which is a UDP
       datagram carrying the signaling application payload and
       additional payloads at the GIMPS level to be used to initiate the
       setup of a messaging association.  The Query is injected into the
       network, addressed towards the flow destination and with a Router
       Alert Option included.

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

   5.  The message is intercepted at GN2.  The GIMPS layer identifies
       the message as relevant to a local signaling application, and
       passes the signaling application payload and flow description
       upwards to it.  There, the signaling application in GN2 continues
       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, by the fact
       that the message is a GIMPS-Query, that GN1 is attempting to
       discover GN2 in order to set up a messaging association for

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       future signaling for the flow.  There are two possible cases for
       sending back the necessary GIMPS-Response:

       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-Response 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 a GIMPS-Response
           upstream 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 attributes {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
   sending additional GIMPS-Query messages, see Section 6.1 for more

   Note that when GIMPS messages are carried in connection mode, they
   are treated just like any other traffic by intermediate routers
   between the GIMPS peers.  Indeed, it would be impossible for
   intermediate routers to carry out any processing on the messages
   without terminating the transport and security protocols used.  In
   connection mode, 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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   It should be understood that several 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 four parts.  Section 4.1 describes the way in which
   GIMPS interacts with (local) signaling applications in the form of an
   abstract service interface.  Section 4.2 describes the per-flow and
   per-peer state that GIMPS maintains for the purpose of transferring
   messages.  Section 4.3 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.  Finally, Section 4.4 describes how
   routing state is maintained and how messaging associations are
   initiated and terminated.

4.1  GIMPS Service Interface

   This section defines the service interface that GIMPS presents to
   signaling applications in terms of abstract properties of the message
   transfer.  Note that the same service interface is presented at every
   GIMPS node; however, applications may invoke it differently at
   different nodes (e.g.  depending on local policy).  In addition, the
   service interface is defined independently of any specific transport
   protocol, or even the distinction between datagram and connection
   mode.  The initial version of this specification defines how to
   support the service interface using a connection mode based on TCP;
   if additional transport protocol support is added, this will support
   the same interface and so be invisible to applications (except as a
   possible performance improvement).  A more detailed specification of
   this service interface is given in Appendix D.

4.1.1  Message Handling

   Fundamentally, GIMPS provides a simple message-by-message transfer
   service for use by signaling applications: individual messages are
   sent, and individual messages are received.  Messages consist of an
   opaque signaling application payload, and control information
   expressing the application's requirements about how the message
   should be routed.  Additional message transfer attributes control the
   specific transport and security properties that the signaling
   application desires for the message.

   The distinction between GIMPS connection and datagram modes is not
   visible at the service interface.  In addition, the invocation of
   GIMPS functionality to handle fragmentation and reassembly, bundling
   together of small messages (for efficiency), and congestion control
   are not directly visible at the service interface; GIMPS will take
   whatever action is necessary based on the properties of the messages

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   and local node state.

   Messages for different sessions (i.e.  with different Session IDs,
   see Section 4.2.1) are treated entirely independently of each other
   by GIMPS.  Messages for the same session which are to be delivered
   reliably (see below) to the same peer will be delivered in order.  If
   the receiving application delays reading these messages, this will
   (eventually) cause a flow-control condition at the sending node.

4.1.2  Message Transfer Attributes

   Message transfer attributes are used to define certain
   performance-related aspects of message processing.  The attributes
   available are as follows:

   Reliability: This attribute may be 'true' or 'false'.  For the case
      'true', messages will be delivered to the signaling application in
      the peer exactly once or not at all; if there is a chance that the
      message was not delivered, an error will be indicated to the local
      signaling application identifying the routing information for the
      message in question.  For the case 'false', a message may be
      delivered, once, several times or not at all, with no error
      indications in any case.

   Security: This attribute defines the security properties that the
      signaling application requires for the message, including the type
      of protection required, and what authenticated identities should
      be used for the signaling source and destination.  This
      information maps onto the corresponding properties of the security
      associations established between the peers in connection mode, It
      can be specified explicitly by the signaling application, or
      reported by GIMPS to the signaling application (either on
      receiving a message, or just before sending a message but after
      configuring or selecting the messaging association to be used for
      it).  Further details are discussed in Appendix D.

   Local Processing: An NSLP may provide hints to GIMPS to enable more
      efficient or appropriate processing.  The NSLP may select a
      priority from a range of locally defined values to influence the
      sequence in which messages leave a node.  Any priority mechanism
      must respect the ordering requirements for reliable messages
      within a session, and priority values are not carried in the
      protocol or available at the signaling peer or intermediate nodes.
      An NSLP may also indicate that reverse path routing state will not
      be needed for this flow, to inhibit the node requesting its
      downstream peer to create it.

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4.2  GIMPS State

4.2.1  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 commonest 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 [20]).  Other message routing methods are possible, as
      described for example in [29].

   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).

   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.

   For a given MRI and NSLPID the message routing state should not be
   SID-dependent.  The SID is included in the key as a barrier to
   routing state being corrupted by a malicious upstream node.

   The state information for a given key consists of two items, namely
   the information needed to send messages to the peers in each
   direction respectively.  In each case, the information could be an IP
   address and UDP port, or a pointer to a valid messaging association,
   either of which can be learned from a prior GIMPS handshake.
   Additional information about the number of IP hops to the peer is
   also stored in the table for each direction.  An example of a routing
   state table for a simple scenario is given in Appendix B.

   It is also possible for the state information for either direction to

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   be null.  There are several possible cases:

   o  The signaling application has indicated that no messages will
      actually be sent in that direction.

   o  The node is a flow endpoint, so there can be no signaling peer in
      one or other direction.

   o  The node can use other techniques to route the message.  For
      example, it could encapsulate it the same way as a Query message
      and rely on the peer to intercept it.

   In addition, the SID itself 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 state have associated timers for how long the
   identification can be considered accurate; when these timers expire,
   the peer identification is purged if it has not been refreshed.
   Message routing state is installed and refreshed by the exchange of
   GIMPS-Query/Response messages as described in Section 4.4.  For a
   given flow, the GIMPS node which initiated the state setup is
   responsible for scheduling a Query/Response exchange to refresh it,
   and to allow its peer to do likewise.  This should be done while
   GIMPS determines the signaling application is still active.  GIMPS
   may opportunistically synchronise these 'internal' refresh operations
   with those in the signaling application if it wishes.

   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].

4.2.2  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

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   associations.  Since these associations are typically per-peer rather
   than per-flow, they are stored in a separate table, including the
   following information:

   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.

4.3  Basic Message Processing

   This section describes how signaling application messages are
   processed in the 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.

   Note that the same messages are used both 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 4.4.

4.3.1  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 4.4), the
   routing state table is checked to ensure that this messaging
   association is associated with the MRI/NSLPID combination.

   Reception in datagram mode depends on the message type.  'Normal'
   messages arrive UDP encapsulated and addressed directly to the
   receiving signaling node, at an address and port learned during a

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   previous handshake.  Each datagram contains a single complete message
   which is passed to the GIMPS layer for further processing, just as in
   the connection mode case.

       |        >>  Signaling Application Processing   >>        |
       |                                                         |
                ^                                       V
                ^             NSLP Payloads             V
                ^                                       V
       |                    >>    GIMPS   >>                     |
       |  ^           ^  ^     Processing      V  V           V  |
          x           N  Q                     Q  N           x
          x           N  Q>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Q  N           x
          x           N  Q      Bypass at      Q  N           x
       +--x-----+  +--N--Q--+  GIMPS level  +--Q--N--+  +-----x--+
       | C-mode |  | D-mode |               | D-mode |  | C-mode |
       |Handling|  |Handling|               |Handling|  |Handling|
       +--x-----+  +--N--Q--+               +--Q--N--+  +-----x--+
          x          N   Q                     Q   N          x
          x    NNNNNN    Q>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Q    NNNNNN    x
          x   N          Q      Bypass at      Q          N   x
       +--x--N--+  +-----Q--+    router     +--Q-----+  +--N--x--+
       |IP Host |  |  RAO   |  alert level  |  RAO   |  |IP Host |
       |Handling|  |Handling|               |Handling|  |Handling|
       +--x--N--+  +-----Q--+               +--Q-----+  +--N--x--+
          x  N           Q                     Q           N  x
       +--x--N-----------Q--+               +--Q-----------N--x--+
       |      IP Layer      |               |      IP Layer      |
       |   (Receive Side)   |               |  (Transmit Side)   |
       +--x--N-----------Q--+               +--Q-----------N--x--+
          x  N           Q                     Q           N  x
          x  N           Q                     Q           N  x
          x  N           Q                     Q           N  x

            NNNNNNNNNNNNNN = 'Normal' datagram mode messages
            QQQQQQQQQQQQQQ = Datagram mode messages which
                             are Queries or likewise encapsulated
            xxxxxxxxxxxxxx = connection mode messages
                       RAO = Router Alert Option

              Figure 3: Message Paths through a GIMPS Node

   Where GIMPS is sending messages to be intercepted by the appropriate

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   peer rather than directly addressed to it (in particular, Query
   messages), these are UDP encapsulated with an IP router alert option.
   Each 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 4.3.4; otherwise, it is passed up to the
   GIMPS layer for further processing as in the other cases.

4.3.2  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 4.4.

   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.

4.3.3  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 specifies that
      a message that requires fragmentation MUST be sent over a
      messaging association;

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

   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
   different transport or security attributes.

   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 4.4).  If no association can be created, this is
   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 the message
   type and whether routing state exists or not.

   o  If the message is not a Query, and routing state exists, it is UDP
      encapsulated and sent directly to that address.

   o  If the message is a Query, the it is UDP encapsulated with IP
      address and router alert option determined from the MRI and NSLPID
      (the details depend on the message routing method itself).

   o  If no routing state exists, GIMPS can attempt to use the same
      IP/UDP encapsulation as in the Query case.  If this is not
      possible (e.g.  because the encapsulation algorithm for the
      message routing method is only defined valid for one message
      direction), then this is an error condition which is reported back
      to the local signaling application.

4.3.4  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 for more details):

   1.  A datagram mode message contains an RAO value which is relevant
       to NSIS but not the specific node, but the IP layer is unable to
       recognise whether it needs to be passed to GIMPS for further
       processing or whether the packet should be forwarded just like a
       normal IP datagram.

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

   3.  A message is delivered directly 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
   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.  These
   rules are summarised in the following table:

   |  Match RAO? |    Match    |  IP TTL Handling  |    GHC Handling   |
   |             |   NSLPID?   |                   |                   |
   |      No     | N/A (NSLPID |     Decrement;    |       Ignore      |
   |             |     not     |  forward message  |                   |
   |             |  examined)  |                   |                   |
   |             |             |                   |                   |
   |     Yes     |      No     |     Decrement;    |    Decremented    |
   |             |             |  forward message  |                   |
   |             |             |                   |                   |
   |   Message   |      No     |       Reset       |   Decrement and   |
   |   directly  |             |                   |  forward at GIMPS |
   |  addressed  |             |                   |     level (not    |
   |             |             |                   |    possible in    |
   |             |             |                   |      current      |
   |             |             |                   |   specification)  |
   |             |             |                   |                   |
   |   Yes, or   |     Yes     | Locally delivered |   N/A (ignored)   |
   |   message   |             |                   |                   |
   |   directly  |             |                   |                   |
   |  addressed  |             |                   |                   |

4.4  Routing State and Messaging Association Maintenance

   The main responsibility of the GIMPS layer is to manage the routing

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   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 them.  Timers
   control routing state and messaging association refresh and

   There are two different cases for state installation and refresh:

   1.  Where routing state is being discovered or a new association is
       to be established; and

   2.  Where an existing association can be re-used, including the case
       where routing state for the association is being refreshed.

   These cases are now considered in turn, along with the case of
   general management procedures.

4.4.1  State Setup

   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
   GIMPS-Query message, sent from the querying node and intercepted at
   the responding node.  This has addressing and other identifiers
   appropriate for the flow and signaling application that state
   maintenance is being done for, addressing information about the node
   itself, and it is allowed to contain an NSLP payload.  The querying
   node also includes additional payloads: a Query Cookie, and
   optionally a proposal for possible messaging association protocol
   stacks.  The role of the cookies in this and subsequent messages is
   to protect against certain denial of service attacks and to correlate
   the various events in the message sequence.

   In the responding node, the GIMPS level processing of the GIMPS-Query
   triggers the generation of a 'GIMPS-Response' message.  This is a
   'normally' encapsulated datagram mode message with additional
   payloads.  It contains addressing information about the responding
   node, it echoes the Query Cookie, and can contain an NSLP payload
   (possibly a response to the NSLP payload in the initial message).  In
   case a messaging association was requested, it must also contain a
   Responder Cookie and counter proposal for the stack configuration.
   Otherwise, it may still include a Responder Cookie if the node's
   routing state setup policy requires it (see below).

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            +----------+                     +----------+
            | Querying |                     |Responding|
            |   Node   |                     |   Node   |
            +----------+                     +----------+
                       ---------------------->    .............
                       Router Alert Option        .  Routing  .
                       MRI/SID/NSLPID             .   state   .
                       Q-Node Addressing          . installed .
                       Query Cookie               .    at     .
                       [Q-Stack Proposal]         . R-node(1) .
                       [NSLP Payload]             .............

               .  The responder can use an existing .
               . messaging association if available .
               . from here onwards to short-circuit .
               .     messaging association setup    .

   .............       <----------------------
   .  Routing  .       MRI/SID/NSLPID
   .   state   .       R-Node Addressing (D Mode only)
   . installed .       Query cookie
   .    at     .       [R-Stack Proposal]
   .  Q-node   .       [Responder Cookie]
   .............       [NSLP Payload]

                . If a messaging association needs .
                . to be created, it is set up here .

                       Q-Node Addressing (D Mode only)
                       Responder Cookie           .............
                       [R-Stack Proposal]         .  Routing  .
                       [NSLP Payload]             .   state   .
                                                  . installed .
                                                  .    at     .
                                                  . R-node(2) .

               Figure 4: Message Sequence at State Setup

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   Setup of a new messaging association begins when both peer addressing
   information is available at the Querying node, and a new messaging
   association is actually needed.  The setup has to be contemporaneous
   with a specific GIMPS-Query/Response exchange, because the addressing
   information used may have a limited lifetime (either because it
   depends on limited lifetime NAT bindings, or because it refers to
   agile destination ports for the transport protocols).  Setup of the
   messaging association always starts from the Querying node, but the
   association itself can be used equally in both directions.

   The GIMPS-Confirm is the first message sent over the association and
   echoes the Responder Cookie and Stack Proposal from the
   GIMPS-Response (the latter is to prevent certain bidding-down attacks
   on messaging association security); the assocation can be used in the
   upstream direction for that flow and NSLPID after the Confirm has
   been received.  The negotiation of what protocols to use for the
   messaging association is controlled by the Stack-Proposal and
   Node-Addressing information exchanged, and the processing of these
   objects is described in more detail in Section 5.5.

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

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

   2.  after a GIMPS-Confirm message 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.

4.4.2  Association Re-use

   It is a general design goal of GIMPS that, so far as possible,
   messaging associations should be re-used for multiple flows and
   sessions, rather than a new association set up for each.  This is to
   ensure that the association cost scales like the number of peers
   rather than the number of flows or messages, and to avoid the latency
   of new association setup where possible.

   However, association re-use requires the identification of an
   existing association which matches the same routing state and desired
   properties that would be the result of a full handshake in D-mode,
   and this identification must be done as reliably and securely as
   continuing with the full procedure.  Note that this requirement is

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   complicated by the fact that NATs may remap the node addresses in
   D-mode messages, and also interacts with the fact that some nodes may
   peer over multiple interfaces (with different addresses).

   Association re-use is controlled by two fields in the Node-Addressing
   object (NAO), which is carried in GIMPS-query and GIMPS-response
   messages.  The NAO includes:

   Peer-Identity: For a given node, this is a stable quantity (interface
      independent) with opaque syntax.  It should be chosen so as to
      have a high probability of uniqueness between peers.  Note that
      there is no cryptographic protection of this identity (attempting
      to provide this would essentially duplicate the functionality in
      the messaging association security protocols).

   Interface-Address: This is an IP address associated with the
      interface through which the flow associated with the signaling is
      routed.  This can be considered as a routable identifier through
      which the signaling node can be reached; further discussion is
      contained in Section 5.5.

   By default, a messaging association is associated with the NAO that
   was provided by the peer at the time the assocation was set up.
   There may be more than one association for a given NAO (e.g.  with
   different properties).

   Association re-use is controlled by matching the NAO provided in a
   GIMPS message with those associated with existing associations.  This
   can be done on receiving either a GIMPS-Query or GIMPS-Response (the
   former is more likely):

   o  If there is a perfect match to the NAO of an existing association,
      that association can be re-used (provided it has the appropriate
      properties in other respects).  This is indicated by sending the
      following messages in the handshake over that association,
      omitting the NAO information.  This will only fail (i.e.  lead to
      re-use of an assocation to the 'wrong' node) if signaling nodes
      have colliding Peer-Identities, and one is reachable at the same
      Interface-Address as another.  (This could be done by an on-path

   o  In all other cases, the full handshake is executed in datagram
      mode as usual.  There are in fact four cases:

      1.  Nothing matches: this is clearly a new peer.

      2.  Only the Peer-Identity matches: this may be either a new
          interface on an existing peer, or a changed address mapping

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          behind a NAT, or an attacker attempting to hijack the
          Peer-Identity.  These should be rare events, so the expense of
          a new assocation setup is acceptable.  If the authenticated
          peer identities match after assocation setup, the two
          Interface-Addresses may be bound to the assocation.

      3.  Only the Interface-Address matches: this is probably a new
          peer behind the same NAT as an existing one.  A new assocation
          setup is required.

      4.  The full NAO matches: this is a degenerate case, where one
          node recognises an existing peer, but wishes to allow the
          option to set up a new association in any case.

4.4.3  Background Maintenance

   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 before this timer
   expires, if it believes that the flow is still active.  Receipt of
   the message at the responding node will refresh peer addressing state
   for one direction, and receipt of a GIMPS-Response at the querying
   node will refresh it for the other.  Note that responding nodes do
   not control the refresh of routing state themselves, they are
   dependent on their 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
   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.  (To maintain the transport
   semantics decribed in Section 4.1, GIMPS must close transport
   connections carrying reliable messages gracefully or report an error
   condition, and must not open a new association for a given session
   and peer while messages on a previous association may still be

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5.  Message Formats and Transport

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 5.2.

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

   GIMPS-Message: A message is either a one of the stages in the 3-way
   handshake, or a simple message carrying NSLP data.

       GIMPS-Message = GIMPS-Query / GIMPS-Response /
                       GIMPS-Confirm / GIMPS-Data

   GIMPS-Query: A GIMPS-Query is always sent in datagram mode.  As well
   as the common header, it contains certain mandatory control objects,
   and may contain a signaling application payload.  A stack proposal is
   mandatory if the message exchange relates to setup of a messaging

       GIMPS-Query = Common-Header
                     [ Stack-Proposal ]
                     [ Routing-State-Lifetime ]
                     [ NSLP-Data ]

   GIMPS-Response: A GIMPS-Response may be sent in datagram or
   connection mode (if a messaging association is being re-used).  It
   echoes the MRI, SID and Query-Cookie of the Query, and carries its
   own Node-Addresing information; if the message exchange relates to
   setup of a messaging association (which can only take place in
   datagram mode), a Responder cookie is mandatory, and it must also
   contain its own Stack-Proposal.

       GIMPS-Response = Common-Header

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                        [ Responder-Cookie [ Stack-Proposal ] ]
                        [ Routing-State-Lifetime ]
                        [ NSLP-Data ]

   GIMPS-Confirm: A GIMPS-Confirm may be sent in datagram or connection
   mode (if a messaging association has been re-used).  It echoes the
   MRI, SID and Responder-Cookie of the Response; if the message
   exchange relates to setup of a new messaging association or reuse of
   an existing one (which can only take place in connection mode), the
   message must also echo the Stack-Proposal from the GIMPS-Response so
   it can be verified that this has not been tampered with.

       GIMPS-Confirm = Common-Header
                       [ Stack-Proposal ]
                       [ Routing-State-Lifetime ]
                       [ NSLP-Data ]

   GIMPS-Data: A plain data message contains no control objects, but
   only the MRI and SID assocated with the NSLP data being transferred.
   Node-Addressing information is only carried in the datagram mode

       GIMPS-Data = Common-Header
                    [ Node-Addressing ]

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 Appendix C.

5.2.1  The Common Header

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

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   Version: The version number of the GIMPS protocol.

   Length: The number of words in the message following the common

   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

   Message type: The message type (Query, Response, etc.)

   Source addressing mode: A flag to indicate whether the IP source
      address of the message was set to be the signaling source address,
      or whether it was derived from the message routing information in
      the payload.

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
      how the signaling message should be routed 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
      [20].  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).

      The MRI is essentially a read only object for GIMPS processing.
      It is set by the NSLP in the message sender and used by GIMPS to
      select the message addressing, but not otherwise modified.  Note
      that every message routing method must implicitly define a
      directionality (upstream vs.  downstream), corresponding to the

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      two directions in the routing state table, and the MRI must
      include control information which says in which direction this
      message is being sent.

       Flow-Identifier = network-layer-version
                         source-address prefix-length
                         destination-address prefix-length
                         [ flow-label ]
                         [ ipsec-SPI / L4-ports]

      Additional control information defines whether the flow-label, SPI
      and port information are present, the direction of the message
      relative to this flow, 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
      originates the signaling exchange.  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: This can include a peer identity and IP address for
      the sending node, as well as higher layer addressing information
      for the negotiation of messaging association protocols.  It also
      includes IP TTL information to allow the hop count between GIMPS
      peers to be measured and reported.

       Node-Addressing = peer-identity
                         [ interface-address ]
                         [ *higher-layer-addressing ]

       The peer-identity and interface-address are used for matching
      existing associations, as discussed in Section 4.4.2.  Any
      technique may be used to generate it, so long as it is stable.
      The interface-address should be a routable address where the
      sending node can be reached over UDP or messaging association
      protocols.  Where this object is used in a GIMPS-Query, it should
      specifically be set to the address of the interface that will be
      used for the outbound flow, to allow its use in route change

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      handling, see Section 6.1.  The purpose and structure of the
      higher-layer-addressing fields is described in Section 5.5.  Note
      that the higher-layer-addressing fields are only present in
      datagram encapsulated messages; when this object is carried in
      connection mode, these information elements are neither necessary
      or meaningful.

      The setting and interpretation of the IP-TTL field depends on the
      message direction (as determined from the MRI) and encapsulation.

      *  If the message is downstream, the IP-TTL is set to the TTL that
         will be set in the IP header for the message (if this can be
         determined), or else 0.

      *  On receiving a downstream message in datagram mode, the IP-TTL
         is compared to the TTL in the IP header, and the result is
         stored as the IP-hop-count-to-peer for the upstream peer in the
         routing state table for that flow.  Otherwise, the field is

      *  If the message is upstream, the IP-TTL is set to the value of
         the IP-hop-count-to-peer stored in the routing state table, or
         0 if there is no value yet stored.

      *  On receiving an upstream message, the IP-TTL is stored as the
         IP-hop-count-to-peer for the downstream peer.

      In all cases, the TTL value reported to signaling applications is
      the one stored with the routing state for that flow, after it has
      been updated (if appropriate) from processing the message in

   Stack Proposal: This field contains information about which
      combinations of transport and security protocols are proposed for
      use in messaging associations, and is also discussed further in
      Section 5.5.

       Stack-Proposal = *stack-profile

       stack-profile = *protocol-layer

       Each protocol-layer field identifies a protocol with a unique
      tag; any address-related (mutable) information associated with the
      protocol will be carried in a higher-layer-addressing field in the
      Node-Addressing TLV (see above).

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   Query-Cookie/Responder-Cookie: A query-cookie is contained in a
      GIMPS-Query message and 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 GIMPS-Confirm 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.

   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  Datagram Mode Transport

   This section describes the various encapsulation options for datagram
   mode messages.  Although there are several variant possibilities,
   depending on message type, message routing method, and local policy,
   the general design principle is that the sole purpose of the
   encapsulation is to ensure that the message is delivered to or
   intercepted at the correct peer.  Beyond that, no significance is
   attached to the type of encapsulation or the values of addresses or
   ports used for it.  This allows new options to be developed in the
   future to handle particular deployment requirements without modifying
   the overall protocol specification.

5.3.1  Normal Encapsulation

   Normal encapsulation is used for all datagram mode messages where the
   signaling peer is already known from previous signaling.  This
   includes Response and Confirm messages, and Data messages except if
   these are being sent without using local routing state.  Normal
   encapsulation is simple: the complete set of GIMPS payloads is
   concatenated together with the common header, and placed in the data
   field of a UDP datagram.  UDP checksums should be enabled.  The
   message is IP addressed directly to the adjacent peer; the UDP port
   numbering should be compatible with that used on Query messages (see
   below), that is, the same for messages in the same direction and
   swapped otherwise.

5.3.2  Query Encapsulation

   Query encapsulation is used for messages where no routing state is

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   available or where the routing state is being refreshed, in
   particular for GIMPS-Query messages.  Query encapsulation is similar
   to normal encapsulation, with changes in IP address selection, IP
   options, and a defined method for selecting UDP ports.

   In general, the IP addresses are derived from information in the MRI;
   the exact rules depend on the message routing method.  In addition,
   the IP header is given a Router Alert Option to assist the peer in
   intercepting the message depending on the NSLPID.  Router alert
   option value-field setting is discussed in Section

   The source UDP port is selected by the message sender as the port at
   which it is prepared to receive UDP messages in reply, and 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
   required.  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.  This section
   discusses the technical considerations to be taken into account when
   assigning values for use by GIMPS.

   The basic goal is 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.  There are two basic
   reasons why a GIMPS node might wish to ignore a message:

   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 [15]).

   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.)

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   Some or all of this information can be encoded in the RAO value
   field, which then allows 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

   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
      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 (see Section 4.3.4).

   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

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   requires interior routers to be configured also.  It is not clear
   what the right trade-off between these options is.  Query Encapsulation for the Path-Coupled Message Routing Method

   For the case of the path-coupled message routing method, where the
   message is travelling in the same ('downstream') direction as the
   flow defined by the MRI, the IP addressing for Query messages is as

   o  The destination address MUST be the flow destination address as
      given in the MRI of the message payload.

   o  By default, the source address is the flow source address, again
      from the message MRI.  This provides the best likelihood that the
      message will be correctly routed through any region which performs
      per-packet policy-based forwarding or load balancing which takes
      the source address into account.  However, there may be
      circumstances where the use of the signaling source address is
      preferable, specifically:

      *  In order to receive ICMP error messages about the Query message
         (specifically, unreachable port or address).  If these are
         delivered to the flow source rather than the signaling source,
         it will be very difficult for the querying node to detect that
         it is the last GIMPS node on the path.

      *  In order to attempt to run GIMPS through an unmodified NAT,
         which will only process and translate IP addresses in the IP

      Because of these considerations, use of the signaling source
      address is allowed as an option, which is use based on local
      policy.  A node SHOULD use the flow source address for initial
      Query messages, but MAY transition to the signaling source address
      for retransmissions or as a matter of static configuration (e.g.
      if a NAT is known to be in the path out of a certain interface).
      A flag in the common header tells the message receiver which
      option was used.

   It is vital that the Query 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.

   These encapsulation rules allow Query messages to be sent in the same
   direction as the flow, and hence allow routing state to be set up

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   from the flow source towards the flow destination.  In some
   deployment scenarios (see Section 9.1 for further discussion), it is
   desirable and logically possible to set up routing state in the
   reverse direction.  Implementing this in the specification would
   require defining rules for encapsulating a Query message in the
   upstream direction.  Details are for further study.

5.3.3  Retransmission and Rate-Control

   Datagram mode is built on top of UDP, and hence has no automatic
   reliability or congestion control capabilities.  Signaling
   applications requiring reliability should be serviced using C-mode,
   which should also carry the bulk of signaling traffic.  However, some
   form of messaging reliability is required for the GIMPS control
   messages themselves, as is rate control to handle retransmissions and
   also bursts of unreliable signaling or state setup requests from the
   signaling applications.

   GIMPS-Query messages which do not receive GIMPS-responses should be
   retransmitted with a binary exponential backoff, with an initial
   timeout of T1 up to a maximum of T2 seconds.  The values of T1 and T2
   may be implementation defined; default values are for further study.
   The value of T1 may be increased on long latency links.  Note that
   GIMPS-Queries may go unanswered either because of message loss, or
   because there is no reachable GIMPS peer.  Therefore, implementations
   must trade off reliability (large T2) against promptness of error
   feedback to applications (small T2).  GIMPS-Responses should always
   be sent promptly to avoid spurious retransmissions.  Retransmitted
   GIMPS-Queries should use different Query-Cookie values and will
   therefore elicit different GIMPS-Responses.  If either message
   carries NSLP data, it may be delivered multiple times to the
   signaling application.

   Other datagram mode messages are not generally retransmitted.
   GIMPS-Responses do not need reliability; if they are lost, the
   initiating Query will eventually be resent.

   The case of a lost GIMPS-Confirm is more subtle.  Notionally, we can
   distinguish between two cases:

   o  Where the Responding node is already prepared to store per-flow
      state after receiving a single (Query) message.  This would
      include any cases where the node has NSLP data queued to send.
      Here, it is reasonable for the protocol to demand that the
      Responding node runs a retransmission timer to resend the Response
      message until a Confirm is received.  The problem of an
      amplification attack stimulated by a malicious Query should be
      handled by requiring the cookie mechanism to enable the node

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      receiving the Response to discard it efficiently if it does not
      match a previously sent Query.

   o  where the responding node is not prepared to store per-flow state
      until receiving a properly formed Confirm message.

   The second (which is probably the more commonplace one where Confirm
   messages are wanted at all), a retransmission timer should not be
   required.  However, we can assume that the next signaling message
   will be in the direction Querying Node -> Responding Node (if there
   is no 'next signaling message' the fact that the Confirm has been
   lost is moot).  In this case, the responding node will start to
   receive messages at the GIMPS level for a flow/NSLP combination for
   which there is no stored routing state (since this state is only
   created on receipt of a Confirm).

   The consequence of this is that the error condition is detected at
   the Responding node when such a message arrives without the need for
   a specific timer.  Recovery requires a Confirm to be retransmitted
   and successfully received.  The ideal mechanism to cause this would
   be for the Responding node to be able to reject the incoming message
   with an error "No Routing State Exists" back to the Querying node,
   which would interpret this as caused by a lost Confirm; the Querying
   node needs to be able to regenerate the Confirm from local state
   without getting a Response (e.g.  in particular it needs to remember
   the Responder Cookie value).

   The basic rate limiting requirements for datagram mode traffic are
   deliberately minimal.  A single rate limiter applies to all traffic
   (for all interfaces and message types).  It applies to
   retransmissions as well as new messages, although an implementation
   may choose to prioritise one over the other.  When the rate limiter
   is imposed, datagram mode messages are queued until transmission is
   re-enabled, or an error condition may be indicated back to local
   signaling applications.  The rate limiting mechanism is
   implementation defined, but it is recommended that a token bucket
   limiter as described in [8] should be used.

5.4  Connection Mode Transport

   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.

5.4.1  Choice of Transport Protocol

   It is a general requirement of the NTLP defined in [20] that it

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   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.

   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.

   The bundling together of small messages is either built into the
   transport protocol or can be carried out by the GIMPS layer during
   message construction.  Either way, two approaches can be

   1.  As messages arrive for transmission they are gathered into a
       bundle until a size limit is reached or a timeout expires (cf.
       the Nagle algorithm of TCP or similar optional functionality in
       SCTP).  This provides maximal efficiency at the cost of some

   2.  Messages awaiting transmission are gathered together while the
       node is not allowed to send them (e.g.  because it is congestion

   The second type of bundling is always appropriate.  For GIMPS, the
   first type is inappropriate for 'trigger' (i.e.  state-changing)
   messages, but may be appropriate for refresh messages.  These
   distinctions are known only to the signaling applications, but could
   be indicated (as an implementation issue) by setting the priority
   transfer attribute.

   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.  This specification defines only the use of
   TCP, but it can be seen that the other possibilities could be
   included without additional work on message formatting.

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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.

      |                  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

5.5  Messaging Association Negotiation

5.5.1  Overview

   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 given an initial
   default mandatory protocol set for GIMPS, the need to support new
   protocols in the future cannot be ruled out, and secure protocol
   negotation cannot be added to an existing protocol in a
   backwards-compatible way.  Therefore, some sort of protocol
   negotiation capability is required.

   Protocol negotiation is carried out in GIMPS-Query/Response messages,

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   using Stack-Proposal and Node-Addressing objects.  If a new messaging
   association is required it is then set up, followed by a
   GIMPS-Confirm.  Messaging association re-use is achieved by
   short-circuiting this exchange by sending the GIMPS-Response or
   GIMPS-Confirm messages on an existing association (Section 4.4.2);
   whether to do this is a matter of local policy at the querying or
   responding node.  It is always possible for a node to restrict itself
   to a single messaging association between two peers.  If multiple
   associations exist, it is a matter of local policy how to distribute
   messages over them, subject to respecting the transfer attributes

   The end result of the negotiation is a messaging assocation which is
   a stack of protocols.  Every possible protocol has the following

   o  A Protocol-Identifier, a 1-byte IANA assigned value.

   o  A specification of the (non-negotiable) policies about how the
      protocol should be used (for example, connection open direction).

   o  Formats for carrying the protocol addressing and other
      configuration information in higher-layer-addressing information
      elements.  There are different formats depending on whether the
      information is carried in the Query or Response (the object for a
      Confirm echoes the Response).

   A Stack-Proposal object is simply a list of profiles; each profile is
   a sequence of Protocol-Identifiers.  Stack-Proposals are generally
   accompanied by Node-Addressing objects; as well as a Peer-Identity
   and Interface-Address, this carries a higher-layer-addressing
   information element for every protocol listed in the Stack-Proposal.
   A node generating a Node-Addressing object is committed to honouring
   the implied protocol configuration; in particular, it must be
   prepared to accept incoming datagrams or connections at the
   Interface-Address/protocol/port combinations advertised.  However,
   the object contents should be retained only for the duration of the
   Query/Response exchange and any following association setup and
   afterwards discarded.  (They may become invalid because of expired
   bindings at intermediate NATs, or because the advertising node is
   using agile ports.)

   A GIMPS-Query requesting association setup always contains a
   Stack-Proposal and Node-Addressing object, and unless re-use occurs,
   the GIMPS-Response does so also.  For a GIMPS-Response, the
   Stack-Proposal must be invariant for the combination of outgoing
   interface and NSLPID (it must not depend on the GIMPS-Query).  Once
   the messaging association is set up, the querying node repeats the

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   responder's Stack-Proposal over it in the GIMPS-confirm.  The
   resonding node can verify this to ensure that no bidding-down attack
   has occurred.  Where the Response or Confirm is being sent in
   connection mode (either because of re-use or because messaging
   association setup has actually completed), the Node-Addressing object
   is sent in an abbreviated form, omitting the higher layer information
   fields.  The Interface-Address is retained in the Confirm, to allow
   matching the messaging association against subsequent Query messages.

5.5.2  Protocol Definition: Forwards-TCP

   This defines a basic configuration for the use of TCP between peers.
   Support for this protocol is mandatory; associations using it can
   carry messages with the transfer attribute Reliable=True.  The
   connection is opened in the forwards direction, from the querying
   node, towards the responder at a previously advertised port.  The
   higher-layer-addressing formats are:

   o  downstream: no additional data (just the Protocol-Identifier)

   o  upstream: 2 byte port number at which the connection will be

5.5.3  Additional Protocol Options

   It is expected that the base GIMPS specification will define a single
   mandatory protocol for channel security (one of IKE/IPsec or TLS).
   Further protocols or configurations could be defined in the future
   for additional performance or flexibility.  Examples are:

   o  SCTP or DCCP as alternatives to TCP, with essentially the same

   o  SigComp [17] for message compression.

   o  ssh [25] or HIP/IPsec [26] for channel security.

   o  Alternative modes of TCP operation, for example where it is set up
      from the responder to the querying node.

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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 path in the direction of the Query has (or may
      have) changed.

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   o  Detecting that the path in the direction of the Response 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 the path in one direction at a node corresponds
   to a change in path in the opposite direction at its 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 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 Query or Response
   direction, and these differences are summarised in the following

   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 either 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.

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

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

   | Method               | Query direction      | Response direction  |
   | Local Trigger        | Discovers new        | Not applicable      |
   |                      | interface (and peer  |                     |
   |                      | if local)            |                     |
   |                      |                      |                     |
   | Extended Trigger     | Discovers new        | May determine that  |
   |                      | interface and may    | route from peer     |
   |                      | determine new peer   | will have 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       |
   |                      |                      |                     |
   | 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 a change in the Response direction is indicated.  There is
       nothing that can be done locally; GIMPS must propagate a
       notification to its peer.

   2.  A Query direction change has been detected and a Response
       direction 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 remotely from the
       detecting node (so that this node is no longer on the path at

   3.  A Query direction change has been detected, but there is no
       change in the Responding direction.  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 process.

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

   o  GIMPS marks its 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 installed).

   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 message, and the attempt to send it will stimulate a
   GIMPS-Query/Response.  This signaling application message will
   propagate, 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 such changes have not occurred.  (They
   can be effective in determining that a change has occurred; however,
   even where they can tell that the route from the 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, just in case
   (2) actually applies.  If the peer locally detects no downstream
   route change, it can signal this in the Query direction (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 [23].

   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 4.3,
   Section 4.4 and Section, 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 5.3.2 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.  In
   addition, some GIMPS messages (those used in the discovery process)
   carry addressing information about the GIMPS nodes themselves, and
   this must also be processed appropriately when traversing a NAT.

   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.  Add a new NAT-Traversal payload, listing the objects which have
       been modified and including the unmodified

   6.  Forward the message with these new payloads.

   The original Message-Routing-Information payload is retained in the
   message, but encapsulated in the new TLV type.  Further information
   can be added corresponding to the Node-Addressing payload, either the
   original payload itself or, in the case of a GIMPS node that wished
   to do topology hiding, opaque tokens (or it could be omitted
   altogether).  In the case of a sequence of NATs, this part of the
   NAT-Traversal object would become a list.  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

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   Message-Routing-Information are different, which is why the
   unmodified MRI is propagated in the NAT-Traversal payload to allow
   subsequent C-mode messages to be interpreted correctly..

   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
   addresses which all have to be consistently translated, and existing
   generic NAT traversal techniques such as STUN [19] 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 [11].  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.

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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.

   Dual Stack: (This applies both to the basic approach described in
      [24] 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 [12].) 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].

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   Tunnelling: (Applicable to 6to4 [13] 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
      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, [14]
      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.

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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
   [21]; the NSIS framework [20] 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 signaling,
      '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 5.5.

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, since it
   runs unbroked 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 4.2), specifically the peer
   identification, is used to route messages.  If this state is
   corrupted, signaling messages may be misdirected.

   In the case where the message routing method is path-coupled
   signaling, the messages need to be routed identically to the data
   flow described by the Flow Identifier, and the routing state table is

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   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 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].

   In one direction, 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 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.

   In the reverse direction, peer identification can be installed
   directly on receiving a GIMPS-Query message containing addressing
   information for the signaling source.  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 completed a GIMPS-Confirm
      handshaked with the peer.  This echoes the response cookie of the
      GIMPS-Response, and discourages nodes from using forged source
      addresses.  A stronger approach is to require full peer
      authentication within the messaging association, the reasoning
      being that an authenticated peer can be trusted not to pretend
      that it is on 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

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   may be appropriate.

7.4  Denial of Service Prevention

   GIMPS is designed so that in general each Query message only
   generates at most one Response, so that a GIMPS node cannot become
   the source of a denial of service amplification attack.  (There is a
   special case of retransmitted Response messages, see Section 5.3.3.)

   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.

   We use a combination of two defences 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
       Confirm message on a secure channel.  If the 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 Query message contains a cookie.  The
       previous hop repeats the cookie in the Confirm.  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

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       to that in SCTP [6] and other modern protocols.)

   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 querying node is always the one wishing
   to establish a messaging association, so it is typically the
   responding node that needs to be protected.

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8.  IANA Considerations

   This section outlines the content of a future IANA considerations

   The GIMPS specification requires the creation of registries, as

   GIMPS Message Type: The GIMPS common header (Appendix C.2) contains a
      1 byte message type field (initially distinguishing Query,
      Response, Confirm and Data messages).

   NSLP Identifiers: Each signaling application requires one of more
      NSLPIDs (different NSLPIDs may be used to distinguish different
      classes of signaling node, for example to handle different
      aggregation levels or different processing subsets).  An NSLPID
      must be associated with a unique RAO value; further considerations
      are discussed in Section

   Object Types: There is an TBD-bit field in the generic object header
      (Appendix C.3.1).  Distinguish different ranges for different
      allocation styles (standards action, expert review etc.) and
      different applicability scopes (experimental/private,
      NSLP-specific); by default, object types are public and shared
      between all NSLPs.  When a new object type is defined, the
      extensibility bits (A/B, see Appendix C.3.2) must also be defined.

   Extensibility Flags: There are TBD reserved flag bits in the generic
      object header (Appendix C.3.1).  These are reserved for the
      definition of more complex extensibility encoding schemes.

   Message Routing Methods: GIMPS allows the idea of multiple message
      routing methods (see Section 9.2).  The message routing method is
      indicated in the leading 2 bytes of the MRI object
      (Appendix C.4.1).

   Protocol Indicators: The GIMPS design allows the set of possible
      protocols to be used in a messaging association to be extended, as
      discussed in Section 5.5.  Every new mode of using a protocol is
      given a single byte Protocol Indicator, which is used as a tag in
      the Node Addressing and Stack Proposal objects (Appendix C.4.3 and
      Appendix C.4.4).  Allocating a new protocol indicator requires
      defining the higher layer addressing information (if any) in the
      Node Addressing Object that is needed to define its configuration.

   Error Classes: There is a 1 byte field at the start of the Value
      field of the generic Error object (Appendix C.5.1).  Five values
      for this field have already been defined.  Further general classes

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      of error could be defined.  Note that the value here is primarily
      to aid human or management interpretation of otherwise unknown
      error codes.

   Error Codes: There is a 3 byte error code in the Value field of the
      generic Error object (Appendix C.5.1).  Error codes are shared
      across all NSLPs.  When a new error code is allocated, the Error
      Class and the format of any associated error-specific information
      must also be defined.

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9.  Open Issues

   Note that this section is now partially historic; the authoritative
   list of open issues is contained in an online issue tracker at
   The subsections remaining here are preserved to keep cross-reference
   integrity with the rest of the specification until the issues are

9.1  Additional Discovery Mechanisms

   The routing state maintenance procedures described in Section 4.4 are
   strongly focussed on the problem of discovering, implicitly or
   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 for
   determining the downstream peer for the path-coupled message routing
   method, 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).  None of these possibilities are currently
   considered further in this specification.  However, the basic
   protocol description is unchanged if an encapsulation mechanism is
   defined for sending Query messages upstream or directed to particular
   nodes, if this information is available from other sources.

9.2  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

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      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.  A possible
      solution is described in [29], where the Query is sent towards a
      configured address in the 'public' Internet, and intercepted at
      the private network boundary.

   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 Query 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 message.

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

9.3  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 NSLP-Data object (which may be large) should come
      last.  Should object order be fixed or unspecified?

   NSLP Versioning: The current working assumption is that if an NSLP
      for a particular signaling application is changed so radically
      that it is no longer backwards compatible, an entirely new NSLPID
      will be allocated.  However, this leads to a problem when a node
      supporting both variants needs to discover its downstream peer.

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      If it probes for the 'early' NSLPID it will not detect the case
      where the downstream peer supports the later one; if it probes for
      the 'later' NSLPID, a downstream peer supporting only the early
      variant will bypass the message altogether.  The implication is
      that a single NSLPID should be used even in this case, with
      demultiplexing based on a separate version number (which could be
      carried in the common header, or within the NSLP payload).

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10.  Change History

10.1  Changes In Version -05

   Version -05 reformulates the specification, to describe routing state
   maintenance in terms of exchanging explicitly identified
   Query/Response/Confirm messages, leaving the upstream/downstream
   distinction as a specific detail of how Query messages are
   encapsulated.  This necessitated widespread changes in the
   specification text, especially Section 4.2.1, Section 4.4,
   Section 5.1 and Section 5.3 (although the actual message sequences
   are unchanged).  A number of other issues, especially in the area of
   message encapsulation, have also been closed.  The main changes are
   the following:

   1.  Added a reference to [29] as a concrete example of an alternative
        message routing method.

   2.  Added further text (particularly in Section 2) on what GIMPS
        means by the concept of 'session'.

   3.  Firmed up the selection of UDP as the encapsulation choice for
        datagram mode, removing the open issue on this topic.

   4.  Defined the interaction between GIMPS and signaling applications
        for communicating about the cryptographic security properties of
        how a message will be sent or has been received (see
        Section 4.1.2 and Appendix D).

   5.  Closed the issue on whether Query messages should use the
        signaling or flow source address in the IP header; both options
        are allowed by local policy and a flag in the common header
        indicates which was used.  (See Section

   6.  Added the necessary information elements to allow the IP hop
        count between adjacent GIMPS peers to be measures and reported.
        (See Section 5.2.2 and Appendix C.4.3.)

   7.  The old open-issue text on selection of IP router alert option
        values has been moved into the main specification to capture the
        technical considerations that should be used in assigning such
        values (in section Section

   8.  Resolved the open issue on lost Confirm messages by allowing a
        choice of timer-based retransmission of the Response, or an
        error message from the responding node which causes the
        retransmission of the Confirm (see Section 5.3.3).

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   9.  Closed the open issue on support for message scoping (this is now
        assumed to be a NSLP function).

   10.  Moved the authoritative text for most of the remaining open
        issues in Section 9 to an online issue tracker.

10.2  Changes In Version -04

   Version -04 includes mainly clarifications of detail and extensions
   in particular technical areas, in part to support ongoing
   implementation work.  The main details are as follows:

   1.  Substantially updated Section 4, in particular clarifying the
        rules on what messages are sent when and with what payloads
        during routing and messaging association setup, and also adding
        some further text on message transfer attributes.

   2.  The description of messaging association protocol negotiation
        including the related object formats has been centralised in a
        new Section 5.5, removing the old Section 6.6 and also closing
        old open issues 8.5 and 8.6.

   3.  Made a number of detailed changes in the message format
        definitions (Appendix C), as well as incorporating initial rules
        for encoding message extensibility information.  Also included
        explicit formats for a general purpose Error object, and the
        objects used to negotiate messaging association protocols.
        Updated the corresponding open issues section (Section 9.3) with
        a new item on NSLP versioning.

   4.  Updated the GIMPS API (Appendix D), including more precision on
        message transfer attributes, making the NSLP hint about storing
        reverse path state a return value rather than a separate
        primitive, and adding a new primitive to allow signaling
        applications to invalidate GIMPS routing state.  Also, added a
        new parameter to SendMessage to allow signaling applications to
        'bypass' a message statelessly, preserving the source of an
        input message.

   5.  Added an outline for the future content of an IANA considerations
        section (Section 8).  Currently, this is restricted to
        identifying the registries and allocations required, without
        defining the allocation policies and other considerations

   6.  Shortened the background design discussion in Section 3.

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   7.  Made some clarifications in the terminology section relating to
        how the use of C-mode does and does not mandate the use of
        transport or security protection.

   8.  The ABNF for message formats in Section 5.1 has been re-written
        with a grammar structured around message purpose rather than
        message direction, and additional explanation added to the
        information element descriptions in Section 5.2.

   9.  The description of the datagram mode transport in Section 5.3 has
        been updated.  The encapsulation rules (covering IP addressing
        and UDP port allocation) have been corrected, and a new
        subsection on message retransmission and rate limiting has been
        added, superceding the old open issue on the same subject
        (section 8.10).

   10.  A new open issue on IP TTL measurement to detect non-GIMPS
        capable hops has been added (old section 9.5).

10.3  Changes In Version -03

   Version -03 includes a number of minor clarifications and extensions
   compared to version -02, including more details of the GIMPS API and
   messaging association setup and the node addressing object.  The full
   list of changes is as follows:

   1.  Added a new section pinning down more formally the interaction
       between GIMPS and signaling applications (Section 4.1), in
       particular the message transfer attributes that signaling
       applications can use to control GIMPS (Section 4.1.2).

   2.  Added a new open issue identifying where the interaction between
       the security properties of GIMPS and the security requirements of
       signaling applications should be identified (old section 9.10).

   3.  Added some more text in Section 4.2.1 to clarify that GIMPS has
       the (sole) responsibility for generating the messages that
       refresh message routing state.

   4.  Added more clarifying text and table to GHC and IP TTL handling
       discussion of Section 4.3.4.

   5.  Split Section 4.4 into subsections for different scenarios, and
       added more detail on Node-Addressing object content and use to
       handle the case where association re-use is possible in
       Section 4.4.2.

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   6.  Added strawman object formats for Node-Addressing and
       Stack-Proposal objects in Section 5.1 and Appendix C.

   7.  Added more detail on the bundling possibilities and appropriate
       configurations for various transport protocols in Section 5.4.1.

   8.  Included some more details on NAT traversal in Section 6.3,
       including a new object to carry the untranslated address-bearing
       payloads, the NAT-Traversal object.

   9.  Expanded the open issue discussion in Section 9.3 to include an
       outline set of extensibility flags.

10.4  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 9.3.

   5.  Updated the discussion of Section 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 4.2.1 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

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        identifies a message routing method and any associated

   7.  Modified the text in Section 4.3 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 4.3.4, including rules on IP TTL and GIMPS hop
        count processing.  These take into account the new RAO
        considerations of Section

   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 4.4 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.

10.5  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 3.2.

   2.  Stated that nodes which do not implement the signaling
        application should bypass the message (Section 4.3).

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   3.  Decoupled the state handling logic for routing state and
        messaging association state in Section 4.4.  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
        is 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.

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   13.  Removed old open issues on Connection Mode Encapsulation
        (section 8.7); added new open issues on Message Routing
        (Section 9.2) and Datagram Mode congestion control.

   14.  Added this change history.

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11.  References

11.1  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., Ed. 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)",
        Internet-Draft draft-ietf-dccp-spec-09, November 2004.

   [8]  Conta, A., "Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMPv6)for the
        Internet Protocol Version  6 (IPv6) Specification",
        Internet-Draft draft-ietf-ipngwg-icmp-v3-06, November 2004.

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

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

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

   [14]  Huitema, C., "An Anycast Prefix for 6to4 Relay Routers",

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         RFC 3068, June 2001.

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

   [16]  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.

   [17]  Price, R., Bormann, C., Christoffersson, J., Hannu, H., Liu, Z.
         and J. Rosenberg, "Signaling Compression (SigComp)", RFC 3320,
         January 2003.

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

   [19]  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.

   [20]  Hancock, R., "Next Steps in Signaling: Framework",
         Internet-Draft draft-ietf-nsis-fw-07, December 2004.

   [21]  Tschofenig, H. and D. Kroeselberg, "Security Threats for NSIS",
         Internet-Draft draft-ietf-nsis-threats-06, October 2004.

   [22]  Stiemerling, M., "A NAT/Firewall NSIS Signaling Layer Protocol
         (NSLP)", Internet-Draft draft-ietf-nsis-nslp-natfw-04, October

   [23]  Bosch, S., Karagiannis, G. and A. McDonald, "NSLP for
         Quality-of-Service signaling",
         Internet-Draft draft-ietf-nsis-qos-nslp-05, October 2004.

   [24]  Nordmark, E. and R. Gilligan, "Basic Transition Mechanisms for
         IPv6 Hosts and Routers",
         Internet-Draft draft-ietf-v6ops-mech-v2-06, September 2004.

   [25]  Lonvick, C., "SSH Protocol Architecture",
         Internet-Draft draft-ietf-secsh-architecture-21, February 2005.

   [26]  Moskowitz, R., "Host Identity Protocol",
         Internet-Draft draft-ietf-hip-base-01, October 2004.

   [27]  Nikander, P., "Mobile IP version 6 Route Optimization Security
         Design Background", Internet-Draft draft-ietf-mip6-ro-sec-02,

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         October 2004.

   [28]  Bound, J., "Dual Stack IPv6 Dominant Transition Mechanism
         (DSTM)", Internet-Draft draft-bound-dstm-exp-02, January 2005.

   [29]  Stiemerling, M., "Loose End Message Routing Method for NATFW
         NSLP", Internet-Draft draft-stiemerling-nsis-natfw-mrm-01,
         February 2005.

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, Pasi Eronen, Xiaoming Fu, Ruediger Geib, Eleanor Hepworth,
   Cheng Hong, Georgios Karagiannis, Chris Lang, John Loughney, Allison
   Mankin, Jukka Manner, Pete McCann, Andrew McDonald, Glenn Morrow,
   Dave Oran, Tom Phelan, Takako Sanda, 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.  Chris Lang's implementation work provided
   objective feedback on the clarity and feasibility of the
   specification.  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 using the path-coupled message routing
   method.  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

   The routing state table at node B is as follows:

   |   Message Routing  |  Session |  NSLP ID |   Response  |   Query  |
   |     Information    |    ID    |          |  Direction  | Directio |
   |                    |          |          |             | n        |
   |    Method = Path   |  0xABCD  |   NSLP1  |    IP-#A    |  (null)  |
   | Coupled; Flow ID = |          |          |             |          |
   |   {IP-#A, IP-#E,   |          |          |             |          |
   |  protocol, ports}  |          |          |             |          |
   |                    |          |          |             |          |
   |    Method = Path   |  0x1234  |   NSLP2  |    IP-#A    |  Pointer |
   | Coupled; Flow ID = |          |          |             |  to B-D  |
   |   {IP-#A, IP-#E,   |          |          |             | messagin |
   |  protocol, ports}  |          |          |             | g        |
   |                    |          |          |             |  associa |
   |                    |          |          |             | ti   on  |

   The Response direction state is just the same address for each
   application.  For the Query direction, 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 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.  (In addition to the

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   peer identification, IP hop counts are stored for each peer where the
   state itself if not null; this is not shown in the table.)

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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.

   Note that there is no version information at the NSLP level.  It is
   assumed that minor protocol extensions can be implemented by adding
   extra objects (see Appendix C.3.2); if an NSLP has to be extended so
   much that backwards compatibity is no longer possible, a new
   signaling application identifier is allocated instead.  An open issue
   on this subject is discussed in Section 9.3.

   Every object has the following general format:

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

   o  By default, 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.  The allocation of control flags to define
      how unknown types should be handled is also common across
      signaling applications; this is discussed in Appendix C.3.2.

   o  Part of the object type space can be set aside for TLVs which for
      some reason should only be used within a single signaling
      application, see Section 8.

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   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, the length and location 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.

   o  Any part of the object used for padding or defined as reserved
      must be set to 0 on transmission and must be ignored on reception.

   Error messages are identified by containing an error object (i.e.  an
   object with Type='Error').  The error object format is given in
   Appendix C.5.1; its Value field includes an error class, 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   |        Message length         |
   |   Signaling Application ID    |   Type        |S|  Reserved   |

   Message length = the total number of words in the message after
                    the common header itself
   Type           = the GIMPS message type (Query, Response, etc.)
   S flag         = set if the IP source address is the signaling
                    source address, clear if it was derived from the

C.3  General Object Characteristics

C.3.1  TLV Header

   Each object begins with a fixed header giving the object type and
   object length.  The bits marked 'A' and 'B' are extensibility flags

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   which are defined below; the remaining bits marked 'r' are reserved.

    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
   |A|B|r|r|         Type          |r|r|r|r|        Length         |

C.3.2  Object Extensibility

   The leading two bits of the common TLV header are used to signal the
   desired treatment for objects whose treatment has not been defined in
   the protocol specification in question (i.e.  whose Type field is
   unknown at the receiver).  The following four categories of object
   have been identified, and are loosely described here.

   AB=00 ("Mandatory"): If the object is not understood, the entire
      message containing it must be rejected with an error indication.

   AB=01 ("Ignore"): If the object is not understood, it should be
      deleted and then the rest of the message processed as usual.

   AB=10 ("Forward"): If the object is not understood, it should be
      retained unchanged in any message forwarded as a result of message
      processing, but not stored locally.

   AB=11 ("Refresh"): If the object is not understood, it should be
      incorporated into the locally stored signaling application state
      for this flow/session, forwarded in any resulting message, and
      also used in any refresh or repair message which is generated

   For objects used within the NSLP-Data payload, the precise usage of
   these flags must be defined for each signaling application.  In
   particular, signaling applications must define how to indicate
   errors, and what it means to forward or refresh 'state'; they may
   also restrict whether particular flag combinations can be used.

C.4  GIMPS Specific TLV Objects

   The objects defined in this section are expected to be used mainly by
   GIMPS rather than signaling applications.

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

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C.4.1  Message-Routing-Information

   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|I|A|B|D|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
   I - SPI
   A - Source Port
   B - Destination Port
   I/A/B can only be set if P is set.
   D - Direction of message relative to MRI

   F may only be set if IP-Ver is 6.  If F is not set, the entire 32 bit
   word for the FLow Label is absent.

   If only one of S, D is set, both Port fields are included in the
   message.  However, the contents of the field are only interpreted if
   the corresponding flag is set.  If the flag is not set, Port values

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   will be ignored as part of the flow definition; the MRI matches all
   packets regardless of port.  If the flag is set and Port=0x0000, the
   MRI will apply to a specific port, whose value is not yet known.

C.4.2  Session Identification

   Type: Session-Identification

   Length: Fixed (TBD 4 32-bit words)

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

C.4.3  Node Addressing

   Type: Node-Addressing

   Length: Variable (depends on length of Peer-Identity and number of
      higher-layer-protocol fields present)

   | PI-Length     | HL-Count      |    IP-TTL     |IP-Ver | Rsvd  |
   //                       Peer Identity                         //
   //                     Interface Address                       //
   //                Higher-Layer-Information 1                   //
   :                                                               :
   //                Higher-Layer-Information N                   //

   PI-Length = the byte length of the Peer-Identity field
               (note that the Peer-Identity field itself is padded
               to a whole number of words)
   HL-Count  = the number of higher-layer-information fields

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               (these contain their own length information);
               0 if this object is carried in connection mode
   IP-TTL    = initial or reported IP-TTL
   IP-Ver    = the IP version for the Interface-Address field

   The higher layer information fields are formatted as follows:

   o  There is a 1-byte Protocol Indicator, as described in Section 5.5.

   o  There is a 1-byte length field defining the amount of
      configuration data that follows after the length field.

   o  There is a variable length of configuration data.

   o  There are 0, 1, 2, or 3 bytes of zero padding to the next word

   Note that the contents of the configuration data may differ depending
   on whether the NAO is in a GIMPS-query or GIMPS-response.

C.4.4  Stack Proposal

   Type: Stack-Proposal

   Length: Variable (depends on number of profiles and size of each

   |  Prof-Count   |     Reserved                                  |
   //                    Profile 1                                //
   :                                                               :
   //                    Profile 2                                //

   Prof-Count = The number of profiles in the proposal

   Each profile is itself a sequence of protocol layers, and the profile
   is formatted as a list as follows:

   o  The first byte is a count of the number of layers in the profile.

   o  This is followed by a sequence of 1-byte Protocol Indicators as
      described in Section 5.5.

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   o  The profile is padded to a word boundary with 0, 1, 2 or 3 zero

C.4.5  Query Cookie

   Type: Query-Cookie

   Length: Variable (selected by querying node)

   |                                                               |
   //                        Query Cookie                         //
   |                                                               |

   Note that the querying node uses the value of the query cookie in the
   GIMPS-response message on an existing messaging association to match
   with the corresponding GIMPS-query.  This imposes certain uniqueness
   requirements on the cookie contents.

C.4.6  Responder Cookie

   Type: Responder-Cookie

   Length: Variable (selected by responding node)

   |                                                               |
   //                      Responder Cookie                       //
   |                                                               |

   Note that the responding node uses the value of the responder cookie
   in the GIMPS-confirm message to match a new messaging association
   with the corresponding GIMPS-query/response exchange.  This imposes
   certain uniqueness requirements on the cookie contents.

C.4.7  Lifetime

   Type: Lifetime

   Length: Fixed - 1 32-bit word

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   Value: Routing state lifetime in seconds

   |                           Lifetime                            |

C.4.8  NAT Traversal

   Type: NAT-Traversal

   Length: Variable (depends on length of contained fields)

   | MRI-Length    | Type-Count    | NAT-Count    |  Reserved      |
   //            Original Message-Routing-Information             //
   //                 List of translated objects                  //
   | Length of opaque NAO info.    |                               |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+                              //
   //            NAO information replaced by NAT #1                |
   :                                                               :
   | Length of opaque NAO info.    |                               |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+                              //
   //            NAO information replaced by NAT #N                |

   MRI-Length = the word length of the included MRI payload
   Type-Count = the number of GIMPS payloads translated by the
                NAT; the Type numbers are included as a list
                (padded with 2 null bytes if necessary)
   NAT-Count  = the number of NATs traversed by the message, and the
                number of opaque NAO-related payloads at the end
                of the object

C.4.9  NSLP Data

   Type: NSLP-Data

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   Length: Variable (depends on NSLP)

   |                                                               |
   //                          NSLP Data                          //
   |                                                               |

C.5  Generic NSIS TLV Objects

   The objects defined in this section are general purpose objects,
   which will be used by both GIMPS and signaling applications in

C.5.1  Error Object

   Type: Error

   Length: Variable (depends on error)

   Value: Contains a 1 byte error class and 3 byte error code, an error
      source identifier and optionally variable length error-specific

   |   Error Class |                   Error Code                  |
   |   ESI-Length  |                    Reserved                   |
   //                   Error Source Identifier                   //
   //             Optional error-specific information             //

   The first byte "Error Class" indicates the severity level.  The
   currently defined severity levels are:

   Informational: response data which should not be thought of as
      changing the condition of the protocol state machine.

   Success: response data which indicates that the message being
      responded to has been processed successfully in some sense.

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   Protocol-Error: the message has been rejected because of a protocol
      error (e.g.  an error in message format).

   Transient-Failure: the message has been rejected because of a
      particular local node status which may be transient (i.e.  it may
      be worthwhile to retry after some delay).

   Permanent-Failure: the message has been rejected because of local
      node status which will not change without additional out of band
      (e.g.  management) operations.

   Additional error class values are reserved.

   The allocation of error classes to particular errors is not precise;
   the above descriptions are deliberately informal.  Actually error
   processing should take into account the specific error in question;
   the error class may be useful supporting information (e.g.  in
   network debugging).

   The Error Source Identifier can be generated in an
   implementation-specific manner.  It is suggested that the same method
   is used as for the Peer Identity in the Node Addressing object.

   ESI-Length is given in bytes (excluding padding).  The Error Source
   Identifier MUST be padded to make it a whole number of 32-bit words
   in length.  The optional additional error-specific information fills
   the rest of the object up to the length given in the object header.

   The Error object may be carried either at the GIMPS level to indicate
   GIMPS errors, or at the NSLP level (inside the NSLP-Data object) to
   indicate NSLP errors.  However, the format and error code assignments
   are common to both uses.

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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 has to be 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.  Such
   extensions may make a concrete implementation more scalable and
   efficient but do not change the API semantics, and so are not
   considered further here.

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,
                 Source-SII-Handle, Peer-SII-Handle,
                 Transfer-Attributes, Timeout, IP-TTL )

   The following arguments are mandatory.

   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 status reports (in particular,
      notification about what security attributes will be used for the
      message, or error notifications).  A NULL handle may be supplied
      if the NSLP is not interested in receiving MessageStatus
      notifications for this message.

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

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   Session-ID: The NSIS session identifier.  Note that it is assumed
      that the signaling application provides this to GIMPS rather than
      GIMPS providing a value itself; often, this will be a value
      associated with an existing session, for example received in an
      incoming message.  In the case of an entirely new session, a GIMPS
      implementation might provide library functionality to generate a
      new, cryptographically random SID which is guaranteed not to
      collide with any existing session.

   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 signaling message.  The message routing
      information implies the message routing method to be used and also
      includes the direction of the message.

   The following arguments are optional.

   Source-SII-Handle: A handle, previously supplied by GIMPS in
      RecvMessage, which indicates that the NSLP wishes to originate the
      message as though it came from the identified source (e.g.  so
      responses will be returned to that source).  Will cause an error
      if set with a large payload or non-trivial Transfer-Attributes.

   Peer-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: Attributes defining how the message should be
      handled (see Section 4.1.2).  The following attributes can be

      Reliability: Values 'unreliable' (default) or 'reliable'.

      Security: This attribute allows the NSLP to specify what level of
         security protection is requested for the message (selected from
         'integrity' and 'confidentiality'), and can also be used to
         specify what authenticated signaling source and destination
         identities should be used to send the message.  The
         possibilities can be learned by the NSLP from prior
         MessageStatus or RecvMessage notifications.  If an
         NSLP-Message-Handle is provided, GIMPS will inform the NSLP of
         what values it has actually chosen for this attribute via a
         MessageStatus callback.  This might take place either
         synchronously (where GIMPS is just selecting from available
         messaging associations), or asynchronously (when a new

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         messaging association needs to be created).

      Local Processing: This attribute contains hints from the NSLP
         about what local policy should be applied to the message; in
         particular, its transmission priority relative to other
         messages, or whether GIMPS should attempt to set up or maintain
         forward routing state.

   Timeout: Length of time GIMPS should attempt to send this message
      before indicating an error.

   IP-TTL: The value of the IP TTL that should be used when sending this

D.2  RecvMessage

   This primitive is passed from GIMPS to an NSLP.  It is used whenever
   GIMPS receives a message from the network.  This primitive can return
   a value from the NSLP which indicates whether the NSLP wishes GIMPS
   to retain message routing state.

   RecvMessage ( NSLP-Data, NSLP-Data-Size, NSLP-Id, Session-ID, MRI,
                 SII-Handle, Transfer-Attributes, IP-TTL, IP-Distance )

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

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

   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, the type of routing used for the
      signaling message, and the direction of the message relative to
      the MRI.  Implicitly defines the message routing method that was

   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: The reliability and security attributes that
      were associated with the reception of this particular message.

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   IP-TTL: The value of the IP TTL (or Hop Limit) this message was
      received with (if available).

   IP-Distance: The number of IP hops from the peer signaling node which
      sent this message along the path, or 0 if this information is not

D.3  MessageStatus

   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
   dispatched, or to inform the NSLP about the transfer attributes that
   have been selected for the message (specifically, security
   attributes).  The NSLP can respond to this message with a return code
   to abort the sending of the message if the attributes are not

   MessageStatus ( NSLP-Message-Handle, Transfer-Attributes, Error-Type )

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

   Transfer-Attributes: The reliability and security attributes that
      will be used to transmit this particular message.

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

D.4  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.5  SetStateLifetime

   This primitive is passed from an NSLP to GIMPS.  It indicates the

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   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).

   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).

D.6  InvalidateRoutingState

   This primitive is passed from an NSLP to GIMPS.  It indicates that
   the NSLP has knowledge that the next signaling hop known to GIMPS may
   no longer be valid, either because of changes in the network routing
   or the processing capabilities of NSLP nodes.  It is an indication to
   GIMPS to restart the discovery process.

   InvalidateRoutingState ( NSLP-Id, MRI, Direction, Urgency )

   NSLP-Id: The NSLP originating the message.  May be null (in which
      case the invalidation applies to all signaling applications).

   MRI: The flow for which routing state should be invalidated.

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

   Urgency: A hint to GIMPS as to whether rediscovery should take place
      immediately, or only when the next signaling message is ready to
      be sent.

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