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Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 05                                             
ICNRG                                                         J. Seedorf
Internet-Draft                                                       NEC
Intended status: Informational                           M. Arumaithurai
Expires: December 29, 2014                      University of Goettingen
                                                               A. Tagami
                                                           KDDI R&D Labs
                                                         K. Ramakrishnan
                                                University of California
                                                      N. Blefari Melazzi
                                                  University Tor Vergata
                                                           June 27, 2014

                    Using ICN in disaster scenarios


   Information Centric Networking is a new paradigm where the network
   provides users with named content, instead of communication channels
   between hosts.  This document outlines some research directions for
   Information Centric Networking (ICN) with respect to applying ICN
   approaches for coping with natural or human-generated, large-scale

Status of This Memo

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2014 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

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   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Disaster Scenarios  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Research Challenges and Benefits of ICN . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     3.1.  High-Level Research Challenges  . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     3.2.  How ICN can be Beneficial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   4.  Use Cases and Requirements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   5.  Solution Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   6.  The GreenICN Project  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   7.  Conclusion  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     8.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     8.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   Appendix A.  Acknowledgment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10

1.  Introduction

   This document summarizes some research challenges for coping with
   natural or human-generated, large-scale disasters.  Further, the
   document discusses potential directions for applying Information
   Centric Networking (ICN) to address these challenges.

   Section 2 gives some examples of what can be considered a large-scale
   disaster and what the effects of such disasters on communication
   networks are.  Section 3 outlines why ICN can be beneficial in such
   scenarios and provides a high-level overview on corresponding
   research challenges.  Section 4 describes some concrete use cases and
   requirements for disaster scenarios.  In Section 5, some concrete
   ICN-based solutions approaches are outlined.  Related research
   activities are ongoing in the GreenICN research project; Section 6
   provides an overview of this project.

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2.  Disaster Scenarios

   An enormous earthquake hit Northeastern Japan (Tohoku areas) on March
   11, 2011, and caused extensive damages including blackouts, fires,
   tsunamis and a nuclear crisis.  The lack of information and means of
   communication caused the isolation of several Japanese cities.  This
   impacted the safety and well-being of residents, and affected rescue
   work, evacuation activities, and the supply chain for food and other
   essential items.  Even in the Tokyo area that is 300km away from the
   Tohoku area, more than 100,000 people became 'returner' refugees, who
   could not reach their homes because they had no means of public
   transportation (the Japanese government has estimated that more than
   6.5 million people would become returner refugees if such a
   catastrophic disaster were to hit the Tokyo area).

   That earthquake in Japan also showed that the current network is
   vulnerable against disasters and that mobile phones have become the
   lifelines for communication including safety confirmation.  The
   aftermath of a disaster puts a high strain on available resources due
   to the need for communication by everyone.  Authorities such as the
   President/Prime-Minister, local authorities, Police, fire brigades,
   and rescue and medical personnel would like to inform the citizens of
   possible shelters, food, or even of impending danger.  Relatives
   would like to communicate with each other and be informed about their
   wellbeing.  Affected citizens would like to make enquiries of food
   distribution centres, shelters or report trapped, missing people to
   the authorities.  Moreover, damage to communication equipment, in
   addition to the already existing heavy demand for communication
   highlights the issue of fault-tolerance and energy efficiency.

   Additionally, disasters caused by humans such as a terrorist attack
   may need to be considered, i.e. disasters that are caused
   deliberately and willfully and have the element of human intent.  In
   such cases, the perpetrators could be actively harming the network by
   launching a Denial-of-Service attack or by monitoring the network
   passively to obtain information exchanged, even after the main
   disaster itself has taken place.  Unlike some natural disasters that
   are predictable using weather forecasting technologies and have a
   slower onset and occur in known geographical regions and seasons,
   terrorist attacks may occur suddenly without any advance warning.
   Nevertheless, there exist many commonalities between natural and
   human-induced disasters, particularly relating to response and
   recovery, communication, search and rescue, and coordination of

   The timely dissemination of information generated and requested by
   all the affected parties during and the immediate aftermath of a
   disaster is difficult to provide within the current context of global

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   information aggregators (such as Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.) that need
   to index the vast amounts of specialized information related to the
   disaster.  Specialized coverage of the situation and timely
   dissemination are key to successfully managing disaster situations.
   We believe that network infrastructure capability provided by
   Information Centric Networks can be suitable, in conjunction with
   application and middleware assistance.

3.  Research Challenges and Benefits of ICN

3.1.  High-Level Research Challenges

   Given a disaster scenario as described in Section 2, on a high-level
   one can derive the following (incomplete) list of corresponding
   technical challenges:

   o  Enabling usage of functional parts of the infrastructure, even
      when these are disconnected from the rest of the network: Assuming
      that parts of the network infrastructure (i.e. cables/links,
      routers, mobile bases stations, ...) are functional after a
      disaster has taken place, it is desirable to be able to continue
      using such components for communication as much as possible.  This
      is challenging when these components are disconnected from the
      backhaul, thus forming fragmented networks.  This is especially
      true for today's mobile networks which are comprised of a
      centralised architecture, mandating connectivity to central
      entities (which are located in the core of the mobile network) for
      communication.  But also in fixed networks, access to a name
      resolution service is often necessary to access some given

   o  Decentralised authentication: In mobile networks, users are
      authenticated via central entities.  In order to communicate in
      fragmented or disconnected parts of a mobile network, the
      challenge of decentralising such user authentication arises.
      Independently of the network being fixed or mobile, data origin
      authentication of content retrieved from the network is
      challenging when being 'offline' (e.g. disconnected from servers
      of a security infrastructure such as a PKI).

   o  Delivering/obtaining information in congested networks: Due to
      broken cables, failed routers, etc., it is likely that in a
      disaster scenario the communication network has much less overall
      capacity for handling traffic.  Thus, significant congestion can
      be expected in parts of the infrastructure.  It is therefore a
      challenge to guarantee message delivery in such a scenario.  This
      is even more important as in the case of a disaster aftermath, it

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      may be crucial to deliver certain information to recipients (e.g.
      warnings to citizens).

   o  Delay/Disruption Tolerant Approach: Fragmented networks makes it
      difficult to support end-to-end communication.  However,
      communication in general and especially during disaster can
      tolerate some form of delay.  E.g. in order to know if his/her
      relatives are safe or a 'SOS' call need not be supported in an
      end-to-end manner.  It is sufficient to improve communication
      resilience in order to deliver such important messages.

   o  Energy Efficiency: Long-lasting power outages may lead to
      batteries of communication devices running out, so designing
      energy-efficient solutions is very important in order to maintain
      a usable communication infrastructure.

   The list above is most likely incomplete; future revisions of this
   document intend to add additional challenges to the list.

3.2.  How ICN can be Beneficial

   Several aspects of ICN make related approaches attractive candidates
   for addressing the challenges described in Section 3.1.  Below is an
   (incomplete) list of considerations why ICN approaches can be
   beneficial to address these challenges:

   o  Routing-by-name: ICN protocols natively route by named data
      objects and can identify objects by names, effectively moving the
      process of name resolution from the application layer to the
      network layer.  This functionality is very handy in a fragmented
      network where reference to location-based, fixed addresses may not
      work as a consequence of disruptions.  For instance, name
      resolution with ICN does not necessarily rely on the reachability
      of application-layer servers (e.g.  DNS resolvers).  In highly
      decentralised scenarios (e.g. in infrastructureless, opportunistic
      environments) the ICN routing-by-name paradigm effectively may
      lead to a 'replication-by-name' approach, where content is
      replicated depending on its name.

   o  Authentication of named data objects: ICN is built around the
      concept of named data objects.  Several proposals exist for
      integrating the concept of 'self-certifying data' into a naming
      scheme (see e.g.  [RFC6920]).  With such approaches, the origin of
      data retrieved from the network can be authenticated without
      relying on a trusted third party or PKI.

   o  Content-based access control: ICN can regulate access to data
      objects (e.g. only to a specific user or class of users) by means

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      of content-based security; this functionality could facilitate
      trusted communications among peer users in isolated areas of the

   o  Caching: Caching content along a delivery path is an inherent
      concept in ICN.  Caching helps in handling huge amounts of
      traffic, and can help to avoid congestion in the network (e.g.
      congestion in backhaul links can be avoided by delivering content
      from caches at access nodes).

   o  Sessionless: ICN does not require full end-to-end connectivity.
      This feature facilitates a seemless aggregation between a normal
      network and a fragmented network, which needs DTN-like message

   The list above is most likely incomplete; future revisions of this
   document intend to add more considerations to the list and to argue
   in more detail why ICN is suitable for addressing the aforementioned
   research challenges.

4.  Use Cases and Requirements

   This Section describes some use cases for the aforementioned disaster
   scenario (as outlined in Section 2) and discusses the corresponding
   technical requirements for enabling these use cases.

   o  Delivering Messages to Relatives/Friends: After a disaster
      strikes, citizens want to confirm to each other that they are
      safe.  For instance, shortly after a large disaster (e.g.,
      Earthquake, Tornado), people have moved to different refugee
      shelters.  The mobile network is not fully recovered and is
      fragmented, but some base stations are functional.  This use case
      imposes the following high-level requirements: a) People must be
      able to communicate with others in the same network fragment, b)
      people must be able to communicate with others that are located in
      different fragmented parts of the overall network.  More
      concretely, the following requirements are needed to enable the
      use case: a) a mechanism for scalable message forwarding scheme
      that dynamically adapts to changing conditions in disconnected
      networks, b) DTN-like mechanisms for getting information from
      disconnected island to another disconnected island, and c) data
      origin authentication so that users can confirm that the messages
      they receive are indeed from their relatives or friends.

   o  Spreading Crucial Information to Citizens: State authorities want
      to be able to convey important information (e.g. warnings, or
      information on where to go or how to behave) to citizens.  These
      kinds of information shall reach as many citizens as possible.

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      i.e.  Crucial content from legal authorities shall potentially
      reach all users in time.  The technical requirements that can be
      derived from this use case are: a) Data origin authentication,
      such that citizens can confrim the authenticity of messages sent
      by authorities, b) mechanisms that guarantee the timeliness and
      loss-free delivery of such information, which may include
      techniques for prioritizing certain messages in the network
      depending on who sent them, and c) DTN-like mechanisms for getting
      information from disconnected island to another disconnected

   It can be observed that different key use cases for disaster
   scenarios imply overlapping and similar technical requirements for
   fulfilling them.  As discussed in Section 3.2, ICN approaches are
   envisioned to be very suitable for addressing these requirements with
   actual technical solutions.

5.  Solution Design

   This Section outlines some ICN-based approaches that aim at
   fulfilling the previously mentioned use cases and requirements.

   o  ICN 'data mules': To facilitate the exchange of messages between
      different network fragments, mobile entitites can act as ICN 'data
      mules' which are equipped with storage space and move around the
      disaster-stricken area gathering information to be disseminated.
      As the mules move around, they deliver messages to other
      individuals or points of attachment to different fragments of the
      network.  These 'data mules' could have a pre-determined path (an
      ambulance going to and fro from a hospital), a fixed path (drone/
      robot assigned specifically to do so) or a completely random path
      (doctors moving from one camp to another).

   o  Priority dependent Name-based replication: By allowing spatial and
      temporal scoping of named messages, priority based replication
      depending on the scope of a given message is possible.  Clearly,
      spreading information in disaster cases involves space and time
      factors that have to be taken into account as messages spread.  A
      concrete approach for such scope-based prioritisation of ICN
      messages in disasters, called 'NREP', has been proposed
      [Psaras2014], where ICN messages have attributes such as user-
      defined priority, space, and temporal-validity.  These attributes
      are then taken into account when prioritizing messages.  In
      [Psaras2014], evaluations show how this approach can be applied to
      the use case 'Delivering Messages to Relatives/Friends' decribed
      in Section 4

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   o  Data-centric confidentiality and access control: In ICN, the
      requested content is not anymore associated to a trusted server or
      an endpoint location, but it can be retrieved from any network
      cache or a replica server.  This call for 'data-centric' security,
      where security relies on information exclusively contained in the
      message itself, or, if extra information provided by trusted
      entities is needed, this should be gathered through offline,
      asynchronous, and non interactive communication, rather than from
      an explicit online interactive handshake with trusted servers.
      The ability to guarantee security without any online entities is
      particularly important in disaster scenarios with fragmented
      networks.  One concrete cryptographic technique is 'Ciphertext-
      Policy Attribute Based Encryption' (CP-ABE), allowing a party to
      encrypt a content specifying a policy, which consists in a Boolean
      expression over attributes, that must be satisfied by those who
      want to decrypt such content.  Such encryption schemes tie
      confidentiality and access-control to the transferred data, which
      can be transmitted also in an unsecured channel, enabling the
      source to specify the set of nodes allowed to decrypt.

   o  Decentralised authentication of messages: Self-certifying names
      provide the property that any entity in a distributed system can
      verify the binding between a corresponding public key and the
      self-certifying name without relying on a trusted third party.
      Self-certifying names thus provide a decentralized form of data
      origin authentication.  However, self-certifying names lack a
      binding with a corresponding real-world identity.  Given the
      decentralised nature of a disaster scenario, a PKI-based approach
      for binding self-certifying names with real-world identities is
      not feasible.  Instead, a Web-of-Trust can be used to provide this
      binding.  Not only are the cryptograohic signatures used within a
      Web-of-Trust independent of any central authority; there are also
      technical means for making the inherent trust relationships of a
      Web-of-Trust available to network entities in a decentralised,
      'offline' fashion, such that information received can be assessed
      based on these trust relationships.  A concrete scheme for such an
      approach has been published in [Seedorf2014], where also concrete
      examples for fulfilling the use case 'Delivering Messages to
      Relatives/Friends' with this approach are given.

6.  The GreenICN Project

   This section provides a brief overview of the GreenICN project.  You
   can find more information at the project web site

   The recently formed GreenICN project, funded by the EU and Japan,
   aims to accelerate the practical deployment of ICN, addressing how

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   ICN networks and devices can operate in a highly scalable and energy-
   efficient way.  The project will exploit the designed infrastructure
   to support multiple applications including the following two broad
   exemplary scenarios: 1) The aftermath of a disaster, e.g. hurricane,
   earthquake, tsunami, or a human-generated network breakdown when
   energy and communication resources are at a premium and it is
   critical to efficiently distribute disaster notification and critical
   rescue information.  Key to this is the ability to exploit fragmented
   networks with only intermittent connectivity, the potential
   exploitation of multiple modalities of communication and use of
   query/response and pub/sub approaches; 2) Scalable, efficient pub/sub
   video delivery, a key requirement in both normal and disaster

   GreenICN will expose a functionality-rich API to spur the creation of
   new applications and services expected to drive industry and
   consumers, with special focus on the EU and Japanese environments,
   into ICN adoption.  Our team, comprising researchers with diverse
   expertise, system and network equipment manufacturers, device
   vendors, a startup, and mobile telecommunications operators, is very
   well positioned to design, prototype and deploy GreenICN technology,
   and validate usability and performance of real-world GreenICN
   applications, contributing to create a new, low-energy, Information-
   Centric global communications infrastructure.  We also plan to make
   contributions to standards bodies to further the adoption of ICN

7.  Conclusion

   This document outlines some research directions for Information
   Centric Networking (ICN) with respect to applying ICN approaches for
   coping with natural or human-generated, large-scale disasters.  The
   document describes high-level research challenges as well as a
   general rationale why ICN approaches could be beneficial to address
   these challenges.  One main objective of this document is to gather
   feedback from the ICN community within the IETF and IRTF regarding
   how ICN approaches can be suitable to solve the presented research
   challenges.  Future revisions of this draft intend to include
   additional research challenges and to discuss what implications this
   research area has regarding related, future IETF standardisation.

8.  References

8.1.  Normative References

   [RFC6920]  Farrell, S., Kutscher, D., Dannewitz, C., Ohlman, B.,
              Keranen, A., and P. Hallam-Baker, "Naming Things with
              Hashes", RFC 6920, April 2013.

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8.2.  Informative References

              Psaras, I., Saino, L., Arumaithurai, M., Ramakrishnan, K.,
              and G. Pavlou, "Name-Based Replication Priorities in
              Disaster Cases", 2nd Workshop on Name Oriented Mobility
              (NOM), 2014, .

              Seedorf, J., Kutscher, D., and F. Schneider,
              "Decentralised Binding of Self-Certifying Names to Real-
              World Identities for Assessment of Third-Party Messages in
              Fragmented Mobile Networks", 2nd Workshop on Name Oriented
              Mobility (NOM), 2014, .

Appendix A.  Acknowledgment

   The authors would like to thank Ioannis Psaras for useful comments.

   This document has been supported by the GreenICN project (GreenICN:
   Architecture and Applications of Green Information Centric Networking
   ), a research project supported jointly by the European Commission
   under its 7th Framework Program (contract no. 608518) and the
   National Institute of Information and Communications Technology
   (NICT) in Japan (contract no. 167).  The views and conclusions
   contained herein are those of the authors and should not be
   interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or
   endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the GreenICN project,
   the European Commission, or NICT.

Authors' Addresses

   Jan Seedorf
   Kurfuerstenanlage 36
   Heidelberg  69115

   Phone: +49 6221 4342 221
   Fax:   +49 6221 4342 155
   Email: seedorf@neclab.eu

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   Mayutan Arumaithurai
   University of Goettingen
   Goldschmidt Str. 7
   Goettingen  37077

   Phone: +49 551 39 172046
   Fax:   +49 551 39 14416
   Email: arumaithurai@informatik.uni-goettingen.de

   Atsushi Tagami
   KDDI R&D Labs
   2-1-15 Ohara
   Fujimino, Saitama    356-85025

   Phone: +81 49 278 73651
   Fax:   +81 49 278 7510
   Email: tagami@kddilabs.jp

   K. K. Ramakrishnan
   University of California
   Riverside  CA

   Email: kkramakrishnan@yahoo.com

   Nicola Blefari Melazzi
   University Tor Vergata
   Via del Politecnico, 1
   Roma  00133

   Phone: +39 06 7259 7501
   Fax:   +39 06 7259 7435
   Email: blefari@uniroma2.it

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