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Forward Error Correction (FEC) Building Block
RFC 3452

Network Working Group                                            M. Luby
Request for Comments: 3452                              Digital Fountain
Category: Experimental                                       L. Vicisano
                                                                   Cisco
                                                              J. Gemmell
                                                               Microsoft
                                                                L. Rizzo
                                                              Univ. Pisa
                                                              M. Handley
                                                                    ICIR
                                                            J. Crowcroft
                                                         Cambridge Univ.
                                                           December 2002

             Forward Error Correction (FEC) Building Block

Status of this Memo

   This memo defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet
   community.  It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.
   Discussion and suggestions for improvement are requested.
   Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2002).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   This document generally describes how to use Forward Error Correction
   (FEC) codes to efficiently provide and/or augment reliability for
   data transport.  The primary focus of this document is the
   application of FEC codes to one-to-many reliable data transport using
   IP multicast.  This document describes what information is needed to
   identify a specific FEC code, what information needs to be
   communicated out-of-band to use the FEC code, and what information is
   needed in data packets to identify the encoding symbols they carry.
   The procedures for specifying FEC codes and registering them with the
   Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) are also described.  This
   document should be read in conjunction with and uses the terminology
   of the companion document titled, "The Use of Forward Error
   Correction (FEC) in Reliable Multicast".

Luby, et. al.                 Experimental                      [Page 1]
RFC 3452                   FEC Building Block              December 2002

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Rationale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Functionality. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     3.1 FEC Encoding ID and FEC Instance ID. . . . . . . . . . .   5
     3.2 FEC Payload ID and FEC Object Transmission Information .   6
   4.  Applicability Statement . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   5.  Packet Header Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     5.1 Small Block, Large Block and Expandable FEC Codes. . . .   8
     5.2 Small Block Systematic FEC Codes . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   6.  Requirements from other building blocks. . . . . . . . . .  11
   7.  Security Considerations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   8.  IANA Considerations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     8.1 Explicit IANA Assignment Guidelines. . . . . . . . . . .  12
   9.  Intellectual Property Disclosure . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   10. Acknowledgments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   11. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   12. Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
   13. Full Copyright Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16

1.  Introduction

   This document describes how to use Forward Error Correction (FEC)
   codes to provide support for reliable delivery of content using IP
   multicast.  This document should be read in conjunction with and uses
   the terminology of the companion document [4], which describes the
   use of FEC codes within the context of reliable IP multicast
   transport and provides an introduction to some commonly used FEC
   codes.

   This document describes a building block as defined in RFC 3048 [9].
   This document is a product of the IETF RMT WG and follows the general
   guidelines provided in RFC 3269 [3].

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC2119 [2].

   Statement of Intent

      This memo contains part of the definitions necessary to fully
      specify a Reliable Multicast Transport protocol in accordance with
      RFC 2357. As per RFC 2357, the use of any reliable multicast

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