Active Networking means Evolution (or Enhanced Extensibility Required). Michael Hicks and Scott Nettles. In Hiroshi Yashuda, editor, Proceedings of the Second International Working Conference on Active Networks (IWAN), volume 1942 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 16-32. Springer-Verlag, October 2000.

The primary goal of active networking is to increase the pace of network evolution. The approach to achieving this goal, as well as the goal of enhancing customizability, is to allow network nodes to be extended by dynamically loaded code. Most active network implementations employ plug-in extensibility, a technique for loading code characterized by a concrete, pre-defined abstraction of future change. After giving examples of plug-in extensibility, we argue that while it is flexible and convenient, it is not sufficient to facilitate true evolution of the network. To remedy this problem, we propose the use of dynamic software updating. Dynamic software updating reduces the a priori assumptions of plug-in extensibility, improving flexibility and eliminating the need to pre-plan extensions. However, this additional flexibility results in additional complexity and creates issues involving validity and security. We discuss these issues, and describe the state-of-the-art in systems that support dynamic software updating, thus framing the problem for researchers developing next-generation active networks.

[ .pdf ]

  AUTHOR = {Michael Hicks and Scott Nettles},
  TITLE = {Active Networking means Evolution (or Enhanced Extensibility
  BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of the Second International Working Conference on Active Networks (IWAN)},
  MONTH = {October},
  YEAR = 2000,
  PUBLISHER = {Springer-Verlag},
  EDITOR = {Hiroshi Yashuda},
  SERIES = {Lecture Notes in Computer Science},
  VOLUME = 1942,
  PAGES = {16--32}

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