Active Networking Means Evolution (or Enhanced Extensibility Required)

  • Michael Hicks
  • Scott Nettles
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1942)


A primary goal of active networking is to increase the pace of network evolution. Evolution is typically achieved via extensibility; that is, typical active network implementations provide an interface to extend network nodes withdyna mically loaded code. Most implementations employ plug-in extensibility, a technique for loading code characterized by a concrete, pre-defined abstraction of future change. While flexible and convenient, we argue that plug-in extensibility alone is not sufficient for true network evolution. Instead, we propose dynamic software updating, a technique that reduces the a priori assumptions of plug-in extensibility, improving flexibility and eliminating the need to pre-plan extensions. However, this additional flexibility 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.


Active Network Network Evolution Plan Interpreter Dynamic Software Interface Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Hicks
    • 1
  • Scott Nettles
    • 2
  1. 1.Computer and Information Science DepartmentUniversity of PennsylvaniaPennsylvania
  2. 2.Electrical and Computer Engineering DepartmentUniversity of Texas at Austin

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