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Bill St. Arnaud is a consultant and research engineer who works with clients around the world on a variety of subjects such as next generation Internet networks and developing practical solutions to reduce CO2 emissions such as free broadband and dynamic charging of eVehicles. He is an author of many papers and articles on these topics and is a frequent guest speaker. For more details on my research interests see

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Collaboration on Future Internet Architectures

Call for Research Collaboration on Future Internet Architectures in Partnership with the US NSF FIND Program

The Internet's unquestionable success at embodying a single global architecture has also led over the decades of its operation to unquestionable difficulties with regard to support for sound operation and some types of functionality as well as raising issues about security and robustness. Recently the international network research community has focused on developing fresh perspectives on how to design and test new architectures for coherent, global data networks that overcome these difficulties and enable a healthy robust Future Internet.
As a reflection of this growing community interest, there has been international interest in rethinking the Internet to meet the needs of the 21st century. In the United States, the National Science Foundation
(NSF) has announced a focus area for networking research called FIND, or Future Internet Design. The agenda of this focus area is to invite the research community to take a long-range perspective, and to consider what we want our global network of 10 or 15 years to be, and how to build networks that meet the future requirements. (For further information on the FIND program, see NSF solicitation 07-507.) The research funded by FIND aims to contribute to the emergence of one or more integrated visions of a future network. (See for information about the funded research projects.)

A vital part of this effort concerns fostering collaboration and consensus-building among researchers working on future global network architectures. To this end, NSF has created a FIND Planning Committee that works with NSF to organize a series of meetings among FIND grant recipients structured around activities to identify and refine overarching concepts for networks of the future. As part of the research we leave open the question of whether there will be one Internet or several virtualized Internets.

A broader community
Because there is a broad set of efforts with similar goals supported by other agencies, industry, and nations, NSF sees significant value in researchers in the FIND program participating in collaboration and consensus-building with other researchers, in academia and industry in the US and particularly internationally, who share like-minded visions. We believe that such visions of future global networks would greatly benefit from global participation and that testing and deploying these networks require global participation.

NSF would like to do its share in helping to create a global research community centered on working toward future global network architectures by inviting researchers interested in such collaboration to participate in FIND activities. We hope that other national and international groups will invite FIND participants to work with their researchers as well.

The FIND meetings are organized for the benefit of those already actively working in this area, or for those who have specific intellectual contributions they are prepared to make in support of this kind of research. These meetings are not informational meetings for people interested in learning about the problem, or for those preparing to submit proposals to NSF.

Invitee Selection
Since the efficacy of FIND meetings is in part a function of their size and coherence, we are asking researchers or individuals engaged in activities in support of research to submit short white papers describing themselves and how their work or intellectual contribution is relevant to future global internet architectures. Based on the FIND planning committee's evaluation of the described work or contribution would contribute to a vision of the future, researchers will be invited to join the FIND meetings and other events, as overall meeting sizes and logistics permit. The white papers should not focus on implementing large-scale infrastructure projects.

The evaluation of the white papers will focus on certain criteria that are listed below, along with expectations regarding what external participation entails. Naturally, interested parties should take these considerations into account as they write their white papers, and include information in their papers sufficient to allow the FIND planning committee to evaluate the aptness of their participation. Please try to limit your white paper to 2 pages.

* In a few sentences, please describe your relevant work, and its
intended impact. When possible, include as an attachment (or a URL) a longer description of your work, which if you wish can be something prepared for another purpose (e.g. an original funding proposal or a publication). It will help to limit the supporting material to 15 pages or fewer.
* Please summarize in the white paper the ways you see your
contributions as being compatible with the objectives of FIND (the URL for the FIND solicitation is included above). Contributions that accord with the FIND program will generally be based on a long-term vision of future networking, rather than addressing specific near-term problems, and framed in terms of how it might contribute to an overall architecture for a future network.
* Since the FIND meetings have been organized for the benefit of
researchers who have already been funded and are actively pursuing their research, research described in white papers should already be supported. Please describe the means you have available to cover your FIND-related activities: the source of funds, their duration, and
(roughly) the supported level of effort. Unfortunately, NSF lacks additional funds to financially support your participation in the meetings, so you must be prepared to cover those costs as well.
* If you have submitted a FIND research proposal to the current
NeTS solicitation, you should not submit a white paper here based on that research. You should provisionally hold June 27-28, 2007 of the next meeting because if selected for funding, you will be invited to attend the June meeting. The selection will be made in early June.
* As one of the goals of FIND is to develop an active community of
researchers who work increasingly together over time towards coherent, overall architectural visions, we aim for external participants to likewise become significantly engaged. To this end, you should anticipate (and have resources for) participating in FIND project meetings (three per year) in an active, sustained fashion.
* Invitations are for individuals, not organizations, so
individuals, not organizations should submit white papers.
* We view the research as pre-competitive, so your research must
not be encumbered by intellectual property restrictions that prevent you from fully discussing your work and its results with the other participants.
Your white paper (and the supporting description of current research or other relevant contributions) will be read by members of the research community, so do not submit anything that you would not reveal to your peers. (White papers are not viewed as formal submissions to NSF.) Timing and submission You may submit a white paper at any time during the FIND program. The papers we receive will be reviewed before each scheduled FIND PI meeting. Meetings are anticipated to occur approximately three times a year, in March, June/July and October/November. The next FIND meeting is scheduled for June 27-28, 2007 in the Washington D.C area. Priority in consideration for that meeting will be given to white papers that are received by Friday, May 14th, 2007.
Send your white paper to Darleen Fisher and Allison Mankin for coordination.