Sep 26, 2010

Get what you want, faster, through content-centric networks! Video - Jim Thornton, PARC

I came across information about PARC's work in an article written by Dean Takahashi, of Venture Beat (9/26/10) Xerox PARC has a plan to make the internet more speedy

Get what you want faster:
In the video below,  Jim Thornton, a researcher at PARC,  is interviewed by Dean Takahashi, from VentureBeat. Jim discusses his work in the area of content-centric networking, also known as CCN or Named-Data-Networking (NDN).  CCN is a way to work around the problem of internet "bottlenecking", something that happens when lots of people want to view rich multimedia content at the very same time.  

As it stands, content-delivery companies handle this problem by storing content in video caches, identified by IP addresses.  If you search for content via the CCN protocol, your search will lead to a memory node that is identified by the name of the content (or other information that identifies the content), rather than an IP address, and select the content that is closest to your location.

One of the objectives of CCN is to reduce internet bandwidth expenses.

PARC is working with nine universities on this project, which provides open-source software that can be found on the Project CCNx website.  

About CCNx:
"Project CCNx exists to develop, promote, and evaluate a new approach to communication architecture we call content-centric networking.  We seek to carry out this mission by creating and publishing open protocol specifications and an open source software reference implementation of those protocols.  We provide support for a community of people interested in experimentation, research, and building applications with this technology, all contributing to its evolution."

If you are curious, the open-source Content Centric Networking code can be found on the github website. If you visit the website, make sure you take a look at the "ReadMe" section. Also heed this warning, found on the Project CCNx website: "CCNx technology is still at a very early stage of development, with pure infrastructure and no applications, best suited to researchers and adventurous network engineers or software developers.  If you're looking for cool applications ready to download and use, you are a little too early."

PARC Awarded National Science Foundation Funding to Expand Fundamental Research in Content-Centered Networking:  Part of NSF's new "Future Internet Architecture" program, the Named-Data-Networking (NDN) grant includes PARC and nine universities:
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
University of Arizona
Washington University
Yale University
Colorado State University
University of California, San Diego
University of Memphis
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Los Angeles

Networking Named Content (pdf)
Jacobson, V.; Smetters, D. K.; Thornton, J. D.; Plass, M. F.; Briggs, N.; Braynard, R. Networking named content. Proceedings of the 5th ACM International Conference on Emerging Networking Experiments and Technologies (CoNEXT 2009); 2009 December 1-4; Rome, Italy. NY: ACM; 2009; 1-12.J

"Network use has evolved to be dominated by content distribution and retrieval, while networking technology still can only speak of connections between hosts. Accessing content and services requires mapping from the what that users care about to the network’s where. We present Content-Centric Networking (CCN) which takes content as a primitive – decoupling location from identity, security and access, and retrieving content by name. Using new approaches to routing named content, derived heavily from IP, we can simultaneously achieve scalability, security and performance. We have implemented the basic features of our architecture and demonstrate resilience and performance with secure file downloads and VoIP calls."

SocialTV: designing for distributed, social television viewing (pdf)
Ducheneaut, N. ; Moore, R. J. ; Oehlberg, L.; Thornton, J. D. ; Nickell, E. SocialTV: designing for distributed, social television viewing. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction. 2008 February; 24 (2): 136-154.

"Media research has shown that people enjoy watching television as a part of socializing in groups. However, many constraints in daily life limit the opportunities for doing so. The Social TV project builds on the increasing integration of television and computer technology to support sociable, computer-mediated group viewing experiences. In this paper, we describe the initial results from a series of studies illustrating how people interact in front of a television set. Based on these results, we propose guidelines as well as specific features to inform the design of future "social television" prototypes."


PARC Online said...

Thanks for this summary! Another great resource is Van's talk on A New Way to Look at Networking -- the original 2006 one is at and the updated 2009 one, with details of how, is at

Lynn Marentette said...

Thanks for the additional links. I'll update this post with the new information.