Information-Centric Networks

Information-centric networks (ICNs) introduce a radical change in Internet communications. ICNs emphasize information access regardless of location through a new data-based approach, allowing networks to actively deliver content. ICNs employ innovative concepts, such as named content, name-based routing, security mechanisms applied directly to content and in-network content caching [CAR 00, KOP 07, JAC 09a, LAG 10, DET 11]. All these concepts constitute many open subjects and challenges in ICNs, that are addressed in Chapter 4. This chapter introduces some basic ICN concepts and points out their advantages and disadvantages in comparison to traditional network architectures.

2.1. Content naming

As seen in Chapter 1, content retrieval over the Internet is intrinsically host-centric, which implies knowing the host IP address to send content requests to. A priori knowledge of an end system IP address is required to establish one or more communication paths between the user and content host and to allow content to be directly requested. This host-centric approach binds content to identification and location.

The ICN approach differs significantly from traditional host-centric network architectures. By treating content rather than its storage node as a first-class citizen in the network architecture [ZHA 10], ICNs allow content request and retrieval to occur in a name-based manner. This can be accomplished by using specific content naming schemes. An ideal ...

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