The field of computer networking has evolved significantly over the past four decades since the development of ARPANET, the first large-scale computer network. The Internet has become a part and parcel of everyday life virtually worldwide, and its influence on various fields is well recognized. The TCP/IP protocol suite and packet switching constitute the core dominating Internet technologies today. However, this paradigm is facing challenges as we move to next-generation networking applications including multimedia transmissions (IPTV systems), social networking, peer-to-peer networking and so on. The serious limitations of the current Internet include its inability to provide Quality of Service, reliable communication over periodically disconnected networks, and high bandwidth for high-speed mobile devices.
Hence, there is an urgent question as to whether the Internet's entire architecture should be redesigned, from the bottom up, based on what we have learned about computer networking in the past four decades. This is often referred to as the “clean slate” approach to Internet design. In 2005, the US National Science Foundation (www.nsf.gov) started a research program called Future Internet Network Design (FIND) to focus the research community's attention on such activities. Similar funding activities are taking place in Europe (FIRE: Future Internet Research and Experimentation), Asia, and other regions across the globe. This book is an attempt to capture some of the pioneering efforts in designing the next-generation Internet.