Internet Architecture Board


Deadline EXTENDED – Call for Participation: IAB workshop on Explicit Internet Naming Systems

Internet namespaces rely on Internet connected systems sharing a common set of assumptions on the scope, method of resolution, and uniqueness of the names.    That set of assumption allowed the creation of URIs and other systems which presumed that you could authoritatively identify a service using an Internet name, a service port, and a set of locally-significant path elements. 

There are now multiple challenges to maintaining that commonality of understanding.

  • Some naming systems wish to use URIs to identify both a service and the method of resolution used to map the name to a serving node.  Because there is no common facility for varying the resolution method in the URI structure, those naming systems must either mint new URI schemes for each resolution service or infer the resolution method from a reserved name or pattern.  Both methods are currently difficult and costly, and the effort thus scales poorly.
  • Users’ intentions to refer to specific names are now often expressed in voice input, gestures, and other methods which must be interpreted before being put into practice.  The systems which carry on that interpretation often infer which intent a user is expressing, and thus what name is meant, by contextual elements.  Those systems are linked to existing systems who have no access to that context and which may thus return results or create security expectations for an unintended name.
  • Unicode allows for both combining characters and composed characters when local language communities have different practices.  When these do not have a single normalization, context is required to determine which to produce or assume in resolution.  How can this context be maintained in Internet systems?

While any of these challenges could easily be the topic of a stand-alone effort, this workshop seeks to explore whether there is a common set of root problems in the explicitness of the resolution context, heuristic derivation of intent, or language matching.   If so, it seeks to identify promising areas for the development of new, more explicit naming systems for the Internet.

Position papers sent to will now be accepted until August 11, 2017. The program committee will notify accepted participants as soon as possible after that, in order to allow for travel arrangements to be made.

Dates for the workshop are October 10th and 11th, 2017 and the location is Vancouver, British Columbia.  Further logistics will be provided to selected participants.

Ted Hardie
for the IAB

Comments are closed.