IRTF activities co-located with IETF 116 in Yokohama
3 April 2023
I’m at Narita airport, waiting for my flight home after the IETF 116
meeting in Yokohama last week.
This was my first long haul trip since the start of the pandemic. It
brings the reminder of jet lag and a different reality of travel, with
vaccination certification entry QR codes, face masks, and a certain
complexity that wasn't there before. And, for flights between Europe
and Japan, the war in Ukraine forces a diversion around the southern
border of Russia that adds several hours, and an extra stop in Seoul
Incheon, to the journey. Still, Japan is always worth visiting. But
what happened at the IETF?
At the meeting, we had two successful new activities in the IRTF.
The first was the inaugural meeting of the new
Usable Formal Methods Proposed Research Group. I’ve been working to
raise interest in this topic for some months now, with a special
session during the ANRW 2022 and a side meeting at IETF 115 in London,
and with the potential chairs since then to get the resulting RG off
the ground. After all that, it was great to see such an excellent first
meeting, with a great introduction to the benefits and limitations of
formal methods for protocol design, especially relating to security
protocols, and some good discussion of the challenges inherent in these
The second new activity was the
Research and Analysis of Standards-setting Processes Proposed Research
Group. This builds on some of our prior research, and the related
BigBang project, and tries to bring them together with the broader
community that attended the
IAB Workshop on
Analysing of IETF Data 2021. Corinne Cath gave a great talk on using
ethnography to study power and politics in the IETF, Stephen McQuistin
discussed tooling to recommend reviewers for Internet-drafts, and
Sebastian Benthall, Priyanka Sinha, and 'Effy' Xue Li gave nice
focussed talks on IETF data analysis methodologies. The group is
already planning to join forces on future code releases.
Also in the IRTF:
The preliminary call
for papers for the ACM/IRTF Applied Networking Research Workshop
2023 is now out. Francis Yan
(Microsoft Research) and
(Princeton) will co-chair the workshop, which will
co-locate with IETF 117 in San Francisco in July 2023.
I was pleased to see the Quantum Internet Research Group publish its
Architectural Principles for a Quantum Internet, just prior to
The Human Rights Protocol Considerations Research Group had a talk on
Cryptography, The Internet, and Grassroots Organising.
I missed the start, due to a conflicting meeting, but what I saw was
excellent and I plan to catch-up on the recording.
Decentralised Internet Research Group had a useful review with
the IAB and some excellent talk on the problems of centralisation
and consolidation in the network. I look forward to working with the
chairs to finalise their re-charter, focusing further on the causes
and effects of Internet infrastructure consolidation.
The IRTF activities took much of my time during the week, so I could
only join a limited number of IETF working group meetings. I was
pleased, though, to see our
Multiplexing Scheme Updates for QUIC approved for publication as a
Proposed Standard RFC – thanks go to Bernard Aboba for driving this to
completion – and to see the transport services framework drafts
go to IETF last call.