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Active Networking

Active networking is a communication pattern that allows packets flowing through a network to dynamically modify the operation of the network.

An active network is a network in which the nodes are programmed to perform custom operations on the messages that pass through the node. For example, a node could be programmed to handle packets on an individual user basis or to handle multicast packets differently than other packets. Active network approaches are especially important in networks of mobile users. "Smart packets" use a special self-describing language that allows new kinds of information to be carried within a packet and operated on by a node.

Active network architecture is composed of execution environments (similar to a unix shell that can execute active packets), a node operating system capable of supporting one or more execution environments. It also consists of active hardware, capable of routing or switching as well as executing code within active packets. This differs from the traditional network architecture which seeks robustness and stability by attempting to remove complexity and the ability to change its fundamental operation from underlying network components. 

Journal Publications

Qing Wei, Paulo Mendes, Christian Prehofer, Karoly Farkas and Bernhard Plattner "Context-aware Handover Based on Active Network Technology", Elsevier Computer Networks,Vol. 50, #15, October 2006. (Impact factor 1.282)

Christian Prehofer, Joachim Hillebrand, Philipp Hofmann, Paulo Mendes, Qing Wei, Hendrik Berndt “Active IP Networking: Towards Self-organized Ambient Communication”, NTT DoCoMo Technical Journal, Vol. 6, #1, June 2004.


Conference Publications

Qing Wei, Paulo Mendes, Christian Prehofer, Nima Nafisi, Karoly Farkas, Bernhard Plattner "Context-aware Handover Based on Active Network Technology", In Proc. of the IFIP IWAN, Kyoto, Japan, December, 2003

Paulo Mendes, Christian Prehofer, Qing Wei "Context Management with Programmable Mobile Networks", In Proc. of the IEEE CCW, Laguna Niguel, California, USA, September, 2003