Stakeholders, incentives, and choice in information-centric networking?

posted 25 May 2011, 05:53 by Martin Waldburger
The session on information-centric networking at the FIA Budapest has shown that the demand for Content Distribution Networks (CDN) in the field of Information-centric Networks (ICN) has been demonstrated. While the principle concepts have been in place since Akamai’s fist days of operations, the user-dedicated information access and its related Quality-of-Experience (QoE) determines the key social facets today. While the basic technology provides a number of technical choices, the problems of human-readable information ID (identifier, typically in the form of a Uniform Resource ID (URI)), which is securely binding the content to its ID as well as the respective naming resolution and routing issues, are not fully clear for now – many incompatible approaches exist and have been presented partially. This leads to the open question of relevant incentives and business models on a larger scale of and for CDNs and ICN in general, determining the economic facet. Finally, the discussion of the required security model with a balancing of connection end-points versus the content object authentication outlines the social facet of user privacy and the economic facet of higher investments to deploy relevant secure technology functions, all in all typically initially complicating the usage by humans.

The panel discussion revealed that the basic technology is quite reliably in operation, such as with respect to the caching, distribution, or basic management functions, however, the available business models – besides a pure access-based scheme – are lacking an integrative view of providers and operators as well as content users and content providers. E.g., content offers and “for-free” Google rankings are forcing a payment of the content receiver. Thus, in view of SESERV’s approaches specifically, so far SESERV assumes the same set of stakeholders (different providers and various customers) and their alternative choices for optimization dimensions to be investigated, while for this FIA session’s conclusions taken from the listening position a combined socio-economic and technological investigation from the start of a project is lacking, mainly due to the non-availability of knowledge of respective methodologies and comparable best practices as well as different stakeholders interests and their economic capabilities.