University of Twente Student Theses


Future Internet Architecture : and the Challenges of current Internet

Arora, C. (2016) Future Internet Architecture : and the Challenges of current Internet.

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Abstract:In the last three decades, the Internet has seen unprecedented growth, scaling from a few hundred early users to more than 3 billion global users, enabling a transformation of a wide range of economic, social, political and cultural practices. However, along with this growth, Internet has also witnessed a wide range of growing conflicts among its stakeholders. The issues raised through these conflicts, which include concerns over privacy, security, censorship, etc., are at the heart of debates over Internet’s design and regulation held between stakeholders such as governments, private enterprises, activists and designers. Given the impact of Internet’s technical architecture over human life, a number of scholars within the Internet research community, arguing that the current architecture is too constrained to cater to contemporary concerns, advocate for a clean-slate architecture design for a future network. While a clean-slate architecture provides us with an opportunity to find solutions to our current moral dilemmas, it also leaves us with the responsibility of anticipating moral dilemmas that may arise in future because of such a design. This thesis aims to take up this responsibility and provide a step towards a future Internet. Using the conceptual notion of ‘architecture’, which allows for a decomposition of a complex system, like the Internet, this thesis argues for four critical meta-requirements for a future Internet architecture. These meta-requirements, which are properties of the system critical to it beyond its basic functionalities, cater to four characteristics of a complex system like Internet which underlie its current as well as potentially future challenges: inherent uncertainty and lack of predictability of future use of a network like Internet, diverging stakeholder interests and views, lack of feedback or data about how the network is being used, and diversity of societies Internet is embedded in. I conclude the thesis by providing design principles, which are philosophical guidelines,for a future Internet, along with evaluation tools that a research team, which I argue should be multi-disciplinary, involved in development of a future Internet can use to evaluate the different specific implementations of these design principles and hence, move towards the development of a future network that can support the socio-economic goals of a diverse world.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:08 philosophy
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
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