Joint SDI / EPP Seminar

DATE: Thursday November 16 , 2006
TIME: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Bob Briscoe
University College London

Fixing Internet DDoS & Net Neutral QoS using One More Bit & Economic Policy

Fair resource allocation and accountability have been on the list of unsolved Internet architecture problems since the first time round (1970s). Now that large parts of the global economy and of society depend on the Internet, this architectural vacuum is leading to problems of distributed denial of service, lack of quality of service control and abuse of net neutrality. This talk is about a fix to the Internet architecture to solve these problems. It uses a technique called re-feedback that is being progressed through the IETF, proposing to use the last reserved bit in the IPv4 packet header. It stands on the shoulders of theoretical advances in the late 1990s, proving that congestion pricing would optimise social welfare across the Internet in the presence of non-co-operative behaviour. Re-feedback enables proportionate control of anti-social congestion behaviour, including DDoS, by making end-users and networks accountable for the congestion they cause, but without having to change current retail pricing models.

Selected background papers:

Bob Briscoe is Chief Researcher in BT's Networks Research Centre and leads research in BT's Future Communications Architecture programme. He joined BT in 1980 attaining a degree in engineering from Cambridge. In the late-1980s he managed the transition to IP of many of BT's R&D networks and systems. In the mid-1990s he represented BT on the HTTP working group of the IETF and in the ANSA distributed systems research consortium, which led to the creation of the OMG and CORBA. In 2000 he initiated and was technical director of the Market Managed Multi-service Internet (M3I) consortium, a successful European collaboration that solved the problem of controlling Internet quality using dynamic wholesale pricing, but with flat retail pricing. He also helped incubate Qariba, an on-demand bandwidth start-up that was ultimately re-absorbed into BT to form major new Internet access products. In 2003 he initiated the Communications Research Network (CRN), a collaborative initiative to remove technical, commercial and regulatory blockages to the future health of the communications industry. He is also heavily involved in standardising research results, mainly through the IETF.

His published research, standards contributions and patent filings are in the fields of Internet architecture, loosely coupled distributed systems, scalable network QoS, group security & charging solutions, managing fixed and wireless network loading using pricing, denial of service resistance, the structure of communications markets and lately a bit of myth-slaying. He is studying part-time for a PhD at University College London.

For Further Seminar Info:
, or visit