Ukairo: Scalable Internet Detouring

Ukairo (うかいろ) 1. (noun) detour; diversion; alternative route, in Japanese

Current Internet applications have little control over properties of routing paths chosen by Internet routing protocols. This makes it challenging to deploy applications with quality-of-service requirements in terms of path latency, bandwidth, loss, jitter and availability. For example, a content distribution system would prefer to use high bandwidth paths, whereas an Internet telephony application would choose paths with low jitter and packet loss. In addition, applications cannot ensure that their data does not traverse given countries or networks for legal or security reasons. To solve this problem, "clean slate" proposals that change the Internet routing architecture in fundamental ways are unlikely to be adopted anytime soon.

Ukairo investigates how applications can affect Internet routing by routing data through overlay networks at the application layer. By relaying traffic through hosts in an overlay network, applications can use "detours" to control routing paths without breaking compatibility with the current Internet architecture. Although researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of overlay routing for reducing path latency and improving host availability, there are no scalable approaches for discovering general-purpose overlay paths with arbitrary desired properties. We study the properties overlay routing paths, develop scalable algorithms for discovering efficient overlay routing paths on the Internet and want to provide a prototype overlay routing infrastructure for evaluation and third-party application use. We show that overlay routing can empower applications in geographic regions at the edges of the Internet and enable them to have more control about the network behaviour.

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