The Internet architecture assumes a division between the end-to-end
functionality of the transport layer and the properties of the path between the
endpoints. The path is assumed to be invisible, homogeneous, singular, with
dynamics solely determined by the connectivity of the endpoints and the Internet
control plane. Endpoints have very little information about the paths over which
their traffic is carried, and no control at all beyond the destination address.
Increased diversity in access networks, and ubiquitous mobile connectivity, have
made this architecture's assumptions about paths less tenable. Multipath
protocols taking advantage of this mobile connectivity begin to show us a way
forward, though: if endpoints cannot control the path, at least they can
determine the properties of the path by choosing among paths available to them.
The Path Aware Networking (PAN) proposed research group aims to support research
in bringing path awareness to transport and application layer protocols, and to
bring research in this space to the attention of the Internet engineering and
protocol design community. This mailing list provides a place to discuss the
issues within the research group's charter, as well as to discuss activities
related to the formation of the research group itself.
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