Method And System For Conjunctive Normal Form Attribute Matching In A Content Centric Network

  • Published: Feb 15, 2018
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  *US20180046667A1*
  US20180046667A1                                 
(19)United States 
(12)Patent Application Publication(10)Pub. No.: US 2018/0046667 A1
 (43)Pub. Date:Feb.  15, 2018

(54)METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR CONJUNCTIVE NORMAL FORM ATTRIBUTE MATCHING IN A CONTENT CENTRIC NETWORK 
    
(75)Inventor: CISCO TECHNOLOGY, INC.,  San Jose, CA (US) 
(73)Assignee:CISCO TECHNOLOGY, INC.,  San Jose, CA (US), Type: US Company 
(21)Appl. No.: 15/232,674 
(22)Filed: Aug.  9, 2016 
 Publication Classification 
(51)Int. Cl. G06F 017/30 (20060101)
CPC G06F 017/30424 (20130101); G06F 017/30952 (20130101); G06F 017/30312 (20130101)

        

(57)

Abstract

One embodiment provides a system that facilitates a flexible strategy for matching content objects and interests. During operation, the system receives, by a computing device, an interest which includes a set of attributes, wherein a respective attribute has one or more values. In response to not obtaining a matching entry for the interest in a pending interest table, the system adds to the pending interest table a first entry which indicates the interest based on the attributes and their values. The system determines whether a received content object satisfies the interest indicated in the first entry based on the attributes of the first entry and attributes of the content object. In response to determining that the content object satisfies the interest, the system forwards the content object, thereby facilitating a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests.
 Claim(s),  Drawing Sheet(s), and Figure(s)
 
 


RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] The subject matter of this application is related to the subject matter in the following applications:
[0002] U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/847,814 (Attorney Docket No. PARC-20120537), entitled “ORDERED-ELEMENT NAMING FOR NAME-BASED PACKET FORWARDING,” by inventor Ignacio Solis, filed 20 Mar. 2013 (hereinafter “U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/847,814”); and
[0003] U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/338,175 (Attorney Docket No. PARC-20080626), entitled “CONTROLLING THE SPREAD OF INTERESTS AND CONTENT IN A CONTENT CENTRIC NETWORK,” by inventors Van L. Jacobson and Diana K. Smetters, filed 18 Dec. 2008 (hereinafter “U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/338,175”);
[0004] U.S. Pat. No. 8,204,060 (Attorney Docket No. PARC-20090115Q1), entitled “METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR FACILITATING FORWARDING A PACKET IN A CONTENT-CENTRIC NETWORK,” by inventors Van Jacobson and James D. Thornton, filed 17 Dec. 2009 (hereinafter “U.S. Pat. No. 8,204,060”);
[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 8,386,622 (Attorney Docket No. PARC-20080625-US-NP), entitled “METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FACILITATING COMMUNICATION IN A CONTENT CENTRIC NETWORK,” by inventor Van L. Jacobson, filed 11 Dec. 2008 (hereinafter “U.S. Pat. No. 8,386,622”); and
[0006] U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/337,026 (Attorney Docket No. PARC-20140480US01), entitled “SYSTEM FOR DISTRIBUTING NAMELESS OBJECTS USING SELF-CERTIFYING NAMES,” by inventor Marc E. Mosko, filed 14 Jul. 2014 (hereinafter “U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/337,026”);
the disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND

Field

[0007] This disclosure is generally related to distribution of digital content. More specifically, this disclosure is related to a method and system for matching interests and content objects in a content centric network based on matching conjunctive normal form predicates of arbitrary attribute-based restrictions.

Related Art

[0008] The proliferation of the Internet and e-commerce continues to create a vast amount of digital content. Content-centric network (CCN) architectures have been designed to facilitate accessing and processing such digital content. A CCN includes entities, or nodes, such as network clients and consumers, forwarders (e.g., routers), and content producers, which communicate with each other by sending interest packets for various content items and receiving content object packets in return. CCN interests and content objects are identified by their unique names, which are typically hierarchically structured variable length identifiers (HSVLI). An HSVLI can include contiguous name components ordered from a most general level to a most specific level.
[0009] An interest can include a name and two optional limiting restrictions for a responsive content object. The first restriction is a key identifier restriction (“KeyIdRestr”), which limits a responsive content object to one which is signed with a key identifier in a validation algorithm field (“ValidationAlgorithm KeyId”) equal to the KeyIdRestr. The second restriction is a content object hash value restriction (“ObjHashRestr”), which limits a responsive content object to one where a cryptographic hash of the entire named payload is equal to the ObjHashRestr. A current version of the CCNx Semantics is available at https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-irtf-icnrg-ccnxsemantics/(hereinafter “CCNx Semantics,” which disclosure is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety. Furthermore, a content object may or may not include a name and a key identifier, while a cryptographic hash may always be performed on the payload of the content object (i.e., to obtain a comparison value for matching against an ObjHashRestr of a pending interest). Nameless content objects are described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/337,026.
[0010] Thus, a content object satisfies or matches an interest if and only if: (a) the content object name, if present, exactly matches the interest name; (b) a key identifier of the content object exactly equals a KeyIdRestr of the interest, if present; and (c) a computed hash of the content object exactly equals the ObjHashRestr of the interest, if present. However, the current CCN protocol does not allow an interest to express multiple restrictions for a single attribute (such as the KeyIdRestr or the ObjHashRestr). Nor does the current CCN protocol allow an interest to express one or more restrictions (or values) for other attributes.

SUMMARY

[0011] One embodiment provides a system that facilitates a flexible strategy for matching content objects and interests. During operation, the system receives, by a computing device, an interest which includes a set of attributes, wherein a respective attribute has one or more values. In response to not obtaining a matching entry for the interest in a pending interest table, the system adds to the pending interest table a first entry which indicates the interest based on the attributes and their values. The system determines whether a received content object satisfies the interest indicated in the first entry based on the attributes of the first entry and attributes of the content object. In response to determining that the content object satisfies the interest, the system forwards the content object, thereby facilitating a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests.
[0012] In some embodiments, the interest has a name, obtaining or not obtaining the matching entry in the pending interest table is based on the name for the interest, and the received content object has a same name as the name for the interest. The system receives the content object and performs a lookup in the pending interest table based on the name for the content object to obtain the first entry.
[0013] In some embodiments, in response to obtaining the matching entry for the interest in the pending interest table based on the name for the interest, the system performs the following operations: in response to determining, for each attribute indicated in the matching entry, that the values of a respective attribute indicated in the matching entry exactly match all of the values of the corresponding attribute of the interest, the system adds an arrival interface associated with the interest to a list of arrival interfaces for the matching entry; and in response to determining, for each attribute indicated in the matching entry, that the values of a respective attribute indicated in the matching entry do not exactly match all of the values of the corresponding attribute of the interest, the system adds to the pending interest table the first entry.
[0014] In some embodiments, the system determines that the content object satisfies the interest by determining, for each attribute indicated in the first entry, that a value of the corresponding attribute of the content object matches one of the values of a respective attribute indicated in the first entry.
[0015] In some embodiments, the system determines that the content object satisfies the interest by performing a calculation based on a conjunctive normal form, wherein a respective attribute comprises an AND clause, and wherein the values for the respective attribute comprise predicates of an OR clause.
[0016] In some embodiments, in response to determining that the content object does not satisfy the interest, the system performs one or more of the following operations: stores the content object in a local cache or content store; refrains from forwarding the content object to a downstream node; discards the content object; and performs an action based on a policy of the computer system.
[0017] In some embodiments, an attribute is one or more of: a name for the interest or the content object, wherein a name is a hierarchically structured variable length identifier that includes contiguous name components ordered from a most general level to a most specific level; a key identifier restriction associated with the interest and applicable to a responsive content object; a key identifier associated with the content object; a content object hash restriction associated with the interest and applicable to the responsive content object; a hash of the content object; a hop count or limit associated with the interest or the content object; and any field of the interest, the content object, or a message in a content centric network.
[0018] In some embodiments, in response to receiving the interest, the system performs a lookup in a content store or local cache of the computing device for a matching content object. In response to determining, for each respective attribute indicated in the interest, that a value of an attribute of the matching content object matches one of the values of a corresponding respective attribute of the interest, the system forwards the content object.
[0019] Another embodiment provides a system that facilitates a flexible strategy for matching content objects and interests. During operation, the system generates an interest which includes a set of attributes, wherein a respective attribute has one or more values. The system determines that a received content object satisfies the interest based on a matching entry in a pending interest table and further based on attributes of the matching entry and attributes of the received content object. The system removes the matching entry from the pending interest table, thereby facilitating a flexible strategy for matching content objects and interests.
[0020] In some embodiments, the system creates the matching entry in the pending interest table, wherein the matching entry indicates the interest based on the attributes and their values.
[0021] In some embodiments, the interest has a name that is a hierarchically structured variable length identifier comprised of contiguous name components ordered from a most general level to a most specific level.
[0022] In some embodiments, in response to transmitting the interest, the system receives the content object. The system determines that the received content object satisfies the interest based on the matching entry by determining, for each attribute indicated in the matching entry, that a value of the corresponding attribute of the content object matches one of the values of a respective attribute indicated in the first entry.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0023] FIG. 1A illustrates an exemplary network that facilitates a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
[0024] FIG. 1B illustrates an exemplary network that facilitates a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
[0025] FIG. 1C illustrates an exemplary network that facilitates a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
[0026] FIG. 2A presents an exemplary interest packet, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
[0027] FIG. 2B presents an exemplary content object, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
[0028] FIG. 2C presents an exemplary pending interest table, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
[0029] FIG. 3A presents a flow chart illustrating a method for facilitating a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests, including processing an incoming interest, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
[0030] FIG. 3B presents a flow chart illustrating a method for facilitating a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests, including processing an incoming content object, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
[0031] FIG. 4 presents a flow chart illustrating a method for facilitating a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests, including processing an incoming content object and determining whether the content object satisfies a pending interest, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
[0032] FIG. 5 presents a flow chart illustrating a method by a content requesting device for facilitating a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
[0033] FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary computer and communication system that facilitates a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
[0034] In the figures, like reference numerals refer to the same figure elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0035] The following description is presented to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the embodiments, and is provided in the context of a particular application and its requirements. Various modifications to the disclosed embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the general principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments and applications without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure. Thus, the present invention is not limited to the embodiments shown, but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and features disclosed herein.

Overview

[0036] Embodiments of the present invention provide a system that allows a content-requesting node to request content based on multiple values for an attribute, which facilitates a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interest. Recall that a CCN interest can include a name and two optional limiting restrictions for a responsive content object. The first restriction is a key identifier restriction (“KeyIdRestr” or “KIR”), which limits a responsive content object to one which is signed with a key identifier in a validation algorithm field (“ValidationAlgorithm KeyId”) equal to the KeyIdRestr. The second restriction is a content object hash value restriction (“ObjHashRestr” or “COHR”), which limits a responsive content object to one where a cryptographic hash of the entire named payload is equal to the ObjHashRestr. Furthermore, a CCN content object may or may not include a name and a key identifier, while a cryptographic hash may always be performed on the payload of the content object (i.e., to obtain a comparison value for matching against a COHR of a pending interest). Nameless content objects are described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/337,026.
[0037] Thus, a content object satisfies or matches an interest if and only if: (a) the content object name, if present, exactly matches the interest name; (b) a key identifier of the content object exactly equals a KIR of the interest, if present; and (c) the computed COH exactly equals the COHR of the interest, if present. However, the current CCN protocol does not allow an interest to express multiple restrictions for a single attribute (such as the KIR or the COHR). Nor does the current CCN protocol allow an interest to express one or more restrictions (or values) for other attributes.
[0038] Embodiments of the present invention address these deficiencies by allowing a content requesting node (or a requestor) to transmit an interest with multiples values for an attribute. For example, a requestor may wish to express a COHR (i.e., the attribute) as both the SHA256 digest (“H1”) and the SHA 512 digest (“H2”) (i.e., the values) for a requested content object, such that either of values H1 or H2 is sufficient for a matching content object. The requestor may also wish to allow for the use of keys based on different key exchange algorithms, such that a KIR (i.e., the attribute) can be either of “K1” or “K2.”
[0039] Assume that an interest attribute “A” (such as the COHR or the KIR) with multiple values (“n”) can be expressed formally as the disjunction of multiple variables:

          V1A [see pdf for image] V2A [see pdf for image] V3A [see pdf for image] . . . VnA  Formula (1)
Thus, a corresponding attribute A of a content object matches the interest attribute A if the corresponding attribute A of the content object satisfies Formula (1). In the example above, if a content object has a value of H1 for its computed COH, that content object satisfies or matches the “restrictive” attribute of the exemplary interest (i.e., because H1 satisfies the clause “H1 [see pdf for image] H2”).
[0040] If an interest includes multiple restrictive attributes (with multiple values), then the content object must satisfy or match all of the restrictive attributes in the same manner. In other words, the corresponding attributes of the content object must match the conjunctive normal form (“CNF”) of the attributes expressed in the interest. To continue the example above (where the KIR is K1 or K2, and where the COHR is H1 or H2), the corresponding CNF formula is as follows:

          (K1 [see pdf for image] K2) [see pdf for image] (H1 [see pdf for image] H2)  Formula (2)
A content object satisfies an interest with the attributes and values of Formula (2) if and only if both the KIR is K1 or K2 and if the COHR is H1 or H2. Thus, a content object with a key identifier which both indicates K2 and hashes to a COH value of H2 does satisfy Equation (2). On the other hand, a content object with a key identifier which indicates a value of “K4” (where K4 is not equal to either K1 or K2) does not satisfy Formula (2). Note that because the first clause is false, the entirety of Formula (2) is false.
[0041] Thus, embodiments of the present invention allow a first node (e.g., a content-requesting node) to provide information about requested content to a second node (e.g., an upstream intermediate router), whereby the first node generates and sends an interest with multiple values for potentially multiple attributes to the second node. This allows the second node to update its pending interest table (PIT) accordingly, such that the second node can process a subsequently received content object based on the updated PIT (e.g., by comparing the content object attributes with the stored PIT attributes based on a CNF formula).
[0042] Thus, these results provide improvements to the distribution of digital content, where the improvements are fundamentally technological. Embodiments of the present invention provide a technological solution to a technological problem, e.g., by providing information via an interest packet to an upstream router, which allows the upstream router to update its PIT and process a subsequently received content object based on the updated PIT. For example, Formula (2) above depicts an interest which expresses two possible COHR values, which allows the system to provide hash agility to content requesting nodes. The technological solution, which results in a more flexible system, addresses the technological problem of the efficient and effective distribution of digital content.
[0043] In CCN, each piece of content is individually named, and each piece of data is bound to a unique name that distinguishes the data from any other piece of data, such as other versions of the same data or data from other sources. This unique name allows a network device to request the data by disseminating a request or an interest that indicates the unique name, and can obtain the data independent from the data's storage location, network location, application, and means of transportation. The following terms are used to describe the CCN architecture:
[0044] Content Object (or “Content Object”):
[0045] A single piece of named data, which is bound to a unique name. Content Objects are “persistent,” which means that a Content Object can move around within a computing device, or across different computing devices, but does not change. If any component of the Content Object changes, the entity that made the change creates a new Content Object that includes the updated content, and binds the new Content Object to a new unique name.
[0046] Unique Names:
[0047] A name in a CCN is typically location independent and uniquely identifies a Content Object. A data-forwarding device can use the name or name prefix to forward a packet toward a network node that generates or stores the Content Object, regardless of a network address or physical location for the Content Object. In some embodiments, the name may be a hierarchically structured variable-length identifier (HSVLI). The HSVLI can be divided into several hierarchical components, which can be structured in various ways. For example, the individual name components parc, home, ccn, and test.txt can be structured in a left-oriented prefix-major fashion to form the name “/parc/home/ccn/test.txt.” Thus, the name “/parc/home/ccn” can be a “parent” or “prefix” of “/parc/home/ccn/test.txt.” Additional components can be used to distinguish between different versions of the content item, such as a collaborative document.
[0048] In some embodiments, the name can include a non-hierarchical identifier, such as a hash value that is derived from the Content Object's data (e.g., a checksum value) and/or from elements of the Content Object's name. A description of a hash-based name is described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/847,814. A name can also be a flat label. Hereinafter, “name” is used to refer to any name for a piece of data in a name-data network, such as a hierarchical name or name prefix, a flat name, a fixed-length name, an arbitrary-length name, or a label (e.g., a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) label).
[0049] Interest (or “Interest”):
[0050] A packet that indicates a request for a piece of data, and includes a name (or a name prefix) for the piece of data. A data consumer can disseminate a request or Interest across an information-centric network, which CCN routers can propagate toward a storage device (e.g., a cache server) or a data producer that can provide the requested data to satisfy the request or Interest.
[0051] The methods disclosed herein are not limited to CCN networks and are applicable to other architectures as well. A description of a CCN architecture is described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/338,175.

Exemplary Network and Environment

[0052] FIG. 1A illustrates an exemplary network 100 that facilitates a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Network 100 can include a content requesting device 116, a content producing device 118, and a router or other forwarding device at nodes 102, 104, 106, 108, 110, 112, and 114. A node can be a computer system, an end-point representing users, and/or a device that can generate interests or originate content. A node can also be an edge router (e.g., CCN nodes 102, 104, 112, and 114) or a core router (e.g., intermediate CCN routers 106, 108, and 110).
[0053] During operation, content requesting device 116 can generate and send an interest 130 with a name 132 of “/a/b,” a key identifier restriction (KIR) 134 with a value of “{K1, K2},” and a content object hash restriction (COHR) 136 with a value of “{H1, H2, H3}.” Each of name 132, KIR 134, and COHR 136 is an attribute of interest 130. Name 132 indicates one possible value for a matching content object, while KIR 134 and COHR 136 each indicate two possible values for a matching content object.
[0054] Interest 130 can travel through a network (such as a CCN) via nodes or routers 102, 110, and 112, finally reaching content producing device or producer 118. Upon receiving interest 130, an intermediate router such as node 110 can perform a lookup in its pending interest table 140 for a matching entry, and upon finding no matching entry, can add an entry 140.2 corresponding to interest 130. PIT 140 can include entries with a name 142, a KIR 144, a COHR 146, and a list of arrival or incoming interfaces 148. For example, entry 140.2 can include a name of “/a/b,” a KIR with a value of “{K1, K2},” a COHR with a value of “{H1, H2, H3},” and a list of arrival interfaces “{IF_102, . . . }.”
[0055] Subsequently, content producing device or producer 118 can generate and transmit a responsive content object 150 with a name 152 of “/a/b” and a key identifier 154 which indicates “K2.” A hash of content object 150 yields the value “H3.” In some embodiments, this hash value H3 is carried inside content object 150 or inside a header portion of an encapsulating packet. As content object 150 travels back to device 116, each receiving intermediate router (e.g., nodes 112, 110, and 102) can cache content object 150, and determine whether a matching entry exists in its PIT for the interest. For example, node 110 can receive content object 150, perform a lookup in its PIT 140 based on the name for the interest and the content object, and obtain matching entry 140.2.
[0056] Node 110 can also determine whether content object 150 satisfies the interest indicated in matching entry 140.2. To do this, node 110 can determine, for each attribute indicated in the matching entry, whether a value of the corresponding attribute of the content object matches one of the values of a respective attribute indicated in the matching entry. In other words, node 110 can perform a formula based on CNF, wherein the AND clauses are in the form of Formula (1): (K1 [see pdf for image] K2) [see pdf for image] (H1 [see pdf for image] H2 [see pdf for image] H3). If this formula evaluates to false, the content object does not match, and node 110 refrains from forwarding content object 150 (not shown). Node 110 can store content object 150 in a local cache or its content store (CS), or discard content object 150, or perform any action based on a policy of node 110. On the other hand, if the formula evaluates to true, the content object does match. Since content object 160 includes K2 and hashes to H3, the formula evaluates to true. Thus, node 110 can forward content object 150 via interface IF_102 and remove entry 140.2 from PIT 140.
[0057] Note that in some embodiments, a PIT lookup by node 110 based on the name may also return entry 140.1 (in addition to entry 140.2). The system can obtain each matching PIT entry and determine whether a received content object satisfies a matching PIT entry by evaluating the same CNF formula as described above. Processing an incoming content object is described in detail below in relation to FIGS. 3B and 4.
[0058] FIG. 1B illustrates an exemplary network 100 that facilitates a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The communication in FIG. 1B is similar to the communication described above for FIG. 1A. However, instead of generating a content object 150, producer 118 generates a content object 160 with a name 162 of “/a/b” and a key identifier 154 which indicates “K2.” A hash of content object 160 yields the value “H4.” Content object 160 travels back through network 100, whereby each receiving intermediate router (e.g., 112, 110, and 102) can cache content object 160, and determine whether a matching entry exists in its PIT for the interest. For example, node 110 can receive content object 160, perform a lookup in its PIT 140 based on the name for the interest and the content object, and obtain matching entry 140.2. Node 110 can determine that the formula (K1 [see pdf for image] K2) [see pdf for image] H1 [see pdf for image] H2 [see pdf for image] H3) evaluates to false for content object 160 which includes K2 and hashes to H4. Node 110 can refrain from forwarding content object 160. Node 110 may also cache content object 160 in a local cache or in its content store.
[0059] FIG. 1C illustrates an exemplary network 100 that facilitates a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The communication in FIG. 1C is similar to the communication described above for FIG. 1A. However, instead of generating a content object 150, producer 118 generates a content object 170 with a name 172 of “/a/b” and a key identifier 154 which indicates “K1.” A hash of content object 170 yields the value “H1.” Furthermore, assume that node 110 has previously received (from a downstream node, including a content requesting device) an interest 131 with a name 133 of “/a/b,” a KIR 135 with a value of “{K1},” and a COHR 137 with a value of “{H1, H4}.” Also assume that node 110 has previously added an entry 140.1 to its PIT 140, corresponding to interest 131.
[0060] Content object 170 travels back through network 100, whereby each receiving intermediate router (e.g., nodes 112, 110, and 102) can cache content object 170, and determine whether a matching entry exists in its PIT for the interest. For example, node 110 can receive content object 170, perform a lookup in its PIT 140 based on the name for the interest and the content object, and obtain a first matching entry 140.1 from PIT 140. Node 110 can determine that the formula (K1) [see pdf for image] H1 [see pdf for image] H4) for entry 140.1 evaluates to true for content object 170 which includes K1 and hashes to H1. Thus, node 110 can forward content object 170 via interfaces IF_102 and IF_108, and remove entry 140.1 from PIT 140.
[0061] Node 110 can continue to search for matching PIT entries based on name 172 for received content object 170. For example, node 110 can also obtain a second matching entry 140.2 from PIT 140. Node 110 can determine that the formula (K1 [see pdf for image] K2) [see pdf for image] (H1 [see pdf for image] H2 [see pdf for image] H3) for entry 140.2 also evaluates to true for [see pdf for image] content object 170 which includes K1 and hashes to H1. Thus, node 110 can forward content object 170 via interface IF_102, and remove entry 140.2 from PIT 140. In some embodiments, intermediate routers can perform a deduplication process on the arrival interfaces of matching entries. In other words, a content object which matches multiple entries with duplicate arrival interfaces is not forwarded more than once to a single interface. In the communication of FIG. 1C, node 110 can track or monitor that it previously forwarded a matching content object for entry 140.1, and, upon determining that a matching content object also satisfies entry 140.2, only forward the matching content object to the interfaces to which the matching content object has not previously been forwarded. This deduplication process allows node 110 to simply remove entry 140.2 from its PIT 140.
[0062] Thus, embodiments of the present invention provide a system that allows a content requesting device to express or indicate multiple values for multiple attributes, which results in corresponding updates to the PITs of intermediate routers in the network. The intermediate routers may, upon receiving a matching content object, determine whether the content object satisfies the attributes and values of a corresponding PIT entry. If it does, the intermediate routers can forward the content object and update the PIT as needed. If it does not, the intermediate routers can refrain from forwarding the content object. Thus, the system facilitates a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests.

Exemplary Interest, Content Object, and Pending Interest Table

[0063] FIG. 2A presents an exemplary interest packet 200, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Interest 200 can include a name 202 of “/a/b,” a key identifier restriction (KIR) 204 with a value of “{K1, K2},” a content object hash restriction (COHR) 206 with a value of “{H1, H2, H3},” and a payload 208 with a value of “<data>.” Each of name 202, KIR 204, and COHR 206 is an attribute of interest 200. An attribute may have one or more values. Name 202 indicates one possible value for a matching content object, while KIR 204 and COHR 206 each indicate two possible values for a matching content object.
[0064] FIG. 2B presents an exemplary content object 220, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Content object 220 can include a name 222 of “/a/b,” a key identifier 224 with a value of “{K1},” a payload 226 with a value of “<data>,” and a content object hash (“COH”) 226 with a value of “{H3}.” In some embodiments, COH 228 is included as a field (as depicted in FIG. 2B). If a content object does not carry the COH as an expressed field, the COH must be calculated in network in order to compare against the COHR included in a previously transmitted interest (and as indicated in a corresponding PIT entry). In some embodiments, a border router can calculate the COH and carry the COH via trusted means within an autonomous system.
[0065] FIG. 2C presents an exemplary pending interest table 240, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. PIT 240 can include entries with a name 242, a KIR 244, a COHR 246, and a list of arrival or incoming interfaces 248. For example, entry 240.1 can include a name of “/a/b,” a KIR with a value of “{K1},” a COHR with a value of “{H1, H4},” and a list of arrival interfaces “{IF_102, IF_108, . . . }.” Entry 240.2 can include a name of “/a/b,” a KIR with a value of “{K1,K2},” a COHR with a value of “{H1,H2,H3},” and arrival interfaces “{IF_102, . . . }.” Entry 240.3 can include a name of “/c/d,” a KIR with a value of “{K5},” a COHR with a value of “{H5},” and arrival interfaces “{IF_108, IF_112, . . . }.”
[0066] Interests may be aggregated in a pending interest table based on current schemes, including: aggregating, collapsing, or suppressing a “similar” interest based on attribute sameness; forwarding subsequent similar interests from a same previous hop as a retransmission request; aggregating subsequent similar interests from a new previous hop; adding an arrival interface of a subsequent similar interest based on the above schemes; and processing an interest based on an expiration time for the interest. This functionality is described in detail in CCNx Semantics. In embodiments of the present system, an entity (e.g., an intermediate router or other device with a forwarder) may aggregate “similar” interests in its pending interest table only when all values of all attributes of a pending interest match all values of all attributes of another pending interest.

Intermediate Router or Other Forwarding Device Processes an Interest

[0067] FIG. 3A presents a flow chart 300 illustrating a method for facilitating a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests, including processing an incoming interest, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. During operation, the system receives, by a computing device, an interest which includes a set of attributes, wherein a respective attribute has one or more values (operation 302). The system performs a lookup in the content store (CS) or local cache for a matching content object (operation 304). If a matching content object is found in the CS (decision 306), the operation continues at operation 362 of FIG. 3B (forwarding the content object to one or more arrival interfaces indicated in a matching PIT entry). The system can determine the arrival interfaces via which to forward the matching content object based on an existing PIT entry or based on the arrival interface on which the interest was received.
[0068] If a matching content object is not found in the CS (decision 306), the system performs a lookup in the pending interest table (PIT) for a matching entry (operation 308). If a matching entry is found in the PIT (decision 310), the system adds the arrival interface of the interest to the matching entry (operation 312). In some embodiments, if the interest is a retransmission request (or a retry interest), wherein the arrival interface already exists in the matching PIT entry, the system may forward the interest. The system may also perform other functionality, such as interest aggregation, based on policies for PIT behavior.
[0069] If the matching entry is not found in the PIT (decision 310), the system adds to the pending interest table a first entry which indicates the interest based on the attributes and values of the interest (operation 314). A PIT entry can include attributes such as a name, a key identifier restriction (KIR), a content object hash restriction (COHR), and a set of arrival interfaces. An attribute can have one or more values, as described above in relation to FIG. 2C.

Intermediate Router/Other Forwarding Device Processes a Content Object

[0070] FIG. 3B presents a flow chart 350 illustrating a method for facilitating a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests, including processing an incoming content object, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. During operation, the system receives a content object (operation 352). The content object may or may not include a name which is a hierarchically structured variable length identifier comprising contiguous name components ordered from a most general level to a most specific level. Nameless content objects are described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/337,026. The system performs a lookup in the pending interest table (PIT) to obtain a matching entry (operation 354). If a matching PIT entry is not found (decision 356), the system can optionally cache the content object, e.g., in a CS or local cache (operation 358). The system can refrain from forwarding the content object, discard the content object, or perform other functionality based on system policies.
[0071] If a matching PIT entry is found (decision 356), the system determines whether the content object satisfies the interest (decision 360). For example, the system can determine, for each attribute indicated in the matching PIT entry, whether a value of the corresponding attribute of the content object matches one of the values of a respective attribute indicated in the matching PIT entry, as described below in relation to FIG. 4. If the content object does not satisfy the interest (decision 360), the operation returns.
[0072] If the content object does satisfy the interest (decision 360), the system forwards the content object to one or more arrival interfaces indicated in the matching PIT entry (operation 362). The system updates the pending interest table as necessary (operation 364). For example, the system can remove the one or more arrival interfaces from the matching PIT entry (i.e., the interfaces via which the system forwarded the content object). The system can also remove the matching PIT entry if no more arrival interfaces are indicated in the PIT entry. The operation then returns to operation 354. The system continues to search for matching PIT entries. For example, in the communication depicted in FIG. 1C, node 110 can receive content object 170, and then obtain, match, and remove entry 140.1. Node 110 can continue to search for matching PIT entries, and obtain, match, and remove entry 140.2. This process may continue until no more matching PIT entries are found in the PIT, i.e., until no more PIT entries include values and attributes that satisfy the CNF formula based on the multiple values and attributes of the content object.
[0073] FIG. 4 presents a flow chart 400 illustrating a method for facilitating a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests, including processing an incoming content object and determining whether the content object satisfies a pending interest, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. During operation, the system receives a content object (operation 402), which may or may not include a name (similar to operation 302). The system performs a lookup in the pending interest table (PIT) to obtain a matching entry (operation 404). For each respective attribute indicated in the matching PIT entry, the system determines whether a value of the corresponding attribute of the content object matches one of the values of a respective attribute indicated in the matching PIT entry (operation 406). For all attributes indicated in the PIT entry, if each respective attribute value of the content object does not match one of the corresponding respective attribute values of the PIT entry (decision 408), the system can cache the content object (operation 410, and as described above for operation 358).
[0074] For all attributes indicated in the PIT entry, if each respective attribute value of the content object does match one of the corresponding respective attribute values of the PIT entry (decision 408), the system forwards the content object to one or more arrival interfaces indicated in the matching PIT entry (operation 412). The system updates the pending interest table as necessary (operation 414, and as described above for operation 364).

Content Requesting Device Generates an Exemplary Interest

[0075] FIG. 5 presents a flow chart 500 illustrating a method by a content requesting device for facilitating a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. During operation, the system generates, by a content requesting device, an interest which includes a set of attributes, wherein a respective attribute has one or more values (operation 502). The system creates or updates an entry in the pending interest table (PIT) for the interest (operation 504). In response to transmitting the interest, the system receives a content object (operation 506), which may or may not include a name (similar to operation 302). The system performs a lookup in the pending interest table (PIT) to obtain a matching entry (operation 508). If a matching PIT entry is not found (decision 510), the system can optionally discard the content object (operation 512). The system can also cache the content object or perform other functionality based on system policies.
[0076] If a matching PIT entry is found (decision 510), the system determines whether the content object satisfies the interest (decision 514). For example, the system can determine, for each attribute indicated in the matching PIT entry, whether a value of the corresponding attribute of the content object matches one of the values of a respective attribute indicated in the matching PIT entry, as described above in relation to FIG. 4. If the content object does not satisfy the interest (decision 514), the system can optionally discard the content object (operation 512), and the operation returns.
[0077] If the content object does satisfy the interest (decision 514), the system removes the matching entry from the PIT (operation 516). The operation then returns to operation 508. The system continues to search for matching PIT entries. For example, in the communication depicted in FIG. 1C, node 110 can receive content object 170. As described above in relation to operations 364 and 354 of FIG. 3B, node 110 can first obtain, match, and remove entry 140.1, continue to search for matching PIT entries, and subsequently obtain, match, and remove entry 140.2. This process may continue until no more matching PIT entries are found in the PIT, i.e., until no more PIT entries include values and attributes that satisfy the CNF formula based on the multiple values and attributes of the content object.
[0078] The operations described above in relation to FIGS. 3A, 3B, and 4 can be performed by any computing device, entity, or node with a forwarder component, including a content requesting device (e.g., device 116 in FIG. 1A), an intermediate router (e.g., node 110 in FIG. 1A), and a content producing device (e.g., device 118 in FIG. 1A). In addition, the operations described above in relation to FIG. 5 can be performed by any content requesting device (such as device 116 in FIG. 1), or by any intermediate router that is acting as a content requesting node (e.g., node 110 In FIG. 1).

Exemplary Computer System

[0079] FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary computer and communication system 602 that facilitates a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Computer and communication system 602 includes a processor 604, a memory 606, and a storage device 608. Memory 606 can include a volatile memory (e.g., RAM) that serves as a managed memory, and can be used to store one or more memory pools. Furthermore, computer and communication system 602 can be coupled to a display device 610, a keyboard 612, and a pointing device 614. Storage device 608 can store an operating system 616, a content-processing system 618, and data 632.
[0080] Content-processing system 618 can include instructions, which when executed by computer and communication system 602, can cause computer and communication system 602 to perform methods and/or processes described in this disclosure. Specifically, content-processing system 618 may include instructions for receiving an interest which includes a set of attributes, wherein a respective attribute has one or more values (communication module 620). Content-processing system 618 can also include instructions for, in response to not obtaining a matching entry for the interest in a PIT (PIT-lookup module 622), adding to the PIT a first entry which indicates the interest based on the attributes and their values (PIT-updating module 624). Content-processing system 618 can include instructions for determining whether a received content object satisfies the interest indicated in the first entry based on the attributes of the first entry and attributes of the content object (match-determining module 626). Content-processing system 618 can further include instructions for, in response to determining that the content object satisfies the interest (match-determining module 626), forwarding the content object (communication module 620). Content-processing system 618 can include instructions for receiving the content object (communication module 620), and performing a lookup in the PIT based on a name for the content object to obtain the first entry (PIT-lookup module 622).
[0081] Content-processing system 618 can additionally include instructions for, in response to determining, for each attribute indicated in the matching entry, that the values of a respective attribute indicated in the matching entry exactly match all of the values of the corresponding attribute of the interest (match-determining module 626), adding an arrival interface associated with the interest to a list of arrival interfaces for the matching entry (PIT-updating module 624). Content-processing system 618 can include instructions for, in response to determining, for each attribute indicated in the matching entry, that the values of a respective attribute indicated in the matching entry do not exactly match all of the values of the corresponding attribute of the interest (match-determining module 626), adding to the pending interest table the first entry (PIT-updating module 624). Content-processing system 618 can also include instructions for determining, for each attribute indicated in the first entry, that a value of the corresponding attribute of the content object matches one of the values of a respective attribute indicated in the first entry (match-determining module 626), and for performing a calculation based on a conjunctive normal form (match-determining module 626).
[0082] Furthermore, content-processing system 618 can include instructions for, in response to determining that the content object does not satisfy the interest (match-determining module 626): storing the content object in a local cache or content store (cache-managing module 630); refraining from forwarding the content object to a downstream node (communication module 620); discarding the content object (cache-managing module 630); and performing an action based on a policy of the computer system (match-determining module 626).
[0083] Content-processing system 618 can also include instructions for, in response to receiving the interest, performing a lookup in a content store or local cache of the computing device for a matching content object (cache-managing module 630). Content-processing system 618 can include instructions for, in response to determining, for each respective attribute indicated in the interest, that a value of an attribute of the matching content object matches one of the values of a corresponding respective attribute of the interest (match-determining module 626), forwarding the content object (communication module 620).
[0084] Content-processing system 618 can additionally include instructions for generating an interest which includes a set of attributes, wherein a respective attribute has one or more values (packet-generating module 628). Content-processing system 618 can include instructions for determining that a received content object satisfies the interest based on a matching entry in a PIT and further based on attributes of the matching entry and attributes of the received content object (match-determining module 626). Content-processing system 618 can include instructions for removing the matching entry from the PIT (PIT-updating module 624). Content-processing system 618 can also include instructions for creating the matching entry in the PIT (PIT-updating module 624).
[0085] Data 632 can include any data that is required as input or that is generated as output by the methods and/or processes described in this disclosure. Specifically, data 632 can store at least: a packet that corresponds to an interest or a content object; an interest; a content object; a name; a name for an interest or a content object; a hierarchically structured variable length identifier comprised of contiguous name components ordered from a most general level to a most specific level; an attribute associated with an interest or a content object; one or more values for an attribute; a key identifier restriction (KIR); a KIR associated with an interest; a key identifier associated with a content object; a content object hash restriction (COHR); a COHR associated with an interest; a content object hash (COH); a hop count or limit associated with the interest or the content object; any field of the interest, the content object, or a message in a content centric network; a pending interest table (PIT); a PIT entry; and a PIT entry with a name, a KIR, a COHR, and a list of arrival interfaces.
[0086] The data structures and code described in this detailed description are typically stored on a computer-readable storage medium, which may be any device or medium that can store code and/or data for use by a computer system. The computer-readable storage medium includes, but is not limited to, volatile memory, non-volatile memory, magnetic and optical storage devices such as disk drives, magnetic tape, CDs (compact discs), DVDs (digital versatile discs or digital video discs), or other media capable of storing computer-readable media now known or later developed.
[0087] The methods and processes described in the detailed description section can be embodied as code and/or data, which can be stored in a computer-readable storage medium as described above. When a computer system reads and executes the code and/or data stored on the computer-readable storage medium, the computer system performs the methods and processes embodied as data structures and code and stored within the computer-readable storage medium.
[0088] Furthermore, the methods and processes described above can be included in hardware modules or apparatus. The hardware modules or apparatus can include, but are not limited to, application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), dedicated or shared processors that execute a particular software module or a piece of code at a particular time, and other programmable-logic devices now known or later developed. When the hardware modules or apparatus are activated, they perform the methods and processes included within them.
[0089] The foregoing descriptions of embodiments of the present invention have been presented for purposes of illustration and description only. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the present invention to the forms disclosed. Accordingly, many modifications and variations will be apparent to practitioners skilled in the art. Additionally, the above disclosure is not intended to limit the present invention. The scope of the present invention is defined by the appended claims.
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Claim

1. A computer system, comprising:
a processor; and
a storage device storing instructions that when executed by the processor cause the processor to perform a method, the method comprising:
receiving an interest which includes a set of attributes, wherein a respective attribute has one or more values;
in response to not obtaining a matching entry for the interest in a pending interest table, adding to the pending interest table a first entry which indicates the interest based on the attributes and their values;
determining whether a received content object satisfies the interest indicated in the first entry based on the attributes of the first entry and attributes of the content object; and
in response to determining that the content object satisfies the interest, forwarding the content object,
thereby facilitating a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests.
2. The computer system of claim 1, wherein the interest has a name, wherein obtaining or not obtaining the matching entry in the pending interest table is based on the name for the interest, wherein the received content object has a same name as the name for the interest, and wherein the method further comprises:
receiving the content object; and
performing a lookup in the pending interest table based on the name for the content object to obtain the first entry.
3. The computer system of claim 2, wherein in response to obtaining the matching entry for the interest in the pending interest table based on the name for the interest, the method further comprises:
in response to determining, for each attribute indicated in the matching entry, that the values of a respective attribute indicated in the matching entry exactly match all of the values of the corresponding attribute of the interest, adding an arrival interface associated with the interest to a list of arrival interfaces for the matching entry; and
in response to determining, for each attribute indicated in the matching entry, that the values of a respective attribute indicated in the matching entry do not exactly match all of the values of the corresponding attribute of the interest, adding to the pending interest table the first entry.
4. The computer system of claim 1, wherein determining that the content object satisfies the interest further comprises:
determining, for each attribute indicated in the first entry, that a value of the corresponding attribute of the content object matches one of the values of a respective attribute indicated in the first entry.
5. The computer system of claim 1, wherein determining that the content object satisfies the interest further comprises:
performing a calculation based on a conjunctive normal form, wherein a respective attribute comprises an AND clause, and wherein the values for the respective attribute comprise predicates of an OR clause.
6. The computer system of claim 1, wherein in response to determining that the content object does not satisfy the interest, the method further comprises one or more of:
storing the content object in a local cache or content store;
refraining from forwarding the content object to a downstream node;
discarding the content object; and
performing an action based on a policy of the computer system.
7. The computer system of claim 1, wherein an attribute is one or more of:
a name for the interest or the content object, wherein a name is a hierarchically structured variable length identifier that includes contiguous name components ordered from a most general level to a most specific level,
a key identifier restriction associated with the interest and applicable to a responsive content object;
a key identifier associated with the content object;
a content object hash restriction associated with the interest and applicable to the responsive content object;
a hash of the content object;
a hop count or limit associated with the interest or the content object; and
any field of the interest, the content object, or a message in a content centric network.
8. The computer system of claim 1, wherein the method further comprises:
in response to receiving the interest, performing a lookup in a content store or local cache of the computing device for a matching content object; and
in response to determining, for each respective attribute indicated in the interest, that a value of an attribute of the matching content object matches one of the values of a corresponding respective attribute of the interest, forwarding the content object.
9. A computer-implemented method, comprising:
receiving an interest which includes a set of attributes, wherein a respective attribute has one or more values;
in response to not obtaining a matching entry for the interest in a pending interest table, adding to the pending interest table a first entry which indicates the interest based on the attributes and their values;
determining whether a received content object satisfies the interest indicated in the first entry based on the attributes of the first entry and attributes of the content object; and
in response to determining that the content object satisfies the interest, forwarding the content object,
thereby facilitating a flexible strategy for matching content objects to interests.
10. The computer system of claim 9, wherein the interest has a name, wherein obtaining or not obtaining the matching entry in the pending interest table is based on the name for the interest, wherein the received content object has a same name as the name for the interest, and wherein the method further comprises:
receiving the content object; and
performing a lookup in the pending interest table based on the name for the content object to obtain the first entry.
11. The computer system of claim 10, wherein in response to obtaining the matching entry for the interest in the pending interest table based on the name for the interest, the method further comprises:
in response to determining, for each attribute indicated in the matching entry, that the values of a respective attribute indicated in the matching entry exactly match all of the values of the corresponding attribute of the interest, adding an arrival interface associated with the interest to a list of arrival interfaces for the matching entry; and
in response to determining, for each attribute indicated in the matching entry, that the values of a respective attribute indicated in the matching entry do not exactly match all of the values of the corresponding attribute of the interest, adding to the pending interest table the first entry.
12. The computer system of claim 9, wherein determining that the content object satisfies the interest further comprises:
determining, for each attribute indicated in the first entry, that a value of the corresponding attribute of the content object matches one of the values of a respective attribute indicated in the first entry.
13. The computer system of claim 9, wherein determining that the content object satisfies the interest further comprises:
performing a calculation based on a conjunctive normal form, wherein a respective attribute comprises an AND clause, and wherein the values for the respective attribute comprise predicates of an OR clause.
14. The computer system of claim 9, wherein in response to determining that the content object does not satisfy the interest, the method further comprises one or more of:
storing the content object in a local cache or content store;
refraining from forwarding the content object to a downstream node;
discarding the content object; and
performing an action based on a policy of the computer system.
15. The computer system of claim 9, wherein an attribute is one or more of:
a name for the interest or the content object, wherein a name is a hierarchically structured variable length identifier that includes contiguous name components ordered from a most general level to a most specific level,
a key identifier restriction associated with the interest and applicable to a responsive content object;
a key identifier associated with the content object;
a content object hash restriction associated with the interest and applicable to the responsive content object;
a hash of the content object;
a hop count or limit associated with the interest or the content object; and
any field of the interest, the content object, or a message in a content centric network.
16. The computer system of claim 9, wherein the method further comprises:
in response to receiving the interest, performing a lookup in a content store or local cache of the computing device for a matching content object; and
in response to determining, for each respective attribute indicated in the interest, that a value of an attribute of the matching content object matches one of the values of a corresponding respective attribute of the interest, forwarding the content object.
17. A computer system, comprising:
a processor; and
a storage device storing instructions that when executed by the processor cause the processor to perform a method, the method comprising:
generating an interest which includes a set of attributes, wherein a respective attribute has one or more values;
determining that a received content object satisfies the interest based on a matching entry in a pending interest table and further based on attributes of the matching entry and attributes of the received content object; and
removing the matching entry from the pending interest table,
thereby facilitating a flexible strategy for matching content objects and interests.
18. The computer system of claim 17, wherein the method further comprises:
creating the matching entry in the pending interest table, wherein the matching entry indicates the interest based on the attributes and their values.
19. The computer system of claim 17, wherein the interest has a name that is a hierarchically structured variable length identifier comprised of contiguous name components ordered from a most general level to a most specific level.
20. The computer system of claim 17, wherein the method further comprises:
in response to transmitting the interest, receiving the content object,
wherein determining that the received content object satisfies the interest based on the matching entry further comprises:
determining, for each attribute indicated in the matching entry, that a value of the corresponding attribute of the content object matches one of the values of a respective attribute indicated in the first entry.
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