Computer Laboratory

Course pages 2011–12

Data Centric Networking

Principal lecturer: Dr Eiko Yoneki
Taken by: MPhil ACS, Part III
Code: R202
Hours: 16 (8 × two-hour seminar sessions)
Prerequisites: An undergraduate network architectures course


This module provides an introduction to data centric networking, where data is a communication and programming token. Data centric networking in distributed systems relies on content addressing rather than host addressing, thus providing network independence for applications. Integration of complex data processing with networking is a key vision for future computing. This course covers multiple aspects of data centric networking, ranging from content-based routing to data-flow programming, thus providing a solid basis to work on the next generation of communication paradigm.


The module consists of 8 sessions, of which 6 sessions focus on specific aspects of data centric networking research. Each session discusses 2-3 papers, led by the assigned students. Each student will present about 2 paper reviews during the course. The first session advises how to read/review a paper together with a brief introduction of different perspectives in data centric networking. The last session is dedicated to the presentation of the open source project studies presented by the students. Three guest lectures are planned, covering inspiring current research in the data centric networking.

  • Introduction to data centric networking
    • Data as communication and programming token
    • Data centric networking from different perspectives
  • Content-based networking and content distribution networks
    • Content-based routing
    • Content distribution overlay
    • Channel vs. content filtering in networks
  • Information-centric networking and named data networking
    • Naming – content represents network identifier
    • Publish/Subscribe
    • Caching – network as a storage
  • Data-dependent control flow programming
    • Network meets data flow programming
    • Parallel data processing (e.g. Map/Reduce, Dryad/LINQ, CIEL)
    • Declarative networking (e.g. P2, Declarative Sensor Network)
  • Stream data processing and data/query model
    • Stream data processing and continuous query processing
    • Advanced data processing in networks (e.g. data model)
  • Network structure and graphs
    • Network graph for data flow
    • Graphs for the storage and querying of data – graph database
    • Distributed parallel query/storage platform for graph data
  • Network holds data in delay tolerant networks
    • Delay tolerant data
    • Networked storage
    • Opportunistic networking
  • Presentation of Open Source project study


On completion of this module, students should:

  • understand ey concepts of data centric approaches in future networking;
  • obtain a clear understanding of building distributed systems using data centric programming and communication.


Reading Club:

The reading club will require reading 1 to 3 papers every week. At each session, around 3 papers are selected under the given topic, and the students present their review work. The papers include the following types and focus on specified aspects for reviewing:

  1. Full length papers
    • What is the significant contribution?
    • What is the difference from existing works?
  2. Short length papers
    • What is the novel idea?
    • What is required to complete the work?


The following three reports are required, which could be extended from the assignment of the reading club or a different one within the scope of data centric networking.

  1. Review report on a full length of paper (max 1800 words)
    • Describe the contribution of the paper in depth with criticisms
    • Crystallise the significant novelty in contrast to other related work
    • Suggestions for future work
  2. Survey report on sub-topic in data centric networking (max 2000 words)
    • Pick up to 5 papers as core papers in the survey scope
    • Read the above and expand reading through related work
    • Comprehend the view and finish an own survey paper
  3. Project study and exploration of a prototype (max 2500 words)
    • What is the significance of the project in the research domain?
    • Compare with similar and succeeding projects
    • Demonstrate the project by exploring its prototype

The reports 1 and 2 should be handed in by the end of 5th week and 7th week of the course (not in any particular order). The report 3 should be handed in by the end of the Lent term.


The final grade for the course will be provided as a percentage and the assessment will consist of two parts:

  1. 25%: for reading club (participation)
  2. 75%: for the three reports
    • 20%: Intensive review report
    • 25%: Survey report
    • 30%: Project study

Recommended reading

Carzaniga, M.J. Rutherford, A.L. Wolf: A routing scheme for content-based networking, INFOCOM, 2004.
V Jacobson, D.K. Smetters, J.D. Thornton, M.F. Plass, N.H. Briggs, R.L. Braynard: Networking named content, CoNEXT, 2009.
Murray, D. Schwarzkopf, M. Smowton, C. Smith, S. Madhavapeddy, A. Hand, S. Ciel: a universal execution engine for distributed data-flow computing, NSDI, 2010.

A complete list can be found on the course web page.