Building multicast services from unicast forwarding and ephemeral state

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We present an approach to building multicast services using unicast forwarding and two additional building blocks: ephemeral state processing, i.e., extremely lightweight distributed computations based on a time-bounded associative memory; and the ability to enable lightweight packet processing modules at the routers. In our approach, senders and receivers use ephemeral state probes to locate the desired network nodes where packet processing functions, e.g., packet duplication should be activated. Our approach reduces the amount of multicast state in the network, eliminates the need for sophisticated routing mechanisms, allows the end-systems to tailor the service to their needs, and can be deployed incrementally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-345
Number of pages19
JournalComputer Networks
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 21 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Effort sponsored in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Materiel Command, USAF, under agreement no. F30602-99-1-0514 and by NSF grant no. EPS-9874764. The US government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright annotation thereon. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of DARPA, the Air Force Research Laboratory, or the US government.


  • Active networks
  • Ephemeral state
  • Lightweight packet processing modules
  • Multicast
  • Programmable networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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