Send in your ideas. Deadline June 1, 2024
Theme fund: NGI0 Discovery
Start: 2020-04
End: 2022-10
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Network infrastructure


MultiPath TCP

How do you find the best way to communicate with a computer on the other side of the internet? And why bet everything on a single connection? Multipath TCP (MPTCP) extends the most widely used transport protocol on the internet (TCP) so that it can discover and use several physical paths (e.g., Wifi, cellular, between multihomed servers) in parallel. This allows to speed up transfers, smoothly transition from wifi to cellular when leaving one's house or potentially prevent traffic spying.

While the protocol is proven to work well in certain conditions (the fastest TCP connection ever was using MPTCP), it is configuration-sensitive and can degrade badly under adverse conditions (for instance in heterogeneous networks with small buffers). The aim of this project is to provide the tool to help analyze the performance of a multipath protocol as well as the software to (auto)configure the system depending on the application objective and network conditions.

  • The project's own website:

Why does this actually matter to end users?

If you want to share your message (or data) with the world, you send a packet that travels across a great deal of the networks that make up the internet to finally reach its destination and deliver someone the file, video or software they were looking for. There are actually quite a number of routes your data can take and ways to deliver messages over the internet, each with their own ups and downsides. The Next Generation Internet intends to create a more private, resilient and decentralized internet. One of the ways to reach this goal is by making internet routing itself more privacy-friendly, fault-resistant and decentralized.

Instead of following one path, your connection could be faster and more secure by using several routes, like for example the 4G on your phone as well as available wifi. Next to speed and resilience, this multipath approach also makes it harder to snoop on your internet traffic, as it is spread over more than one path. To make multipath protocols easier to use and more energy efficient, this project will develop tools to analyze and optimize its performance. Once multipath connectivity works as automatically as the single paths we are used to taking online, networks worldwide can benefit from a stronger, more private and seamless online experience.

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This project was funded through the NGI0 Discovery Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement No 825322.

This project is archived. Due to circumstances, the project as planned did not take place. This page is left as a placeholder, for transparency reasons and to perhaps inspire others to take up this work.