A Framework for Defining Network Complexity (RFC7980)
Original Publication Date: 2016-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2016-Oct-22
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
M. Behringer: AUTHOR [+4]
Network design can be described as the art of finding the simplest solution to solve a given problem. Complexity is thus assumed in the design process; engineers do not ask if there should be complexity, but rather, how much complexity is required to solve the problem. The question of how much complexity assumes there is some way to characterize the amount of complexity present in a system. The reality is, however, this is an area of research and experience rather than a solved problem within the network engineering space. Today's design decisions are made based on a rough estimation of the network's complexity rather than a solid understanding.
Independent Submission M. Behringer Request for Comments: 7980 A. Retana Category: Informational Cisco Systems ISSN: 2070-1721 R. White Ericsson G. Huston APNIC October 2016
A Framework for Defining Network Complexity
Complexity is a widely used parameter in network design, yet there is no generally accepted definition of the term. Complexity metrics exist in a wide range of research papers, but most of these address only a particular aspect of a network, for example, the complexity of a graph or software. While it may be impossible to define a metric for overall network complexity, there is a desire to better understand the complexity of a network as a whole, as deployed today to provide Internet services. This document provides a framework to guide research on the topic of network complexity as well as some practical examples for trade-offs in networking.
This document summarizes the work of the IRTF's Network Complexity Research Group (NCRG) at the time of its closure. It does not present final results, but a snapshot of an ongoing activity, as a basis for future work.
Status of This Memo
This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is published for informational purposes.
This is a contribution to the RFC Series, independently of any other RFC stream. The RFC Editor has chosen to publish this document at its discretion and makes no statement about its value for implementation or deployment. Documents approved for publication by the RFC Editor are not a candidate for any level of Internet Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 7841.
Information about the current status of this document, any errata, and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7980.
Behringer, et al. Informational [Page 1]
RFC 7980 Complexity Framework October 2016