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We review the rationale behind the current design of the Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) Architecture and highlight some remaining open issues. Its evolution, from a focus on deep space to a broader class of heterogeneous networks that may suffer disruptions, affected design decisions spanning naming and addressing, message formats, data encoding methods, routing, congestion management and security. Having now achieved relative stability with the design, additional experience is required in long-running operational environments in order to fine tune our understanding of DTN concepts and the types of capabilities that are worth the investment in implementation complexity. We expect key management, handling of congestion, multicasting capability, and routing to remain active areas of research and development, and that DTN may continue to be an active research endeavor for at least the next few years.
Date of Publication: June 2008