As many of you know,
I have been striving to apply a number of more
scientific approaches to networking in general,
and the Internet specifically.
To this end, I ended up teaching the final year
undergrads this year
(who of course may not be as final as they think
given the impending part III option)
a whole bunch of underpinning theories, including
Information, Graph, Control, Queueing, and Optimisation
Now, these are all fine theories,
but they all have the twin massive disadvantages of:
1. being to hard to apply in any realistic scenario
2, being empirically falsifiable
What we need truly to model the Internet is a
simple, powerful, and incotrovertable Grand Unified Theory -
in Physics, they have such a theory and it is String.
So can we apply string theory to the Internet?
Yes, I think we can.
Firstly, obviosuly, the Internet looks a lot like string.
But (as physicists like doing) we can play cats cradle with the string.
Thus we can model the static and dyanmical evolution of the Internet
Closed Loops of string could be used to model packets.
Forwarding packets would be like "throwing someone a line".
Indeed, fowarding table entries, Link State Advertisement packets, AS
Path announcements, and packets themselves would all be elegantly
caputured using the same flixible little ring-like structure.
Elasticity ("how long is a piece of string" == QoS)
can finally be used to model traffic control and pricing
in a pleasingly coherent way.
String is a veryful thing in models.
Although Robust Operational Parameterized Estimators
are thicker, string is very quick to apply. And of course it
can offer a perfectly good model for multiplexing, as well as
giving straightforward explantory and predictive techniques for
understanding Kandinsky Network Operational Tantrums
which have resisted all previous analysis.
If nothing else,
when under persistent cyberattack,
the whole Internet unravels,
we can use the residue to help
wrap up christmas presents.
I shall be working on this over the break
and hope to bring convincing results
back from the brink in the new year.
music while you browse
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