Paper Review: The Design Philosophy of the DARPA Internet Protocols

Reviewer: Jie Zhou


     Key Ideas

1.      The Internet architecture is designed in the context of its priorities;

2.      In some situation, the Internet architecture does not satisfy the needs of the actual users;

3.      A building block, other than datagram, may be designed in the next generation of architecture to achieve the goals of survivability and flexibility.


     Main Contribution

By analyzing the reasoning behind the design of the Internet architecture, the paper discusses the relation between the original objectives and the important features of the protocols, and points out Internet architecture's limitations.


     Critique of Main Contribution

o       The paper provides a new evaluation. It clarifies the motivation for Internet protocol, which has been greatly misunderstood.

o       I rate the significance of the paper as 4. With understanding both the objectives and the limitations of Internet architecture, people can make successful improvement for Internet to satisfy future requirements.

o       The author explains the key feathers of the Internet by analyzing the goals that Internet is designed for. Comparison is used in many places to show why alternate approaches are not appropriate. Generally speaking, the paper is very convincing.



Every design is within a specific context. Different situation entails different tradeoff.


     Open question

The question that the author leaves open is the concrete implementation of the new building block to replace datagram.