Paper review: The Design Philosophy of the DARPA Internet Protocols

Reviewer: Oleg Elkhunovich


This paper addresses the design philosophy behind the Internet Protocols. While other papers describe how the protocols work, they do not go into discussion of why they were designed that way.


The paper fills in a gap and answers the question of why the protocol is as it is. The philosophy behind the protocols is important to understand why certain design decisions have been made. It has historical significance as well as importance for the future as protocols are utilized, extended and new ones are introduced.

Main Ideas:

Goals for the DARPA Internet Architecture:
  • To develop an effective technique for multiplexed utilization of existing interconnected networks.
    Second Level
  • 1. Survivability
  • 2. Support for multiple types of communications service.
  • 3. Accomadation of variety of networks.
  • 4. Distributed management of resources.
  • 5. Cost effectiveness.
  • 6. Host attachment with a low level of effort.
  • 7. Accountability.


    Significance: 4

    The paper fills in a gap in people's understanding of internet protocols. Understanding the philosophy behind the design is important for future direction of research and development.

    Convincing rating:

    Paper is very concice and clear and gets to the questions of design philosophy without unncessecary details. The discussion of the relative significance of different goals and degree to which they were reached is also very relevant and convincing.


    This paper could do a better job assessing a future of the Internet and underlying protocls and relating current research to original goals.


    This work leaves open questions of future developments of the protocols and overall direction of the internet standards. It is a great resource to learn about the original goals and concerns when the standards were developed but leaves implications on the future open.