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Network Working Group B. Adamson Request for Comments: 5401 Naval Research Laboratory Obsoletes: 3941 C. Bormann Category: Standards Track Universitaet Bremen TZI

                                                            M. Handley
                                             University College London
                                                             J. Macker
                                             Naval Research Laboratory
                                                         November 2008
      Multicast Negative-Acknowledgment (NACK) Building Blocks

Status of This Memo

 This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
 Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
 improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
 Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
 and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

 Copyright (c) 2008 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
 document authors.  All rights reserved.
 This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
 Provisions Relating to IETF Documents (
 license-info) in effect on the date of publication of this document.
 Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
 and restrictions with respect to this document.


 This document discusses the creation of reliable multicast protocols
 that utilize negative-acknowledgment (NACK) feedback.  The rationale
 for protocol design goals and assumptions are presented.  Technical
 challenges for NACK-based (and in some cases general) reliable
 multicast protocol operation are identified.  These goals and
 challenges are resolved into a set of functional "building blocks"
 that address different aspects of reliable multicast protocol
 operation.  It is anticipated that these building blocks will be
 useful in generating different instantiations of reliable multicast
 protocols.  This document obsoletes RFC 3941.

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 1] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

Table of Contents

 1. Introduction ....................................................2
    1.1. Requirements Language ......................................4
 2. Rationale .......................................................4
    2.1. Delivery Service Model .....................................5
    2.2. Group Membership Dynamics ..................................6
    2.3. Sender/Receiver Relationships ..............................6
    2.4. Group Size Scalability .....................................6
    2.5. Data Delivery Performance ..................................7
    2.6. Network Environments .......................................7
    2.7. Intermediate System Assistance .............................8
 3. Functionality ...................................................8
    3.1. Multicast Sender Transmission .............................11
    3.2. NACK Repair Process .......................................13
    3.3. Multicast Receiver Join Policies and Procedures ...........26
    3.4. Node (Member) Identification ..............................26
    3.5. Data Content Identification ...............................27
    3.6. Forward Error Correction (FEC) ............................28
    3.7. Round-Trip Timing Collection ..............................29
    3.8. Group Size Determination/Estimation .......................33
    3.9. Congestion Control Operation ..............................34
    3.10. Intermediate System Assistance ...........................34
 4. NACK-Based Reliable Multicast Applicability ....................35
 5. Security Considerations ........................................36
 6. Changes from RFC 3941 ..........................................38
 7. Acknowledgements ...............................................38
 8. References .....................................................39
    8.1. Normative References ......................................39
    8.2. Informative References ....................................39

1. Introduction

 Reliable multicast transport is a desirable technology for efficient
 and reliable distribution of data to a group on the Internet.  The
 complexities of group communication paradigms necessitate different
 protocol types and instantiations to meet the range of performance
 and scalability requirements of different potential reliable
 multicast applications and users (see [RFC2357]).  This document
 addresses the creation of reliable multicast protocols that utilize
 negative-acknowledgment (NACK) feedback.  NACK-based protocols
 generally entail less frequent feedback messaging than reliability
 protocols based on positive acknowledgment (ACK).  The less frequent
 feedback messaging helps simplify the problem of feedback implosion
 as group size grows larger.  While different protocol instantiations
 may be required to meet specific application and network architecture
 demands [ArchConsiderations], there are a number of fundamental
 components that may be common to these different instantiations.

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 2] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 This document describes the framework and common "building block"
 components relevant to multicast protocols that are based primarily
 on NACK operation for reliable transport.  While this document
 discusses a large set of reliable multicast components and issues
 relevant to NACK-based reliable multicast protocol design, it
 specifically addresses in detail the following building blocks, which
 are not addressed in other IETF documents:
 1.  NACK-based multicast sender transmission strategies,
 2.  NACK repair process with timer-based feedback suppression, and
 3.  Round-trip timing for adapting NACK and other timers.
 NACK-based reliable multicast implementations SHOULD make use of
 Forward Error Correction (FEC) erasure coding techniques, as
 described in the FEC Building Block [RFC5052] document.  Packet-level
 erasure coding allows missing packets from a given FEC block to be
 recovered using the parity packets instead of classical,
 individualized retransmission of original source data content.  For
 this reason, this document refers to the protocol mechanisms for
 reliability as a "repair process."  Note that NACK-based protocols
 can reactively provide the parity packets in response to receiver
 requests for repair rather than just proactively sending added FEC
 parity content as part of the original transmission.  Hybrid
 proactive/reactive use of FEC content is also possible with the
 mechanisms described in this document.  Some classes of FEC coding,
 such as Maximal Separable Distance (MDS) codes, allow senders to
 dynamically implement deterministic, highly efficient receiver group
 repair strategies as part of a NACK-based, selective automated
 repeat-request (ARQ) scheme.
 The potential relationships to other reliable multicast transport
 building blocks (e.g., FEC, congestion control) and general issues
 with NACK-based reliable multicast protocols are also discussed.
 This document follows the guidelines provided in [RFC3269].
 Statement of Intent
 This memo contains descriptions of building blocks that can be
 applied in the design of reliable multicast protocols utilizing
 negative-acknowledgement (NACK) feedback.  [RFC3941] contains a
 previous description of this specification.  RFC 3941 was published
 in the "Experimental" category.  It was the stated intent of the
 Reliable Multicast Transport (RMT) working group at that time to
 resubmit this specification as an IETF Proposed Standard in due

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 3] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 This Proposed Standard specification is thus based on [RFC3941] and
 has been updated according to accumulated experience and growing
 protocol maturity since the publication of RFC 3941.  Said experience
 applies both to this specification itself and to congestion control
 strategies related to the use of this specification.
 The differences between [RFC3941] and this document are listed in
 Section 6.

1.1. Requirements Language

 The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
 document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

2. Rationale

 Each potential protocol instantiation using the building blocks
 presented here (and in other applicable building block documents)
 will have specific criteria that may influence individual protocol
 design.  To support the development of applicable building blocks, it
 is useful to identify and summarize driving general protocol design
 goals and assumptions.  These are areas that each protocol
 instantiation will need to address in detail.  Each building block
 description in this document will include a discussion of the impact
 of these design criteria.  The categories of design criteria
 considered here include:
 1.  Delivery Service Model,
 2.  Group Membership Dynamics,
 3.  Sender/Receiver Relationships,
 4.  Group Size Scalability,
 5.  Data Delivery Performance, and
 6.  Network Environments.
 All of these areas are at least briefly discussed.  Additionally,
 other reliable multicast transport building block documents, such as
 [RFC5052], have been created to address areas outside of the scope of
 this document.  NACK-based reliable multicast protocol instantiations
 may depend upon these other building blocks as well as the ones
 presented here.  This document focuses on areas that are unique to
 NACK-based reliable multicast but may be used in concert with the
 other building block areas.  In some cases, a building block may be

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 4] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 able to address a wide range of assumptions, while in other cases
 there will be trade-offs required to meet different application needs
 or operating environments.  Where necessary, building block features
 are designed to be parametric to meet different requirements.  Of
 course, an underlying goal will be to minimize design complexity and
 to at least recommend default values for any such parameters that
 meet a general purpose "bulk data transfer" requirement in a typical
 Internet environment.  The forms of "bulk data transfer" covered here
 include reliable transport of bulky, fixed-length, a priori static
 content and also transmission of non-predetermined, perhaps streamed,
 content of indefinite length.  Section 3.5 discusses these different
 forms of bulk data content in further detail.

2.1. Delivery Service Model

 The implicit goal of a reliable multicast transport protocol is the
 reliable delivery of data among a group of members communicating
 using IP multicast datagram service.  However, the specific service
 the application is attempting to provide can impact design decisions.
 The most basic service model for reliable multicast transport is that
 of "bulk transfer", which is a primary focus of this and other
 related RMT working group documents.  However, the same principles in
 protocol design may also be applied to other service models, e.g.,
 more interactive exchanges of small messages such as with white-
 boarding or text chat.  Within these different models there are
 issues such as the sender's ability to cache transmitted data (or
 state referencing it) for retransmission or repair.  The needs for
 ordering and/or causality in the sequence of transmissions and
 receptions among members in the group may be different depending upon
 data content.  The group communication paradigm differs significantly
 from the point-to-point model in that, depending upon the data
 content type, some receivers may complete reception of a portion of
 data content and be able to act upon it before other members have
 received the content.  This may be acceptable (or even desirable) for
 some applications but not for others.  These varying requirements
 drive the need for a number of different protocol instantiation
 designs.  A significant challenge in developing generally useful
 building block mechanisms is accommodating even a limited range of
 these capabilities without defining specific application-level
 Another factor impacting the delivery service model is the potential
 for different receivers in the multicast group to have significantly
 differing quality of network connectivity.  This may involve
 receivers with very limited goodput due to connection rate or
 substantial packet loss.  NACK-based protocol implementations may
 wish to provide policies by which extremely poor-performing receivers
 are excluded from the main group or migrated to a separate delivery

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 5] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 group.  Note that some application models may require that the entire
 group be constrained to the performance of the "weakest member" to
 satisfy operational requirements.  In either case, protocol designs
 should consider this aspect of the reliable multicast delivery
 service model.

2.2. Group Membership Dynamics

 One area where group communication can differ from point-to-point
 communications is that even if the composition of the group changes,
 the "thread" of communication can still exist.  This contrasts with
 the point-to-point communication model where, if either of the two
 parties leave, the communication process (exchange of data) is
 terminated (or at least paused).  Depending upon application goals,
 senders and receivers participating in a reliable multicast transport
 "session" may be able to join late, leave, and/or potentially rejoin
 while the ongoing group communication "thread" still remains
 functional and useful.  Also note that this can impact protocol
 message content.  If "late joiners" are supported, some amount of
 additional information may be placed in message headers to
 accommodate this functionality.  Alternatively, the information may
 be sent in its own message (on demand or intermittently) if the
 impact to the overhead of typical message transmissions is deemed too
 great.  Group dynamics can also impact other protocol mechanisms such
 as NACK timing, congestion control operation, etc.

2.3. Sender/Receiver Relationships

 The relationship of senders and receivers among group members
 requires consideration.  In some applications, there may be a single
 sender multicasting to a group of receivers.  In other cases, there
 may be more than one sender or the potential for everyone in the
 group to be a sender and receiver of data may exist.

2.4. Group Size Scalability

 Native IP multicast [RFC1112] may scale to extremely large group
 sizes.  It may be desirable for some applications to scale along with
 the multicast infrastructure's ability to scale.  In its simplest
 form, there are limits to the group size to which a NACK-based
 protocol can be applied without the potential for the volume of NACK
 feedback messages to overwhelm network capacity.  This is often
 referred to as "feedback implosion".  Research suggests that NACK-
 based reliable multicast group sizes on the order of tens of
 thousands of receivers may operate with acceptable levels of feedback
 to the sender using probabilistic, timer-based suppression techniques
 [NormFeedback].  Instead of receivers immediately transmitting
 feedback messages when loss is detected, these techniques specify use

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 6] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 of purposefully-scaled, random back-off timeouts such that some
 potential NACKing receivers can self-suppress their feedback upon
 hearing messages from other receivers that have selected shorter
 random timeout intervals.  However, there may be additional NACK
 suppression heuristics that can be applied to enable these protocols
 to scale to even larger group sizes.  In large scale cases, it may be
 prohibitive for members to maintain state on all other members (in
 particular, other receivers) in the group.  The impact of group size
 needs to be considered in the development of applicable building
 Group size scalability may also be aided by intermediate system
 assistance; see section 2.7 below.

2.5. Data Delivery Performance

 There is a trade-off between scalability and data delivery latency
 when designing NACK-oriented protocols.  If probabilistic, timer-
 based NACK suppression is to be used, there will be some delays built
 into the NACK process to allow suppression to occur and to allow the
 sender of data to identify appropriate content for efficient repair
 transmission.  For example, back-off timeouts can be used to ensure
 efficient NACK suppression and repair transmission, but this comes at
 the cost of increased delivery latency and increased buffering
 requirements for both senders and receivers.  The building blocks
 SHOULD allow applications to establish bounds for data delivery
 performance.  Note that application designers must be aware of the
 scalability trade-off that is made when such bounds are applied.

2.6. Network Environments

 The Internet Protocol has historically assumed a role of providing
 service across heterogeneous network topologies.  It is desirable
 that a reliable multicast protocol be capable of effectively
 operating across a wide range of the networks to which general
 purpose IP service applies.  The bandwidth available on the links
 between the members of a single group today may vary between low
 numbers of kbit/s for wireless links and multiple Gbit/s for high
 speed LAN connections, with varying degrees of contention from other
 flows.  Recently, a number of asymmetric network services including
 56K/ADSL modems, CATV Internet service, satellite, and other wireless
 communication services have begun to proliferate.  Many of these are
 inherently broadcast media with potentially large "fan-out" to which
 IP multicast service is highly applicable.  Additionally, policy
 and/or technical issues may result in topologies where multicast
 connectivity is limited to a source-specific multicast (SSM) model
 from a specific source [RFC4607].  Receivers in the group may be

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 7] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 restricted to unicast feedback for NACKs and other messages.
 Consideration must be given, in building block development and
 protocol design, to the nature of the underlying networks.

2.7. Intermediate System Assistance

 Intermediate assistance from devices/systems with direct knowledge of
 the underlying network topology may be used to increase the
 performance and scalability of NACK-based reliable multicast
 protocols.  Feedback aggregation and filtering of sender repair data
 may be possible with NACK-based protocols using FEC-based repair
 strategies as described in the present and other reliable multicast
 transport building block documents.  However, there will continue to
 be a number of instances where intermediate system assistance is not
 available or practical.  Any building block components for NACK-
 oriented reliable multicast SHALL be capable of operating without
 such assistance.  However, it is RECOMMENDED that such protocols also
 consider utilizing these features when available.

3. Functionality

 The previous section has presented the role of protocol building
 blocks and some of the criteria that may affect NACK-based reliable
 multicast building block identification/design.  This section
 describes different building block areas applicable to NACK-based
 reliable multicast protocols.  Some of these areas are specific to
 NACK-based protocols.  Detailed descriptions of such areas are
 provided.  In other cases, the areas (e.g., node identifiers, forward
 error correction (FEC), etc.) may be applicable to other forms of
 reliable multicast.  In those cases, the discussion below describes
 requirements placed on those general building block areas from the
 standpoint of NACK-based reliable multicast.  Where applicable, other
 building block documents are referenced for possible contribution to
 NACK-based reliable multicast protocols.
 For each building block, a notional "interface description" is
 provided to illustrate any dependencies of one building block
 component upon another or upon other protocol parameters.  A building
 block component may require some form of "input" from another
 building block component or other source to perform its function.
 Any "inputs" required by a building block component and/or any
 resultant "output" provided will be defined and described in each
 building block component's interface description.  Note that the set
 of building blocks presented here do not fully satisfy each other's
 "input" and "output" needs.  In some cases, "inputs" for the building
 blocks here must come from other building blocks external to this
 document (e.g., congestion control or FEC).  In other cases NACK-

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 8] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 based reliable multicast building block "inputs" must be satisfied by
 the specific protocol instantiation or implementation (e.g.,
 application data and control).
 The following building block components relevant to NACK-based
 reliable multicast are identified:
 NORM (NACK-Oriented Reliable Multicast)-Specific
 1.  Multicast Sender Transmission
 2.  NACK Repair Process
 3.  Multicast Receiver Join Policies and Procedures
 General Purpose
 1.  Node (Member) Identification
 2.  Data Content Identification
 3.  Forward Error Correction (FEC)
 4.  Round-Trip Timing Collection
 5.  Group Size Determination/Estimation
 6.  Congestion Control Operation
 7.  Intermediate System Assistance
 8.  Ancillary Protocol Mechanisms
 Figure 1 provides a pictorial overview of these building block areas
 and some of their relationships.  For example, the content of the
 data messages that a sender initially transmits depends upon the
 "Node Identification", "Data Content Identification", and "FEC"
 components, while the rate of message transmission will generally
 depend upon the "Congestion Control" component.  Subsequently, the
 receivers' response to these transmissions (e.g., NACKing for repair)
 will depend upon the data message content and inputs from other
 building block components.  Finally, the sender's processing of
 receiver responses will feed back into its transmission strategy.
 The components on the left side of this figure are areas that may be
 applicable beyond NACK-based reliable multicast.  The more
 significant of these components are discussed in other building block
 documents, such as the FEC Building Block [RFC5052].  Brief

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 9] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 descriptions of these areas and their roles in NACK-based reliable
 multicast protocols are given below, and "RTT Collection" is
 discussed in detail in Section 3.7 of this document.
 The components on the right are seen as specific to NACK-based
 reliable multicast protocols, most notably the NACK repair process.
 These areas are discussed in detail below (most notably, "Multicast
 Sender Transmission" and "NACK Repair Process" in Sections 3.1 and
 3.2).  Some other components (e.g., "Security") impact many aspects
 of the protocol, and others may be more transparent to the core
 protocol processing.  Where applicable, specific technical
 recommendations are made for mechanisms that will properly satisfy
 the goals of NACK-based reliable multicast transport for the

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 10] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

                               Application Data and Control
     .---------------------.           .-----------------------.
     | Node Identification |-------+-->|  Sender Transmission  |<---.
     `---------------------'       |   `-----------------------'    |
     .---------------------.       |        |  .------------------. |
     | Data Identification |-------+        |  | Rcvr Join Policy | |
     `---------------------'       |        V  `------------------' |
     .---------------------.       |   .----------------------.     |
  .->| Congestion Control  |-------+   | Receiver NACK        |     |
  |  `---------------------'       |   | Repair Process       |     |
  |  .---------------------.       |   | .------------------. |     |
  |  |                     |-------'   | | NACK Initiation  | |     |
  |  |        FEC          |-----.     | `------------------' |     |
  |  |                     |--.  |     | .------------------. |     |
  |  `---------------------'  |  |     | | NACK Content     | |     |
  |  .---------------------.  |  |     | `------------------' |     |
  `--|    RTT Collection   |--|--+---->| .------------------. |     |
     |                     |--+  |     | | NACK Suppression | |     |
     `---------------------'  |  |     | `------------------' |     |
     .---------------------.  |  |     `----------------------'     |
     |    Group Size Est.  |--|--'          |  .-----------------.  |
     |                     |--+             |  |  Intermediate   |  |
     `---------------------'  |             |  |  System Assist  |  |
     .---------------------.  |             v  `-----------------'  |
     |       Other         |  |        .-------------------------.  |
     `---------------------'  `------->| Sender NACK Processing  |--'
                                       |   and Repair Response   |
                     ^                         ^
                     |                         |
                   |         (Security)          |
   Figure 1: NACK-Based Reliable Multicast Building Block Framework

3.1. Multicast Sender Transmission

 Reliable multicast senders will transmit data content to the
 multicast session.  The data content will be application dependent.
 The sender will transmit data content at a rate, and with message
 sizes, determined by application and/or network architecture
 requirements.  Any FEC encoding of sender transmissions SHOULD
 conform with the guidelines of the FEC Building Block [RFC5052].
 When congestion control mechanisms are needed (REQUIRED for general
 Internet operation), the sender transmission rate SHALL be controlled

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 11] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 by the congestion control mechanism.  In any case, it is RECOMMENDED
 that all data transmissions from multicast senders be subject to rate
 limitations determined by the application or congestion control
 algorithm.  The sender's transmissions SHOULD make good utilization
 of the available capacity (which may be limited by the application
 and/or by congestion control).  As a result, it is expected there
 will be overlap and multiplexing of new data content transmission
 with repair content.  Other factors related to application operation
 may determine sender transmission formats and methods.  For example,
 some consideration needs to be given to the sender's behavior during
 intermittent idle periods when it has no data to transmit.
 In addition to data content, other sender messages or commands may be
 employed as part of protocol operation.  These messages may occur
 outside of the scope of application data transfer.  In NACK-based
 reliable multicast protocols, reliability of such protocol messages
 may be attempted by redundant transmission when positive
 acknowledgement is prohibitive due to group size scalability
 concerns.  Note that protocol design SHOULD provide mechanisms for
 dealing with cases where such messages are not received by the group.
 As an example, a command message might be redundantly transmitted by
 a sender to indicate that it is temporarily (or permanently) halting
 transmission.  At this time, it may be appropriate for receivers to
 respond with NACKs for any outstanding repairs they require,
 following the rules of the NACK procedure.  For efficiency, the
 sender should allow sufficient time between the redundant
 transmissions to receive any NACK responses from the receivers to
 this command.
 In general, when there is any resultant NACK or other feedback
 operation, the timing of redundant transmission of control messages
 issued by a sender and other NACK-based reliable multicast protocol
 timeouts should be dependent upon the group greatest round-trip
 timing (GRTT) estimate and any expected resultant NACK or other
 feedback operation.  The sender GRTT is an estimate of the worst-case
 round-trip timing from a given sender to any receivers in the group.
 It is assumed that the GRTT interval is a conservative estimate of
 the maximum span (with respect to delay) of the multicast group
 across a network topology with respect to a given sender.  NACK-based
 reliable multicast instantiations SHOULD be able to dynamically adapt
 to a wide range of multicast network topologies.
 1.  Application data and control.
 2.  Sender node identifier.

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 12] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 3.  Data identifiers.
 4.  Segmentation and FEC parameters.
 5.  Transmission rate.
 6.  Application controls.
 7.  Receiver feedback messages (e.g., NACKs).
 1.  Controlled transmission of messages with headers uniquely
     identifying data or repair content within the context of the
     reliable multicast session.
 2.  Commands indicating sender's status or other transport control
     actions to be taken.

3.2. NACK Repair Process

 A critical component of NACK-based reliable multicast protocols is
 the NACK repair process.  This includes both the receiver's role in
 detecting and requesting repair needs and the sender's response to
 such requests.  There are four primary elements of the NACK repair
 1.  Receiver NACK process initiation,
 2.  NACK suppression,
 3.  NACK message content,
 4.  Sender NACK processing and repair response.

3.2.1. Receiver NACK Process Initiation

 The NACK process (cycle) will be initiated by receivers that detect a
 need for repair transmissions from a specific sender to achieve
 reliable reception.  When FEC is applied, a receiver should initiate
 the NACK process only when it is known its repair requirements exceed
 the amount of pending FEC transmission for a given coding block of
 data content.  This can be determined at the end of the current
 transmission block (if it is indicated) or upon the start of
 reception of a subsequent coding block or transmission object.  This
 implies the sender data content is marked to identify its FEC block
 number and that ordinal relationship is preserved in order of

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 13] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 Alternatively, if the sender's transmission advertises the quantity
 of repair packets it is already planning to send for a block, the
 receiver may be able to initiate the NACK process earlier.  Allowing
 receivers to initiate NACK cycles at any time they detect their
 repair needs have exceeded pending repair transmissions may result in
 slightly quicker repair cycles.  However, it may be useful to limit
 NACK process initiation to specific events, such as at the end-of-
 transmission of an FEC coding block or upon detection of subsequent
 coding blocks.  This can allow receivers to aggregate NACK content
 into a smaller number of NACK messages and provide some implicit
 loose synchronization among the receiver set to help facilitate
 effective probabilistic suppression of NACK feedback.  The receiver
 MUST maintain a history of data content received from the sender to
 determine its current repair needs.  When FEC is employed, it is
 expected that the history will correspond to a record of pending or
 partially-received coding blocks.
 For probabilistic, timer-based suppression of feedback, the NACK
 cycle should begin with receivers observing backoff timeouts.  In
 conjunction with initiating this backoff timeout, it is important
 that the receivers record the position in the sender's transmission
 sequence at which they initiate the NACK cycle.  When the suppression
 backoff timeout expires, the receivers should only consider their
 repair needs up to this recorded transmission position in making the
 decision to transmit or suppress a NACK.  Without this restriction,
 suppression is greatly reduced as additional content is received from
 the sender during the time a NACK message propagates across the
 network to the sender and other receivers.
 1.  Sender data content with sequencing identifiers from sender
 2.  History of content received from sender.
 1.  NACK process initiation decision.
 2.  Recorded sender transmission sequence position.

3.2.2. NACK Suppression

 An effective feedback suppression mechanism is the use of random
 backoff timeouts prior to NACK transmission by receivers requiring
 repairs [SrmFramework].  Upon expiration of the backoff timeout, a
 receiver will request repairs unless its pending repair needs have

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 14] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 been completely superseded by NACK messages heard from other
 receivers (when receivers are multicasting NACKs) or from some
 indicator from the sender.  When receivers are unicasting NACK
 messages, the sender may facilitate NACK suppression by forwarding a
 representation of NACK content it has received to the group at large
 or by providing some other indicator of the repair information it
 will be subsequently transmitting.
 For effective and scalable suppression performance, the backoff
 timeout periods used by receivers should be independently, randomly
 picked by receivers with a truncated exponential distribution
 [McastFeedback].  This results in the majority of the receiver set
 holding off transmission of NACK messages under the assumption that
 the smaller number of "early NACKers" will supersede the repair needs
 of the remainder of the group.  The mean of the distribution should
 be determined as a function of the current estimate of the sender's
 GRTT assessment and a group size estimate that is either determined
 by other mechanisms within the protocol or is preset by the multicast
 A simple algorithm can be constructed to generate random backoff
 timeouts with the appropriate distribution.  Additionally, the
 algorithm may be designed to optimize the backoff distribution given
 the number of receivers ("R") potentially generating feedback.  This
 "optimization" minimizes the number of feedback messages (e.g., NACK)
 in the worst-case situation where all receivers generate a NACK.  The
 maximum backoff timeout ("T_maxBackoff") can be set to control
 reliable delivery latency versus volume of feedback traffic.  A
 larger value of "T_maxBackoff" will result in a lower density of
 feedback traffic for a given repair cycle.  A smaller value of
 "T_maxBackoff" results in shorter latency, which also reduces the
 buffering requirements of senders and receivers for reliable
 In the functions below, the "log()" function specified refers to the
 "natural logarithm" and the "exp()" function is similarly based upon
 the mathematical constant 'e' (a.k.a.  Euler's number) where "exp(x)"
 corresponds to '"e"' raised to the power of '"x"'.  Given the
 receiver group size ("groupSize") and maximum allowed backoff timeout
 ("T_maxBackoff"), random backoff timeouts ("t'") with a truncated
 exponential distribution can be picked with the following algorithm:
 1.  Establish an optimal mean ("L") for the exponential backoff based
     on the "groupSize":
                         L = log(groupSize) + 1

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 15] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 2.  Pick a random number ("x") from a uniform distribution over a
     range of:
              L                          L                   L
      --------------------  to --------------------  +  ----------
     T_maxBackoff*(exp(L)-1)  T_maxBackoff*(exp(L)-1)  T_maxBackoff
 3.  Transform this random variate to generate the desired random
     backoff time ("t'") with the following equation:
     t' = T_maxBackoff/L * log(x * (exp(L) - 1) * (T_maxBackoff/L))
 This "C" language function can be used to generate an appropriate
 random backoff time interval:
      double RandomBackoff(double T_maxBackoff, double groupSize)
          double lambda = log(groupSize) + 1;
          double x = UniformRand(lambda/T_maxBackoff) +
                     lambda / (T_maxBackoff*(exp(lambda)-1));
          return ((T_maxBackoff/lambda) *
      }  // end RandomBackoff()
 where "UniformRand(double max)" returns random numbers with a uniform
 distribution from the range of "0..max".  For example, based on the
 POSIX "rand()" function, the following "C" code can be used:
         double UniformRand(double max)
             return (max * ((double)rand()/(double)RAND_MAX));
 The number of expected NACK messages generated ("N") within the first
 round-trip time for a single feedback event is approximately:
                N = exp(1.2 * L / (2*T_maxBackoff/GRTT))
 Thus, the maximum backoff time can be adjusted to trade off worst-
 case NACK feedback volume versus latency.  This is derived from the
 equations given in [McastFeedback] and assumes "T_maxBackoff >=
 GRTT", and "L" is the mean of the distribution optimized for the
 given group size as shown in the algorithm above.  Note that other
 mechanisms within the protocol may work to reduce redundant NACK
 generation further.  It is suggested that "T_maxBackoff" be selected
 as an integer multiple of the sender's current advertised GRTT
 estimate such that:
                 T_maxBackoff = K * GRTT; where K >= 1

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 16] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 For general Internet operation, a default value of "K=4" is
 RECOMMENDED for operation with multicast (to the group at large) NACK
 delivery; a value of "K=6" is the RECOMMENDED default for unicast
 NACK delivery.  Alternate values may be used to achieve desired
 buffer utilization, reliable delivery latency, and group size
 scalability trade-offs.
 Given that ("K*GRTT") is the maximum backoff time used by the
 receivers to initiate NACK transmission, other timeout periods
 related to the NACK repair process can be scaled accordingly.  One of
 those timeouts is the amount of time a receiver should wait after
 generating a NACK message before allowing itself to initiate another
 NACK backoff/transmission cycle ("T_rcvrHoldoff").  This delay should
 be sufficient for the sender to respond to the received NACK with
 repair messages.  An appropriate value depends upon the amount of
 time for the NACK to reach the sender and the sender to provide a
 repair response.  This MUST include any amount of sender NACK
 aggregation period during which possible multiple NACKs are
 accumulated to determine an efficient repair response.  These
 timeouts are further discussed in Section 3.2.4.
 There are also secondary measures that can be applied to improve the
 performance of feedback suppression.  For example, the sender's data
 content transmissions can follow an ordinal sequence of transmission.
 When repairs for data content occur, the receiver can note that the
 sender has "rewound" its data content transmission position by
 observing the data object, FEC block number, and FEC symbol
 identifiers.  Receivers SHOULD limit transmission of NACKs to only
 when the sender's current transmission position exceeds the point to
 which the receiver has incomplete reception.  This reduces premature
 requests for repair of data the sender may be planning to provide in
 response to other receiver requests.  This mechanism can be very
 effective for protocol convergence in high loss conditions when
 transmissions of NACKs from other receivers (or indicators from the
 sender) are lost.  Another mechanism (particularly applicable when
 FEC is used) is for the sender to embed an indication of impending
 repair transmissions in current packets sent.  For example, the
 indication may be as simple as an advertisement of the number of FEC
 packets to be sent for the current applicable coding block.
 Finally, some consideration might be given to using the NACKing
 history of receivers to bias their selection of NACK backoff timeout
 intervals.  For example, if a receiver has historically been
 experiencing the greatest degree of loss, it may promote itself to
 statistically NACK sooner than other receivers.  Note this requires
 correlation over successive intervals of time in the loss experienced
 by a receiver.  Such correlation MAY not always be present in
 multicast networks.  This adjustment of backoff timeout selection may

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 17] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 require the creation of an "early NACK" slot for these historical
 NACKers.  This additional slot in the NACK backoff window will result
 in a longer repair cycle process that may not be desirable for some
 applications.  The resolution of these trade-offs may be dependent
 upon the protocol's target application set or network.
 After the random backoff timeout has expired, the receiver will make
 a decision on whether to generate a NACK repair request or not (i.e.,
 it has been suppressed).  The NACK will be suppressed when any of the
 following conditions has occurred:
 1.  The accumulated state of NACKs heard from other receivers (or
     forwarding of this state by the sender) is equal to or supersedes
     the repair needs of the local receiver.  Note that the local
     receiver should consider its repair needs only up to the sender
     transmission position recorded at the NACK cycle initiation (when
     the backoff timer was activated).
 2.  The sender's data content transmission position "rewinds" to a
     point ordinally less than that of the lowest sequence position of
     the local receiver's repair needs.  (This detection of sender
     "rewind" indicates the sender has already responded to other
     receiver repair needs of which the local receiver may not have
     been aware).  This "rewind" event can occur any time between 1)
     when the NACK cycle was initiated with the backoff timeout
     activation and 2) the current moment when the backoff timeout has
     expired to suppress the NACK.  Another NACK cycle must be
     initiated by the receiver when the sender's transmission sequence
     position exceeds the receiver's lowest ordinal repair point.
     Note it is possible that the local receiver may have had its
     repair needs satisfied as a result of the sender's response to
     the repair needs of other receivers and no further NACKing is
 If these conditions have not occurred and the receiver still has
 pending repair needs, a NACK message is generated and transmitted.
 The NACK should consist of an accumulation of repair needs from the
 receiver's lowest ordinal repair point up to the current sender
 transmission sequence position.  A single NACK message should be
 generated and the NACK message content should be truncated if it
 exceeds the payload size of single protocol message.  When such NACK
 payload limits occur, the NACK content SHOULD contain requests for
 the ordinally lowest repair content needed from the sender.

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 18] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 1.  NACK process initiation decision.
 2.  Recorded sender transmission sequence position.
 3.  Sender GRTT.
 4.  Sender group size estimate.
 5.  Application-defined bound on backoff timeout period.
 6.  NACKs from other receivers.
 7.  Pending repair indication from sender (may be forwarded NACKs).
 8.  Current sender transmission sequence position.
 1.  Yes/no decision to generate NACK message upon backoff timer

3.2.3. NACK Message Content

 The content of NACK messages generated by reliable multicast
 receivers will include information detailing their current repair
 needs.  The specific information depends on the use and type of FEC
 in the NACK repair process.  The identification of repair needs is
 dependent upon the data content identification (see Section 3.5
 below).  At the highest level, the NACK content will identify the
 sender to which the NACK is addressed and the data transport object
 (or stream) within the sender's transmission that needs repair.  For
 the indicated transport entity, the NACK content will then identify
 the specific FEC coding blocks and/or symbols it requires to
 reconstruct the complete transmitted data.  This content may consist
 of FEC block erasure counts and/or explicit indication of missing
 blocks or symbols (segments) of data and FEC content.  It should also
 be noted that NACK-based reliable multicast can be effectively
 instantiated without a requirement for reliable NACK delivery using
 the techniques discussed here. NACK and FEC Repair Strategies

 Where FEC-based repair is used, the NACK message content will
 minimally need to identify the coding block(s) for which repair is
 needed and a count of erasures (missing packets) for the coding

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 19] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 block.  An exact count of erasures implies the FEC algorithm is
 capable of repairing any loss combination within the coding block.
 This count may need to be adjusted for some FEC algorithms.
 Considering that multiple repair rounds may be required to
 successfully complete repair, an erasure count also implies that the
 quantity of unique FEC parity packets the server has available to
 transmit is essentially unlimited (i.e., the server will always be
 able to provide new, unique, previously unsent parity packets in
 response to any subsequent repair requests for the same coding
 block).  Alternatively, the sender may "round-robin" transmit through
 its available set of FEC symbols for a given coding block, and
 eventually effect repair.  For the most efficient repair strategy,
 the NACK content will need to also explicitly identify which symbols
 (information and/or parity) the receiver requires to successfully
 reconstruct the content of the coding block.  This will be
 particularly true of small- to medium-size block FEC codes (e.g.,
 Reed Solomon [FecSchemes]) that are capable of providing a limited
 number of parity symbols per FEC coding block.
 When FEC is not used as part of the repair process, or the protocol
 instantiation is required to provide reliability even when the sender
 has transmitted all available parity for a given coding block (or the
 sender's ability to buffer transmission history is exceeded by the
 "(delay*bandwidth*loss)" characteristics of the network topology),
 the NACK content will need to contain explicit coding block and/or
 segment loss information so that the sender can provide appropriate
 repair packets and/or data retransmissions.  Explicit loss
 information in NACK content may also potentially serve other
 purposes.  For example, it may be useful for decorrelating loss
 characteristics among a group of receivers to help differentiate
 candidate congestion control bottlenecks among the receiver set.
 When FEC is used and NACK content is designed to contain explicit
 repair requests, there is a strategy where the receivers can NACK for
 specific content that will help facilitate NACK suppression and
 repair efficiency.  The assumptions for this strategy are that the
 sender may potentially exhaust its supply of new, unique parity
 packets available for a given coding block and be required to
 explicitly retransmit some data or parity symbols to complete
 reliable transfer.  Another assumption is that an FEC algorithm where
 any parity packet can fill any erasure within the coding block (e.g.,
 Reed Solomon) is used.  The goal of this strategy is to make maximum
 use of the available parity and provide the minimal amount of data
 and repair transmissions during reliable transfer of data content to
 the group.

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 20] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 When systematic FEC codes are used, the sender transmits the data
 content of the coding block (and optionally some quantity of parity
 packets) in its initial transmission.  Note that a systematic FEC
 coding block is considered to be logically made up of the contiguous
 set of source data vectors plus parity vectors for the given FEC
 algorithm used.  For example, a systematic coding scheme that
 provides for 64 data symbols and 32 parity symbols per coding block
 would contain FEC symbol identifiers in the range of 0 to 95.
 Receivers then can construct NACK messages requesting sufficient
 content to satisfy their repair needs.  For example, if the receiver
 has three erasures in a given received coding block, it will request
 transmission of the three lowest ordinal parity vectors in the coding
 block.  In our example coding scheme from the previous paragraph, the
 receiver would explicitly request parity symbols 64 to 66 to fill its
 three erasures for the coding block.  Note that if the receiver's
 loss for the coding block exceeds the available parity quantity
 (i.e., greater than 32 missing symbols in our example), the receiver
 will be required to construct a NACK requesting all (32) of the
 available parity symbols plus some additional portions of its missing
 data symbols in order to reconstruct the block.  If this is done
 consistently across the receiver group, the resulting NACKs will
 comprise a minimal set of sender transmissions to satisfy their
 repair needs.
 In summary, the rule is to request the lower ordinal portion of the
 parity content for the FEC coding block to satisfy the erasure repair
 needs on the first NACK cycle.  If the available number of parity
 symbols is insufficient, the receiver will also request the subset of
 ordinally highest missing data symbols to cover what the parity
 symbols will not fill.  Note this strategy assumes FEC codes such as
 Reed-Solomon for which a single parity symbol can repair any erased
 symbol.  This strategy would need minor modification to take into
 account the possibly limited repair capability of other FEC types.
 On subsequent NACK repair cycles where the receiver may receive some
 portion of its previously requested repair content, the receiver will
 use the same strategy, but only NACK for the set of parity and/or
 data symbols it has not yet received.  Optionally, the receivers
 could also provide a count of erasures as a convenience to the
 Other types of FEC schemes may require alteration to the NACK and
 repair strategy described here.  For example, some of the large block
 or expandable FEC codes described in [RFC3453] may be less
 deterministic with respect to defining optimal repair requests by
 receivers or repair transmission strategies by senders.  For these
 types of codes, it may be sufficient for receivers to NACK with an
 estimate of the quantity of additional FEC symbols required to

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 21] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 complete reliable reception and for the sender to respond
 accordingly.  This apparent disadvantage, as compared to codes such
 as Reed Solomon, may be offset by the reduced computational
 requirements and/or ability to support large coding blocks for
 increased repair efficiency that these codes can offer.
 After receipt and accumulation of NACK messages during the
 aggregation period, the sender can begin transmission of fresh
 (previously untransmitted) parity symbols for the coding block based
 on the highest receiver erasure count if it has a sufficient quantity
 of parity symbols that were not previously transmitted.  Otherwise,
 the sender MUST resort to transmitting the explicit set of repair
 vectors requested.  With this approach, the sender needs to maintain
 very little state on requests it has received from the group without
 need for synchronization of repair requests from the group.  Since
 all receivers use the same consistent algorithm to express their
 explicit repair needs, NACK suppression among receivers is simplified
 over the course of multiple repair cycles.  The receivers can simply
 compare NACKs heard from other receivers against their own calculated
 repair needs to determine whether they should transmit or suppress
 their pending NACK messages. NACK Content Format

 The format of NACK content will depend on the protocol's data service
 model and the format of data content identification the protocol
 uses.  This NACK format also depends upon the type of FEC encoding
 (if any) used.  Figure 2 illustrates a logical, hierarchical
 transmission content identification scheme, denoting that the notion
 of objects (or streams) and/or FEC blocking is optional at the
 protocol instantiation's discretion.  Note that the identification of
 objects is with respect to a given sender.  It is recommended that
 transport data content identification is done within the context of a
 sender in a given session.  Since the notion of session "streams" and
 "blocks" is optional, the framework degenerates to that of typical
 transport data segmentation and reassembly in its simplest form.
                                             [FEC Blocks]_
  Figure 2: Reliable Multicast Data Content Identification Hierarchy

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 22] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 The format of NACK messages should enable the following:
 1.  Identification of transport data units required to repair the
     received content, whether this is an entire missing object/stream
     (or range), entire FEC coding block(s), or sets of symbols,
 2.  Simple processing for NACK aggregation and suppression,
 3.  Inclusion of NACKs for multiple objects, FEC coding blocks,
     and/or symbols in a single message, and
 4.  A reasonably compact format.
 If the reliable multicast transport object/stream is identified with
 an <objectId> and the FEC symbol being transmitted is identified with
 an <fecPayloadId>, the concatenation of <objectId::fecPayloadId>
 comprises a basic transport protocol data unit (TPDU) identifier for
 symbols from a given source.  NACK content can be composed of lists
 and/or ranges of these TPDU identifiers to build up NACK messages to
 describe the receiver's repair needs.  If no hierarchical object
 delineation or FEC blocking is used, the TPDU is a simple linear
 representation of the data symbols transmitted by the sender.  When
 the TPDU represents a hierarchy for purposes of object/stream
 delineation and/or FEC blocking, the NACK content unit may require
 flags to indicate which portion of the TPDU is applicable.  For
 example, if an entire "object" (or range of objects) is missing in
 the received data, the receiver will not necessarily know the
 appropriate range of <sourceBlockNumbers> or <encodingSymbolIds> for
 which to request repair and thus requires some mechanism to request
 repair (or retransmission) of the entire unit represented by an
 <objectId>.  The same is true if entire FEC coding blocks represented
 by one or a range of <sourceBlockNumbers> have been lost.
 1.  Sender identification.
 2.  Sender data identification.
 3.  Sender FEC object transmission information.
 4.  Recorded sender transmission sequence position.
 5.  Current sender transmission sequence position.  History of repair
     needs for this sender.

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 23] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 1.  NACK message with repair requests.

3.2.4. Sender NACK Processing and Repair Response

 Upon reception of a repair request from a receiver in the group, the
 sender will initiate a repair response procedure.  The sender may
 wish to delay transmission of repair content until it has had
 sufficient time to accumulate potentially multiple NACKs from the
 receiver set.  This allows the sender to determine the most efficient
 repair strategy for a given transport stream/object or FEC coding
 block.  Depending upon the approach used, some protocols may find it
 beneficial for the sender to provide an indicator of pending repair
 transmissions as part of its current transmitted message content.
 This can aid some NACK suppression mechanisms.  The amount of time to
 perform this NACK aggregation should be sufficient to allow for the
 maximum receiver NACK backoff window (""T_maxBackoff"" from Section
 3.2.2) and propagation of NACK messages from the receivers to the
 sender.  Note the maximum transmission delay of a message from a
 receiver to the sender may be approximately "(1*GRTT)" in the case of
 very asymmetric network topology with respect to transmission delay.
 Thus, if the maximum receiver NACK backoff time is "T_maxBackoff =
 K*GRTT", the sender NACK aggregation period should be equal to at
          T_sndrAggregate = T_maxBackoff + 1*GRTT = (K+1)*GRTT
 Immediately after the sender NACK aggregation period, the sender will
 begin transmitting repair content determined from the aggregate NACK
 state and continue with any new transmission.  Also, at this time,
 the sender should observe a "hold-off" period where it constrains
 itself from initiating a new NACK aggregation period to allow
 propagation of the new transmission sequence position due to the
 repair response to the receiver group.  To allow for worst case
 asymmetry, this "hold-off" time should be:
                         T_sndrHoldoff = 1*GRTT
 Recall that the receivers will also employ a "hold-off" timeout after
 generating a NACK message to allow time for the sender's response.
 Given a sender "<T_sndrAggregate>" plus "<T_sndrHoldoff>" time of
 "(K+1)*GRTT", the receivers should use hold-off timeouts of:
      T_rcvrHoldoff = T_sndrAggregate + T_sndrHoldoff = (K+2)*GRTT

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 24] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 This allows for a worst-case propagation time of the receiver's NACK
 to the sender, the sender's aggregation time, and propagation of the
 sender's response back to the receiver.  Additionally, in the case of
 unicast feedback from the receiver set, it may be useful for the
 sender to forward (via multicast) a representation of its aggregated
 NACK content to the group to allow for NACK suppression when there is
 not multicast connectivity among the receiver set.
 At the expiration of the "<T_sndrAggregate>" timeout, the sender will
 begin transmitting repair messages according to the accumulated
 content of NACKs received.  There are some guidelines with regards to
 FEC-based repair and the ordering of the repair response from the
 sender that can improve reliable multicast efficiency:
 When FEC is used, it is beneficial that the sender transmit
 previously untransmitted parity content as repair messages whenever
 possible.  This maximizes the receiving nodes' ability to reconstruct
 the entire transmitted content from their individual subsets of
 received messages.
 The transmitted object and/or stream data and repair content should
 be indexed with monotonically increasing sequence numbers (within a
 reasonably large ordinal space).  If the sender observes the
 discipline of transmitting repair for the earliest content (e.g.,
 ordinally lowest FEC blocks) first, the receivers can use a strategy
 of withholding repair requests for later content until the sender
 once again returns to that point in the object/stream transmission
 sequence.  This can increase overall message efficiency among the
 group and help keep repair cycles relatively synchronized without
 dependence upon strict time synchronization among the sender and
 receivers.  This also helps minimize the buffering requirements of
 receivers and senders and reduces redundant transmission of data to
 the group at large.
 1.  Receiver NACK messages.
 2.  Group timing information.
 1.  Repair messages (FEC and/or Data content retransmission).
 2.  Advertisement of current pending repair transmissions when
     unicast receiver feedback is detected.

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 25] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

3.3. Multicast Receiver Join Policies and Procedures

 Consideration should be given to the policies and procedures by which
 new receivers join a group (perhaps where reliable transmission is
 already in progress) and begin requesting repair.  If receiver joins
 are unconstrained, the dynamics of group membership may impede the
 application's ability to meet its goals for forward progression of
 data transmission.  Policies that limit the opportunities for
 receivers to begin participating in the NACK process may be used to
 achieve the desired behavior.  For example, it may be beneficial for
 receivers to attempt reliable reception from a newly-heard sender
 only upon non-repair transmissions of data in the first FEC block of
 an object or logical portion of a stream.  The sender may also
 implement policies limiting the receivers from which it will accept
 NACK requests, but this may be prohibitive for scalability reasons in
 some situations.  Alternatively, it may be desirable to have a looser
 transport synchronization policy and rely upon session management
 mechanisms to limit group dynamics that can cause poor performance in
 some types of bulk transfer applications (or for potential
 interactive reliable multicast applications).
 1.  Current object/stream data/repair content and sequencing
     identifiers from sender transmissions.
 1.  Receiver yes/no decision to begin receiving and NACKing for
     reliable reception of data.

3.4. Node (Member) Identification

 In a NACK-based reliable multicast protocol (or other multicast
 protocols) where there is the potential for multiple sources of data,
 it is necessary to provide some mechanism to uniquely identify the
 sources (and possibly some or all receivers) within the group.
 Receivers that send NACK messages to the group will need to identify
 the sender to which the NACK is intended.  Identity based on arriving
 packet source addresses is insufficient for several reasons.  These
 reasons include routing changes for hosts with multiple interfaces
 that result in different packet source addresses for a given host
 over time, network address translation (NAT) or firewall devices, or
 other transport/network bridging approaches.  As a result, some type
 of unique source identifier <sourceId> field SHOULD be present in
 packets transmitted by reliable multicast session members.

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 26] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

3.5. Data Content Identification

 The data and repair content transmitted by a NACK-based reliable
 multicast sender requires some form of identification in the protocol
 header fields.  This identification is required to facilitate the
 reliable NACK-oriented repair process.  These identifiers will also
 be used in NACK messages generated.  This building block document
 assumes two very general types of data that may comprise bulk
 transfer session content.  One type is static, discrete objects of
 finite size and the other is continuous non-finite streams.  A given
 application may wish to reliably multicast data content using either
 one or both of these paradigms.  While it may be possible for some
 applications to further generalize this model and provide mechanisms
 to encapsulate static objects as content embedded within a stream,
 there are advantages in many applications to provide distinct support
 for static bulk objects and messages with the context of a reliable
 multicast session.  These applications may include content caching
 servers, file transfer, or collaborative tools with bulk content.
 Applications with requirements for these static object types can then
 take advantage of transport layer mechanisms (i.e., segmentation/
 reassembly, caching, integrated forward error correction coding,
 etc.) rather than being required to provide their own mechanisms for
 these functions at the application layer.
 As noted, some applications may alternatively desire to transmit bulk
 content in the form of one or more streams of non-finite size.
 Example streams include continuous quasi-real-time message broadcasts
 (e.g., stock ticker) or some content types that are part of
 collaborative tools or other applications.  And, as indicated above,
 some applications may wish to encapsulate other bulk content (e.g.,
 files) into one or more streams within a multicast session.
 The components described within this building block document are
 envisioned to be applicable to both of these models with the
 potential for a mix of both types within a single multicast session.
 To support this requirement, the normal data content identification
 should include a field to uniquely identify the object or stream
 (e.g., <objectId>) within some reasonable temporal or ordinal
 interval.  Note that it is not expected that this data content
 identification will be globally unique.  It is expected that the
 object/stream identifier will be unique with respect to a given
 sender within the reliable multicast session and during the time that
 sender is supporting a specific transport instance of that object or
 Since "bulk" object/stream content usually requires segmentation,
 some form of segment identification must also be provided.  This
 segment identifier will be relative to any object or stream

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 27] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 identifier that has been provided.  Thus, in some cases, NACK-based
 reliable multicast protocol instantiations may be able to receive
 transmissions and request repair for multiple streams and one or more
 sets of static objects in parallel.  For protocol instantiations
 employing FEC, the segment identification portion of the data content
 identifier may consist of a logical concatenation of a coding block
 identifier <sourceBlockNumber> and an identifier for the specific
 data or parity symbol <encodingSymbolId> of the code block.  The FEC
 Basic Schemes building block [FECSchemes] and descriptions of
 additional FEC schemes that may be documented later provide a
 standard message format for identifying FEC transmission content.
 NACK-based reliable multicast protocol instantiations using FEC
 SHOULD follow such guidelines.
 Additionally, flags to determine the usage of the content identifier
 fields (e.g., stream vs. object) may be applicable.  Flags may also
 serve other purposes in data content identification.  It is expected
 that any flags defined will be dependent upon individual protocol
 In summary, the following data content identification fields may be
 required for NACK-based reliable multicast protocol data content
 1.  Source node identifier (<sourceId>).
 2.  Object/Stream identifier (<objectId>), if applicable.
 3.  FEC Block identifier (<sourceBlockNumber>), if applicable.
 4.  FEC Symbol identifier (<encodingSymbolId>).
 5.  Flags to differentiate interpretation of identifier fields or
     identifier structure that implicitly indicates usage.
 6.  Additional FEC transmission content fields per FEC Building
 These fields have been identified because any generated NACK messages
 will use these identifiers in requesting repair or retransmission of

3.6. Forward Error Correction (FEC)

 Multiple forward error correction (FEC) approaches using erasure
 coding techniques have been identified that can provide great
 performance enhancements to the repair process of NACK-oriented and
 other reliable multicast protocols [FecBroadcast], [RmFec],

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 28] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 [RFC3453].  NACK-based reliable multicast protocols can reap
 additional benefits since FEC-based repair does not generally require
 explicit knowledge of repair content within the bounds of its coding
 block size (in symbols).  In NACK-based reliable multicast, parity
 repair packets generated will generally be transmitted only in
 response to NACK repair requests from receiving nodes.  However,
 there are benefits in some network environments for transmitting some
 predetermined quantity of FEC repair packets multiplexed with the
 regular data symbol transmissions [FecHybrid].  This can reduce the
 amount of NACK traffic generated with relatively little overhead cost
 when group sizes are very large or the network connectivity has a
 large "delay*bandwidth" product with some nominal level of expected
 packet loss.  While the application of FEC is not unique to NACK-
 based reliable multicast, these sorts of requirements may dictate the
 types of algorithms and protocol approaches that are applicable.
 A specific issue related to the use of FEC with NACK-based reliable
 multicast is the mechanism used to identify the portion(s) of
 transmitted data content to which specific FEC packets are
 applicable.  It is expected that FEC algorithms will be based on
 generating a set of parity repair packets for a corresponding block
 of transmitted data packets.  Since data content packets are uniquely
 identified by the concatenation of <sourceId::objectId::
 sourceBlockNumber::encodingSymbolId> during transport, it is expected
 that FEC packets will be identified in a similar manner.  The FEC
 Building Block document [RFC5052] provides detailed recommendations
 concerning application of FEC and standard formats for related
 reliable multicast protocol messages.

3.7. Round-Trip Timing Collection

 The measurement of packet propagation round-trip time (RTT) among
 members of the group is required to support timer-based NACK
 suppression algorithms, timing of sender commands or certain repair
 functions, and congestion control operation.  The nature of the
 round-trip information collected is dependent upon the type of
 interaction among the members of the group.  In the case of "one-to-
 many" transmission, it may be that only the sender requires RTT
 knowledge of the GRTT and/or RTT knowledge of only a portion of the
 group.  Here, the GRTT information might be collected in a reasonably
 scalable manner.  For congestion control operation, it is possible
 that each receiver in the group may need knowledge of its individual
 RTT.  In this case, an alternative RTT collection scheme may be
 utilized where receivers collect individual RTT measurements with
 respect to the sender(s) and advertise them to the group or
 sender(s).  Where it is likely that exchange of reliable multicast
 data will occur among the group on a "many-to-many" basis, there are
 alternative measurement techniques that might be employed for

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 29] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 increased efficiency [DelayEstimation].  In some cases, there might
 be absolute time synchronization available among the participating
 hosts that may simplify RTT measurement.  There are trade-offs in
 multicast congestion control design that require further
 consideration before a universal recommendation on RTT (or GRTT)
 measurement can be specified.  Regardless of how the RTT information
 is collected (and more specifically GRTT) with respect to congestion
 control or other requirements, the sender will need to advertise its
 current GRTT estimate to the group for various NACK timeouts used by

3.7.1. One-to-Many Sender GRTT Measurement

 The goal of this form of RTT measurement is for the sender to
 estimate the GRTT among the receivers who are actively participating
 in NACK-based reliable multicast operation.  The set of receivers
 participating in this process may be the entire group or some subset
 of the group determined from another mechanism within the protocol
 instantiation.  An approach to collect this GRTT information follows.
 The sender periodically polls the group with a message (independent
 or "piggy-backed" with other transmissions) containing a "<sendTime>"
 timestamp relative to an internal clock at the sender.  Upon
 reception of this message, the receivers will record this
 "<sendTime>" timestamp and the time (referenced to their own clocks)
 at which it was received "<recvTime>".  When the receiver provides
 feedback to the sender (either explicitly or as part of other
 feedback messages depending upon protocol instantiation
 specification), it will construct a "response" using the formula:
           grttResponse = sendTime + (currentTime - recvTime)
 where the "<sendTime>" is the timestamp from the last probe message
 received from the source and the ("<currentTime> - <recvTime>") is
 the amount of time differential since that request was received until
 the receiver generated the response.
 The sender processes each receiver response by calculating a current
 RTT measurement for the receiver from whom the response was received
 using the following formula:
                 RTT_rcvr = currentTime - grttResponse
 During each periodic "GRTT" probing interval, the source keeps the
 peak round-trip timing measurement ("RTT_peak") from the set of
 responses it has received.  A conservative estimate of "GRTT" is kept

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 30] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 to maximize the efficiency of redundant NACK suppression and repair
 aggregation.  The update to the source's ongoing estimate of "GRTT"
 is done observing the following rules:
 1.  If a receiver's response round-trip time ("RTT_rcvr") is greater
     than the current "GRTT" estimate, the "GRTT" is immediately
     updated to this new peak value:
                            GRTT = RTT_rcvr
 2.  At the end of the response collection period (i.e., the GRTT
     probe interval), if the recorded "peak" response ("RTT_peak") is
     less than the current GRTT estimate, the GRTT is updated to:
                     GRTT = MAX(0.9*GRTT, RTT_peak)
 3.  If no feedback is received, the sender "GRTT" estimate remains
 4.  At the end of the response collection period, the peak tracking
     value ("RTT_peak") is reset to ZERO for subsequent peak
 The GRTT collection period (i.e., period of probe transmission) could
 be fixed at a value on the order of that expected for group
 membership and/or network topology dynamics.  For robustness, more
 rapid probing could be used at protocol startup before settling to a
 less frequent, steady-state interval.  Optionally, an algorithm may
 be developed to adjust the GRTT collection period dynamically in
 response to the current estimate of GRTT (or variations in it) and to
 an estimation of packet loss.  The overhead of probing messages could
 then be reduced when the GRTT estimate is stable and unchanging, but
 be adjusted to track more dynamically during periods of variation
 with correspondingly shorter GRTT collection periods.  GRTT
 collection MAY also be coupled with collection of other information
 for congestion control purposes.
 In summary, although NACK repair cycle timeouts are based on GRTT, it
 should be noted that convergent operation of the protocol does not
 depend upon highly accurate GRTT estimation.  The current mechanism
 has proved sufficient in simulations and in the environments where
 NACK-based reliable multicast protocols have been deployed to date.
 The estimate provided by the given algorithm tracks the peak envelope
 of actual GRTT (including operating system effect as well as network
 delays) even in relatively high loss connectivity.  The steady-state
 probing/update interval may potentially be varied to accommodate
 different levels of expected network dynamics in different

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 31] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

3.7.2. One-to-Many Receiver RTT Measurement

 In this approach, receivers send messages with timestamps to the
 sender.  To control the volume of these receiver-generated messages,
 a suppression mechanism similar to that described for NACK
 suppression my be used.  The "age" of receivers' RTT measurement
 should be kept by receivers and used as a metric in competing for
 feedback opportunities in the suppression scheme.  For example,
 receiver who have not made any RTT measurement or whose RTT
 measurement has aged most should have precedence over other
 receivers.  In turn, the sender may have limited capacity to provide
 an "echo" of the receiver timestamps back to the group, and it could
 use this RTT "age" metric to determine which receivers get
 precedence.  The sender can determine the "GRTT" as described in
 3.7.1 if it provides sender timestamps to the group.  Alternatively,
 receivers who note their RTT is greater than the sender GRTT can
 compete in the feedback opportunity/suppression scheme to provide the
 sender and group with this information.

3.7.3. Many-to-Many RTT Measurement

 For reliable multicast sessions that involve multiple senders, it may
 be useful to have RTT measurements occur on a true "many-to-many"
 basis rather than have each sender independently tracking RTT.  Some
 protocol efficiency can be gained when receivers can infer an
 approximation of their RTT with respect to a sender based on RTT
 information they have on another sender and that other sender's RTT
 with respect to the new sender of interest.  For example, for
 receiver "a" and senders "b" and "c", it is likely that:
                  RTT(a<->b) <= RTT(a<->c)) + RTT(b<->c)
 Further refinement of this estimate can be conducted if RTT
 information is available to a node concerning its own RTT with
 respect to a small subset of other group members and if information
 concerning RTT among those other group members is learned by the node
 during protocol operation.

3.7.4. Sender GRTT Advertisement

 To facilitate deterministic protocol operation, the sender should
 robustly advertise its current estimation of "GRTT" to the receiver
 set.  Common, robust knowledge of the sender's current operating GRTT
 estimate among the group will allow the protocol to progress in its
 most efficient manner.  The sender's GRTT estimate can be robustly
 advertised to the group by simply embedding the estimate into all
 pertinent messages transmitted by the sender.  The overhead of this
 can be made quite small by quantizing (compressing) the GRTT estimate

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 32] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 to a single byte of information.  The following C-language functions
 allow this to be done over a wide range ("RTT_MIN" through "RTT_MAX")
 of GRTT values while maintaining a greater range of precision for
 small values and less precision for large values.  Values of 1.0e-06
 seconds and 1000 seconds are RECOMMENDED for "RTT_MIN" and "RTT_MAX"
 respectively.  NACK-based reliable multicast applications may wish to
 place an additional, smaller upper limit on the GRTT advertised by
 senders to meet application data delivery latency constraints at the
 expense of greater feedback volume in some network environments.
     unsigned char QuantizeGrtt(double grtt)
         if (grtt > RTT_MAX)
             grtt = RTT_MAX;
         else if (grtt < RTT_MIN)
             grtt = RTT_MIN;
         if (grtt < (33*RTT_MIN))
             return ((unsigned char)(grtt / RTT_MIN) - 1);
             return ((unsigned char)(ceil(255.0 -
                                     (13.0 * log(RTT_MAX/grtt)))));
     double UnquantizeRtt(unsigned char qrtt)
         return ((qrtt <= 31) ?
                 (((double)(qrtt+1))*(double)RTT_MIN) :
 Note that this function is useful for quantizing GRTT times in the
 range of 1 microsecond to 1000 seconds.  Of course, NACK-based
 reliable multicast protocol implementations may wish to further
 constrain advertised GRTT estimates (e.g., limit the maximum value)
 for practical reasons.

3.8. Group Size Determination/Estimation

 When NACK-based reliable multicast protocol operation includes
 mechanisms that excite feedback from the group at large (e.g.,
 congestion control), it may be possible to roughly estimate the group
 size based on the number of feedback messages received with respect
 to the distribution of the probabilistic suppression mechanism used.
 Note the timer-based suppression mechanism described in this document
 does not require a very accurate estimate of group size to perform
 adequately.  Thus, a rough estimate, particularly if conservatively
 managed, may suffice.  Group size may also be determined
 administratively.  In absence of any group size determination

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 33] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 mechanism, a default group size value of 10,000 is RECOMMENDED for
 reasonable management of feedback given the scalability of expected
 NACK-based reliable multicast usage.  This conservative estimate
 (over-estimate) of group size in the algorithms described above will
 result in some added latency to the NACK repair process if the actual
 group size is smaller but with a guarantee of feedback implosion
 protection.  The study of the timer-based feedback suppression
 mechanism described in [McastFeedback] and [NormFeedback] showed that
 the group size estimate need only be with an order-of-magnitude to
 provide effective suppression performance.

3.9. Congestion Control Operation

 Congestion control that fairly shares available network capacity with
 other reliable multicast and TCP instantiations is REQUIRED for
 general Internet operation.  The TCP-Friendly Multicast Congestion
 Control (TFMCC) [TfmccPaper] or Pragmatic General Multicast
 Congestion Control (PGMCC) [PgmccPaper] techniques can be applied to
 NACK-based reliable multicast operation to meet this requirement.
 The former technique has been further documented in [RFC4654] and has
 been successfully applied in the NACK-Oriented Reliable Multicast
 Protocol (NORM) [RFC3940].

3.10. Intermediate System Assistance

 NACK-based multicast protocols may benefit from general purpose
 intermediate system assistance.  In particular, additional NACK
 suppression where intermediate systems can aggregate NACK content (or
 filter duplicate NACK content) from receivers as it is relayed toward
 the sender could enhance NORM group size scalability.  For NACK-based
 reliable multicast protocols using FEC, it is possible that
 intermediate systems may be able to filter FEC repair messages to
 provide an intelligent "subcast" of repair content to different legs
 of the multicast topology depending on the repair needs learned from
 previous receiver NACKs.  Similarly, intermediate systems could
 monitor receiver NACKs and provide repair transmissions on-demand in
 response if sufficient state on the content being transmitted was
 being maintained.  This can reduce the latency and volume of repair
 transmissions when the intermediate system is associated with a
 network link that is particularly problematic with respect to packet
 loss.  These types of assist functions would require intermediate
 system interpretation of transport data unit content identifiers and
 flags.  NACK-based protocol designs should consider the potential for
 intermediate system assistance in the specification of protocol
 messages and operations.  It is likely that intermediate systems
 assistance will be more pragmatic if message parsing requirements are
 modest and if the amount of state an intermediate system is required
 to maintain is relatively small.

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 34] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

4. NACK-Based Reliable Multicast Applicability

 The Multicast NACK building block applies to protocols wishing to
 employ negative acknowledgement to achieve reliable data transfer.
 Properly designed NACK-based reliable multicast protocols offer
 scalability advantages for applications and/or network topologies
 where, for various reasons, it is prohibitive to construct a higher
 order delivery infrastructure above the basic Layer 3 IP multicast
 service (e.g., unicast or hybrid unicast/multicast data distribution
 trees).  Additionally, the multicast scalability property of NACK-
 based protocols [RmComparison], [RmClasses] is applicable where broad
 "fan-out" is expected for a single network hop (e.g., cable-TV data
 delivery, satellite, or other broadcast communication services).
 Furthermore, the simplicity of a protocol based on "flat" group-wide
 multicast distribution may offer advantages for a broad range of
 distributed services or dynamic networks and applications.  NACK-
 based reliable multicast protocols can make use of reciprocal (among
 senders and receivers) multicast communication under the any-source
 multicast (ASM) model defined in RFC 1112 [RFC1112], and are capable
 of scalable operation in asymmetric topologies, such as source-
 specific multicast (SSM) [RFC4607], where there may only be unicast
 routing service from the receivers to the sender(s).
 NACK-based reliable multicast protocol operation is compatible with
 transport layer forward error correction coding techniques as
 described in [RFC3453] and congestion control mechanisms such as
 those described in [TfmccPaper] and [PgmccPaper].  A principal
 limitation of NACK-based reliable multicast operation involves group
 size scalability when network capacity for receiver feedback is very
 limited.  It is possible that, with proper protocol design, the
 intermediate system assistance techniques mentioned in Section 2.4
 and described further in Section 3.10 can allow NACK-based approaches
 to scale to larger group sizes.  NACK-based reliable multicast
 operation is also governed by implementation buffering constraints.
 Buffering greater than that required for typical point-to-point
 reliable transport (e.g., TCP) is recommended to allow for disparity
 in the receiver group connectivity and to allow for the feedback
 delays required to attain group size scalability.
 Prior experimental work included various protocol instantiations that
 implemented some of the concepts described in this building block
 document.  This includes the Pragmatic General Multicast (PGM)
 protocol described in [RFC3208] as well as others that were
 documented or deployed outside of IETF activities.  While the PGM
 protocol specification and some other approaches encompassed many of
 the goals of bulk data delivery as described here, this NACK-based
 building block provides a more generalized framework so that
 different application needs can be met by different protocol

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 35] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 instantiation variants.  The NACK-based building block approach
 described here includes compatibility with the other protocol
 mechanisms including FEC and congestion control that are described in
 other IETF reliable multicast building block documents.  The NACK
 repair process described in this document can provide performance
 advantages compared to PGM when both are deployed on a pure end-to-
 end basis without intermediate system assistance.  The round-trip
 timing estimation described here and its use in the NACK repair
 process allow protocol operation to more automatically adapt to
 different network environments or operate within environments where
 connectivity is dynamic.  Use of the FEC payload identification
 techniques described in the FEC building block [RFC5052] and specific
 FEC instantiations allow protocol instantiations more flexibility as
 FEC techniques evolve than the specific sequence number data
 identification scheme described in the PGM specification.  Similar
 flexibility is expected if protocol instantiations are designed to
 modularly invoke (at design time, if not run-time) the appropriate
 congestion control building block for different application or
 deployment purposes.

5. Security Considerations

 NACK-based reliable multicast protocols are expected to be subject to
 the same security vulnerabilities as other IP and IP multicast
 protocols.  However, unlike point-to-point (unicast) transport
 protocols, it is possible that one badly behaving participant can
 impact the transport service experience of others in the group.  For
 example, a malicious receiver node could intentionally transmit NACK
 messages to cause the sender(s) to unnecessarily transmit repairs
 instead of making forward progress with reliable transfer.  Also,
 group-wise messaging to support congestion control or other aspects
 of protocol operation may be subject to similar vulnerabilities.
 Thus, it is highly RECOMMENDED that security techniques such as
 authentication and data integrity checks be applied for NACK-based
 reliable multicast deployments.  Protocol instantiations using this
 building block MUST identify approaches to security that can be used
 to address these and other security considerations.
 NACK-based reliable multicast is compatible with IP security (IPsec)
 authentication mechanisms [RFC4301] that are RECOMMENDED for
 protection against session intrusion and denial of service attacks.
 A particular threat for NACK-based protocols is that of NACK replay
 attacks, which could prevent a multicast sender from making forward
 progress in transmission.  Any standard IPsec mechanisms that can
 provide protection against such replay attacks are RECOMMENDED for
 use.  The IETF Multicast Security (MSEC) Working Group has developed
 a set of recommendations in its "Multicast Extensions to the Security
 Architecture for the Internet Protocol" [IpsecExtensions] that can be

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 36] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 applied to appropriately extend IPsec mechanisms to multicast
 operation.  An appendix of this document specifically addresses the
 NACK-Oriented Reliable Multicast protocol service model.  As complete
 support for IPsec multicast operation may potentially follow reliable
 multicast deployment, NACK-based reliable multicast protocol
 instantiations SHOULD consider providing support for their own NACK
 replay attack protection when network layer mechanisms are not
 available.  This MAY be necessary when IPsec implementations are used
 that do not provide multicast replay attack protection when multiple
 sources are present.
 For NACK-based multicast deployments with large receiver groups using
 IPsec, approaches might be developed that use shared, common keys for
 receiver-originated protocol messages to maintain a practical number
 of IPsec Security Associations (SAs).  However, such group-based
 authentication may not be sufficient unless the receiver population
 can be completely trusted.  Additionally, this can make
 identification of badly behaving (although authenticated) receiver
 nodes problematic as such nodes could potentially masquerade as other
 receivers in the group.  In deployments such as this, one SHOULD
 consider use of source-specific multicast (SSM) instead of any-source
 multicast (ASM) models of multicast operation.  SSM operation can
 simplify security challenges in a couple of ways:
 1.  A NACK-based protocol supporting SSM operation can eliminate
     direct receiver-to-receiver signaling.  This dramatically reduces
     the number of security associations that need to be established.
 2.  The SSM sender(s) can provide a centralized management point for
     secure group operation for its respective data flow as the sender
     alone is required to conduct individual host authentication for
     each receiver when group-based authentication does not suffice or
     is not pragmatic to deploy.
 When individual host authentication is required, then it is possible
 receivers could use a digital signature on the IPsec Encapsulating
 Security Protocol (ESP) payload as described in [RFC4359].  Either an
 identity-based signature system or a group-specific public key
 infrastructure could avoid per-receiver state at the sender(s).
 Additionally, implementations MUST also support policies to limit the
 impact of extremely or exceptionally poor-performing (due to bad
 behavior or otherwise) receivers upon overall group operation if this
 is acceptable for the relevant application.
 As described in Section 3.4, deployment of NACK-based reliable
 multicast in some network environments may require identification of
 group members beyond that of IP addressing.  If protocol-specific
 security mechanisms are developed, then it is RECOMMENDED that

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 37] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 protocol group member identifiers are used as selectors (as defined
 in [RFC4301]) for the applicable security associations.  When IPsec
 is used, it is RECOMMENDED that the protocol implementation verify
 that the source IP addresses of received packets are valid for the
 given protocol source identifier in addition to usual IPsec
 authentication.  This would prevent a badly behaving (although
 authorized) member from spoofing messages from other legitimate
 members, provided that individual host authentication is supported.
 The MSEC Working Group has also developed automated group keying
 solutions that are applicable to NACK-based reliable multicast
 security.  For example, to support IPsec or other security
 mechanisms, the Group Secure Association Key Management Protocol
 [RFC4535] MAY be used for automated group key management.  The
 technique it identifies for "Group Establishment for Receive-Only
 Members" may be application NACK-based reliable multicast SSM

6. Changes from RFC 3941

 This section lists the changes between the Experimental version of
 this specification, [RFC3941], and this version:
 1.  Change of title to avoid confusion with NORM Protocol
 2.  Updated references to related, updated RMT Building Block
     documents, and
 3.  More detailed security considerations.

7. Acknowledgements

 (and these are not Negative)
 The authors would like to thank George Gross, Rick Jones, and Joerg
 Widmer for their valuable comments on this document.  The authors
 would also like to thank the RMT working group chairs, Roger Kermode
 and Lorenzo Vicisano, for their support in development of this
 specification, and Sally Floyd for her early inputs into this

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 38] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

8. References

8.1. Normative References

 [RFC1112]             Deering, S., "Host extensions for IP
                       multicasting", STD 5, RFC 1112, August 1989.
 [RFC2119]             Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to
                       Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
                       March 1997.
 [RFC4607]             Holbrook, H. and B. Cain, "Source-Specific
                       Multicast for IP", RFC 4607, August 2006.

8.2. Informative References

 [ArchConsiderations]  Clark, D. and D. Tennenhouse, "Architectural
                       Considerations for a New Generation of
                       Protocols", Proc. ACM SIGCOMM, pp. 201-208,
                       September 1990.
 [DelayEstimation]     Ozdemir, V., Muthukrishnan, S., and I. Rhee,
                       "Scalable, Low-Overhead Network Delay
                       Estimation", NCSU/AT&T White Paper,
                       February 1999.
 [FECSchemes]          Watson, M., "Basic Forward Error Correction
                       (FEC) Schemes", Work in Progress, July 2008.
 [FecBroadcast]        Metzner, J., "An Improved Broadcast
                       Retransmission Protocol", IEEE Transactions on
                       Communications Vol. Com-32, No. 6, June 1984.
 [FecHybrid]           Gossink, D. and J. Macker, "Reliable Multicast
                       and Integrated Parity Retransmission with
                       Channel Estimation", IEEE Globecomm 1998, 1998.
 [FecSchemes]          Lacan, J., Roca, V., Peltotalo, J., and S.
                       Peltotalo, "Reed-Solomon Forward Error
                       Correction (FEC) Schemes", Work in Progress,
                       November 2007.
 [IpsecExtensions]     Weis, B., Gross, G., and D. Ignjatic,
                       "Multicast Extensions to the Security
                       Architecture for the Internet Protocol", Work
                       in Progress, June 2008.

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 39] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 [McastFeedback]       Nonnenmacher, J. and E. Biersack, "Optimal
                       Multicast Feedback", IEEE Infocom p. 964,
                       March/April 1998.
 [NormFeedback]        Adamson, B. and J. Macker, "Quantitative
                       Prediction of NACK-Oriented Reliable Multicast
                       (NORM) Feedback", IEEE MILCOM 2002,
                       October 2002.
 [PgmccPaper]          Rizzo, L., "pgmcc: A TCP-Friendly Single-Rate
                       Multicast Congestion Control Scheme", ACM
                       SIGCOMM 2000, August 2000.
 [RFC2357]             Mankin, A., Romanov, A., Bradner, S., and V.
                       Paxson, "IETF Criteria for Evaluating Reliable
                       Multicast Transport and Application Protocols",
                       RFC 2357, June 1998.
 [RFC3208]             Speakman, T., Crowcroft, J., Gemmell, J.,
                       Farinacci, D., Lin, S., Leshchiner, D., Luby,
                       M., Montgomery, T., Rizzo, L., Tweedly, A.,
                       Bhaskar, N., Edmonstone, R., Sumanasekera, R.,
                       and L. Vicisano, "PGM Reliable Transport
                       Protocol Specification", RFC 3208,
                       December 2001.
 [RFC3269]             Kermode, R. and L. Vicisano, "Author Guidelines
                       for Reliable Multicast Transport (RMT) Building
                       Blocks and Protocol Instantiation documents",
                       RFC 3269, April 2002.
 [RFC3453]             Luby, M., Vicisano, L., Gemmell, J., Rizzo, L.,
                       Handley, M., and J. Crowcroft, "The Use of
                       Forward Error Correction (FEC) in Reliable
                       Multicast", RFC 3453, December 2002.
 [RFC3940]             Adamson, B., Bormann, C., Handley, M., and J.
                       Macker, "Negative-acknowledgment (NACK)-
                       Oriented Reliable Multicast (NORM) Protocol",
                       RFC 3940, November 2004.
 [RFC3941]             Adamson, B., Bormann, C., Handley, M., and J.
                       Macker, "Negative-Acknowledgment (NACK)-
                       Oriented Reliable Multicast (NORM) Building
                       Blocks", RFC 3941, November 2004.

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 40] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

 [RFC4301]             Kent, S. and K. Seo, "Security Architecture for
                       the Internet Protocol", RFC 4301,
                       December 2005.
 [RFC4359]             Weis, B., "The Use of RSA/SHA-1 Signatures
                       within Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) and
                       Authentication Header (AH)", RFC 4359,
                       January 2006.
 [RFC4535]             Harney, H., Meth, U., Colegrove, A., and G.
                       Gross, "GSAKMP: Group Secure Association Key
                       Management Protocol", RFC 4535, June 2006.
 [RFC4654]             Widmer, J. and M. Handley, "TCP-Friendly
                       Multicast Congestion Control (TFMCC): Protocol
                       Specification", RFC 4654, August 2006.
 [RFC5052]             Watson, M., Luby, M., and L. Vicisano, "Forward
                       Error Correction (FEC) Building Block",
                       RFC 5052, August 2007.
 [RmClasses]           Levine, B. and J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves, "A
                       Comparison of Known Classes of Reliable
                       Multicast Protocols", Proc. International
                       Conference on Network Protocols (ICNP-
                       96) Columbus, OH, October 1996.
 [RmComparison]        Pingali, S., Towsley, D., and J. Kurose, "A
                       Comparison of Sender-Initiated and Receiver-
                       Initiated Reliable Multicast Protocols", Proc.
                       INFOCOMM San Francisco, CA, October 1993.
 [RmFec]               Macker, J., "Reliable Multicast Transport and
                       Integrated Erasure-based Forward Error
                       Correction", IEEE MILCOM 1997, October 1997.
 [SrmFramework]        Floyd, S., Jacobson, V., McCanne, S., Liu, C.,
                       and L. Zhang, "A Reliable Multicast Framework
                       for Light-weight Sessions and Application Level
                       Framing", Proc. ACM SIGCOMM, August 1995.
 [TfmccPaper]          Widmer, J. and M. Handley, "Extending Equation-
                       Based Congestion Control to Multicast
                       Applications", ACM SIGCOMM 2001, August 2001.

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 41] RFC 5401 Multicast NACK BB November 2008

Authors' Addresses

 Brian Adamson
 Naval Research Laboratory
 Washington, DC  20375
 Carsten Bormann
 Universitaet Bremen TZI
 Postfach 330440
 D-28334 Bremen, Germany
 Mark Handley
 University College London
 Gower Street
 London,   WC1E 6BT
 Joe Macker
 Naval Research Laboratory
 Washington, DC  20375

Adamson, et al. Standards Track [Page 42]

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