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RFC 5651 - Layered Coding Transport (LCT) Building Block


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Network Working Group                                            M. Luby
Request for Comments: 5651                                     M. Watson
Obsoletes: 3451                                              L. Vicisano
Category: Standards Track                                 Qualcomm, Inc.
                                                            October 2009

             Layered Coding Transport (LCT) Building Block

Abstract

   The Layered Coding Transport (LCT) Building Block provides transport
   level support for reliable content delivery and stream delivery
   protocols.  LCT is specifically designed to support protocols using
   IP multicast, but it also provides support to protocols that use
   unicast.  LCT is compatible with congestion control that provides
   multiple rate delivery to receivers and is also compatible with
   coding techniques that provide reliable delivery of content.  This
   document obsoletes RFC 3451.

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) 2009 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
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/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.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the BSD License.

   This document may contain material from IETF Documents or IETF
   Contributions published or made publicly available before November
   10, 2008.  The person(s) controlling the copyright in some of this
   material may not have granted the IETF Trust the right to allow
   modifications of such material outside the IETF Standards Process.

   Without obtaining an adequate license from the person(s) controlling
   the copyright in such materials, this document may not be modified
   outside the IETF Standards Process, and derivative works of it may
   not be created outside the IETF Standards Process, except to format
   it for publication as an RFC or to translate it into languages other
   than English.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................3
   2. Rationale .......................................................3
   3. Functionality ...................................................4
   4. Applicability ...................................................7
      4.1. Environmental Requirements and Considerations ..............9
      4.2. Delivery Service Models ...................................10
      4.3. Congestion Control ........................................13
   5. Packet Header Fields ...........................................13
      5.1. LCT Header Format .........................................13
      5.2. Header-Extension Fields ...................................18
           5.2.1. General ............................................18
           5.2.2. EXT_TIME Header Extension ..........................20
   6. Operations .....................................................23
      6.1. Sender Operation ..........................................23
      6.2. Receiver Operation ........................................25
   7. Requirements from Other Building Blocks ........................26
   8. Security Considerations ........................................28
      8.1. Session and Object Multiplexing and Termination ...........28
      8.2. Time Synchronization ......................................29
      8.3. Data Transport ............................................29
   9. IANA Considerations ............................................29
      9.1. Namespace Declaration for LCT Header Extension Types ......29
      9.2. LCT Header Extension Type Registration ....................30
   10. Acknowledgments ...............................................30
   11. Changes from RFC 3451 .........................................31
   12. References ....................................................31
      12.1. Normative References .....................................31
      12.2. Informative References ...................................32

1.  Introduction

   Layered Coding Transport (LCT) provides transport level support for
   reliable content delivery and stream delivery protocols.  Layered
   Coding Transport is specifically designed to support protocols using
   IP multicast, but it also provides support to protocols that use
   unicast.  Layered Coding Transport is compatible with congestion
   control that provides multiple rate delivery to receivers and is also
   compatible with coding techniques that provide reliable delivery of
   content.

   This document describes a building block as defined in [RFC3048].
   This document is a product of the IETF RMT WG and follows the general
   guidelines provided in [RFC3269].

   [RFC3451], which was published in the "Experimental" category and
   which is obsoleted by this document, contained a previous version of
   the protocol.

   This Proposed Standard specification is thus based on and backwards
   compatible with the protocol defined in [RFC3451] updated according
   to accumulated experience and growing protocol maturity since its
   original publication.  Said experience applies both to this
   specification itself and to congestion control strategies related to
   the use of this specification.

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

2.  Rationale

   LCT provides transport level support for massively scalable protocols
   using the IP multicast network service.  The support that LCT
   provides is common to a variety of very important applications,
   including reliable content delivery and streaming applications.

   An LCT session comprises multiple channels originating at a single
   sender that are used for some period of time to carry packets
   pertaining to the transmission of one or more objects that can be of
   interest to receivers.  The logic behind defining a session as
   originating from a single sender is that this is the right
   granularity to regulate packet traffic via congestion control.  One
   rationale for using multiple channels within the same session is that
   there are massively scalable congestion control protocols that use
   multiple channels per session.  These congestion control protocols
   are considered to be layered because a receiver joins and leaves
   channels in a layered order during its participation in the session.

   The use of layered channels is also useful for streaming
   applications.

   There are coding techniques that provide massively scalable
   reliability and asynchronous delivery that are compatible with both
   layered congestion control and with LCT.  When all are combined, the
   result is a massively scalable reliable asynchronous content delivery
   protocol that is network friendly.  LCT also provides functionality
   that can be used for other applications as well, e.g., layered
   streaming applications.

   LCT avoids providing functionality that is not massively scalable.
   For example, LCT does not provide any mechanisms for sending
   information from receivers to senders, although this does not rule
   out protocols that both use LCT and do require sending information
   from receivers to senders.

   LCT includes general support for congestion control that must be
   used.  It does not, however, specify which congestion control should
   be used.  The rationale for this is that congestion control must be
   provided by any protocol that is network friendly, and yet the
   different applications that can use LCT will not have the same
   requirements for congestion control.  For example, a content delivery
   protocol may strive to use all available bandwidth between receivers
   and the sender.  It must, therefore, drastically back off its rate
   when there is competing traffic.  On the other hand, a streaming
   delivery protocol may strive to maintain a constant rate instead of
   trying to use all available bandwidth, and it may not back off its
   rate as fast when there is competing traffic.

   Beyond support for congestion control, LCT provides a number of
   fields and supports functionality commonly required by many
   protocols.  For example, LCT provides a Transmission Session ID that
   can be used to identify to which session each received packet
   belongs.  This is important because a receiver may be joined to many
   sessions concurrently, and thus it is very useful to be able to
   demultiplex packets as they arrive according to the session to which
   they belong.  As another example, there are optional fields within
   the LCT packet header for identifying the object about which
   information is carried in the packet payload.

3.  Functionality

   An LCT session consists of a set of logically grouped LCT channels
   associated with a single sender carrying packets with LCT headers for
   one or more objects.  An LCT channel is defined by the combination of
   a sender and an address associated with the channel by the sender.  A

   receiver joins a channel to start receiving the data packets sent to
   the channel by the sender, and a receiver leaves a channel to stop
   receiving data packets from the channel.

   LCT is meant to be combined with other building blocks so that the
   resulting overall protocol is massively scalable.  Scalability refers
   to the behavior of the protocol in relation to the number of
   receivers and network paths, their heterogeneity, and the ability to
   accommodate dynamically variable sets of receivers.  Scalability
   limitations can come from memory or processing requirements, or from
   the amount of feedback control and redundant data packet traffic
   generated by the protocol.  In turn, such limitations may be a
   consequence of the features that a complete reliable content delivery
   or stream delivery protocol is expected to provide.

   The LCT header provides a number of fields that are useful for
   conveying in-band session information to receivers.  One of the
   required fields is the Transmission Session ID (TSI), which allows
   the receiver of a session to uniquely identify received packets as
   part of the session.  Another required field is the Congestion
   Control Information (CCI), which allows the receiver to perform the
   required congestion control on the packets received within the
   session.  Other LCT fields provide optional but often very useful
   additional information for the session.  For example, the Transport
   Object Identifier (TOI) identifies for which object the packet
   contains data and flags are included for indicating the close of the
   session and the close of sending packets for an object.  Header
   extensions can carry additional fields that, for example, can be used
   for packet authentication or to convey various kinds of timing
   information: the Sender Current Time (SCT) conveys the time when the
   packet was sent from the sender to the receiver, the Expected
   Residual Time (ERT) conveys the amount of time the session or
   transmission object will be continued for, and Session Last Change
   (SLC) conveys the time when objects have been added, modified, or
   removed from the session.

   LCT provides support for congestion control.  Congestion control MUST
   be used that conforms to [RFC2357] between receivers and the sender
   for each LCT session.  Congestion control refers to the ability to
   adapt throughput to the available bandwidth on the path from the
   sender to a receiver, and to share bandwidth fairly with competing
   flows such as TCP.  Thus, the total flow of packets flowing to each
   receiver participating in an LCT session MUST NOT compete unfairly
   with existing flow-adaptive protocols such as TCP.

   A multiple rate or a single rate congestion control protocol can be
   used with LCT.  For multiple rate protocols, a session typically
   consists of more than one channel, and the sender sends packets to

   the channels in the session at rates that do not depend on the
   receivers.  Each receiver adjusts its reception rate during its
   participation in the session by joining and leaving channels
   dynamically depending on the available bandwidth to the sender
   independent of all other receivers.  Thus, for multiple rate
   protocols, the reception rate of each receiver may vary dynamically
   independent of the other receivers.

   For single rate protocols, a session typically consists of one
   channel and the sender sends packets to the channel at variable rates
   over time depending on feedback from receivers.  Each receiver
   remains joined to the channel during its participation in the
   session.  Thus, for single rate protocols, the reception rate of each
   receiver may vary dynamically but in coordination with all receivers.

   Generally, a multiple rate protocol is preferable to a single rate
   protocol in a heterogeneous receiver environment, since generally it
   more easily achieves scalability to many receivers and provides
   higher throughput to each individual receiver.  Use of the multiple
   rate congestion control scheme defined in [RFC3738] is RECOMMENDED.
   Alternative multiple rate congestion control protocols are described
   in [VIC1998] and [BYE2000].  A possible single rate congestion
   control protocol is described in [RIZ2000].

   Layered coding refers to the ability to produce a coded stream of
   packets that can be partitioned into an ordered set of layers.  The
   coding is meant to provide some form of reliability, and the layering
   is meant to allow the receiver experience (in terms of quality of
   playout, or overall transfer speed) to vary in a predictable way
   depending on how many consecutive layers of packets the receiver is
   receiving.

   The concept of layered coding was first introduced with reference to
   audio and video streams.  For example, the information associated
   with a TV broadcast could be partitioned into three layers,
   corresponding to black and white, color, and HDTV quality.  Receivers
   can experience different quality without the need for the sender to
   replicate information in the different layers.

   The concept of layered coding can be naturally extended to reliable
   content delivery protocols when Forward Error Correction (FEC)
   techniques are used for coding the data stream.  Descriptions of this
   can be found in [RIZ1997a], [RIZ1997b], [GEM2000], [VIC1998], and
   [BYE1998].  By using FEC, the data stream is transformed in such a
   way that reconstruction of a data object does not depend on the
   reception of specific data packets, but only on the number of
   different packets received.  As a result, by increasing the number of
   layers from which a receiver is receiving, the receiver can reduce

   the transfer time accordingly.  Using FEC to provide reliability can
   increase scalability dramatically in comparison to other methods for
   providing reliability.  More details on the use of FEC for reliable
   content delivery can be found in [RFC3453].

   Reliable protocols aim at giving guarantees on the reliable delivery
   of data from the sender to the intended recipients.  Guarantees vary
   from simple packet data integrity to reliable delivery of a precise
   copy of an object to all intended recipients.  Several reliable
   content delivery protocols have been built on top of IP multicast
   using methods other than FEC, but scalability was not the primary
   design goal for many of them.

   Two of the key difficulties in scaling reliable content delivery
   using IP multicast are dealing with the amount of data that flows
   from receivers back to the sender and the associated response
   (generally data retransmissions) from the sender.  Protocols that
   avoid any such feedback, and minimize the amount of retransmissions,
   can be massively scalable.  LCT can be used in conjunction with FEC
   codes or a layered codec to achieve reliability with little or no
   feedback.

   Protocol instantiations (PIs) MAY be built by combining the LCT
   framework with other components.  A complete protocol instantiation
   that uses LCT MUST include a congestion control protocol that is
   compatible with LCT and that conforms to [RFC2357].  A complete
   protocol instantiation that uses LCT MAY include a scalable
   reliability protocol that is compatible with LCT, it MAY include a
   session control protocol that is compatible with LCT, and it MAY
   include other protocols such as security protocols.

4.  Applicability

   An LCT session comprises a logically related set of one or more LCT
   channels originating at a single sender.  The channels are used for
   some period of time to carry packets containing LCT headers, and
   these headers pertain to the transmission of one or more objects that
   can be of interest to receivers.

   LCT is most applicable for delivery of objects or streams in a
   session of substantial length, i.e., objects or streams that range in
   aggregate length from hundreds of kilobytes to many gigabytes, and
   where the duration of the session is on the order of tens of seconds
   or more.

   As an example, an LCT session could be used to deliver a TV program
   using three LCT channels.  Receiving packets from the first LCT
   channel could allow black and white reception.  Receiving the first

   two LCT channels could also permit color reception.  Receiving all
   three channels could allow HDTV quality reception.  Objects in this
   example could correspond to individual TV programs being transmitted.

   As another example, a reliable LCT session could be used to reliably
   deliver hourly updated weather maps (objects) using ten LCT channels
   at different rates, using FEC coding.  A receiver may join and
   concurrently receive packets from subsets of these channels, until it
   has enough packets in total to recover the object, then leave the
   session (or remain connected listening for session description
   information only) until it is time to receive the next object.  In
   this case, the quality metric is the time required to receive each
   object.

   Before joining a session, the receivers must obtain enough of the
   session description to start the session.  This includes the relevant
   session parameters needed by a receiver to participate in the
   session, including all information relevant to congestion control.
   The session description is determined by the sender, and is typically
   communicated to the receivers out-of-band.  In some cases, as
   described later, parts of the session description that are not
   required to initiate a session MAY be included in the LCT header or
   communicated to a receiver out-of-band after the receiver has joined
   the session.

   An encoder MAY be used to generate the data that is placed in the
   packet payload in order to provide reliability.  A suitable decoder
   is used to reproduce the original information from the packet
   payload.  There MAY be a reliability header that follows the LCT
   header if such an encoder and decoder is used.  The reliability
   header helps to describe the encoding data carried in the payload of
   the packet.  The format of the reliability header depends on the
   coding used, and this is negotiated out-of-band.  As an example, one
   of the FEC headers described in [RFC5052] could be used.

   For LCT, when multiple rate congestion control is used, congestion
   control is achieved by sending packets associated with a given
   session to several LCT channels.  Individual receivers dynamically
   join one or more of these channels, according to the network
   congestion as seen by the receiver.  LCT headers include an opaque
   field that MUST be used to convey congestion control information to
   the receivers.  The actual congestion control scheme to use with LCT
   is negotiated out-of-band.  Some examples of congestion control
   protocols that may be suitable for content delivery are described in
   [VIC1998], [BYE2000], and [RFC3738].  Other congestion controls may
   be suitable when LCT is used for a streaming application.

   This document does not specify and restrict the type of exchanges
   between LCT (or any protocol instantiation built on top of LCT) and
   an upper application.  Some upper APIs may use an object-oriented
   approach, where the only possible unit of data exchanged between LCT
   (or any protocol instantiation built on top of LCT) and an
   application, either at a source or at a receiver, is an object.
   Other APIs may enable a sending or receiving application to exchange
   a subset of an object with LCT (or any PI built on top of LCT), or
   may even follow a streaming model.  These considerations are outside
   the scope of this document.

4.1.  Environmental Requirements and Considerations

   LCT is intended for congestion controlled delivery of objects and
   streams (both reliable content delivery and streaming of multimedia
   information).

   LCT can be used with both multicast and unicast delivery.  LCT
   requires connectivity between a sender and receivers, but it does not
   require connectivity from receivers to a sender.  LCT inherently
   works with all types of networks, including LANs, WANs, Intranets,
   the Internet, asymmetric networks, wireless networks, and satellite
   networks.  Thus, the inherent raw scalability of LCT is unlimited.
   However, when other specific applications are built on top of LCT,
   then these applications, by their very nature, may limit scalability.
   For example, if an application requires receivers to retrieve out-of-
   band information in order to join a session, or an application allows
   receivers to send requests back to the sender to report reception
   statistics, then the scalability of the application is limited by the
   ability to send, receive, and process this additional data.

   LCT requires receivers to be able to uniquely identify and
   demultiplex packets associated with an LCT session.  In particular,
   there MUST be a Transport Session Identifier (TSI) associated with
   each LCT session.  The TSI is scoped by the IP address of the sender,
   and the IP address of the sender together with the TSI MUST uniquely
   identify the session.  If the underlying transport is UDP, as
   described in [RFC0768], then the 16-bit UDP source port number MAY
   serve as the TSI for the session.  The TSI value MUST be the same in
   all places it occurs within a packet.  If there is no underlying TSI
   provided by the network, transport, or any other layer, then the TSI
   MUST be included in the LCT header.

   LCT is presumed to be used with an underlying network or transport
   service that is a "best effort" service that does not guarantee
   packet reception or packet reception order, and that does not have
   any support for flow or congestion control.  For example, the Any-
   Source Multicast (ASM) model of IP multicast as defined in [RFC1112]

   is such a "best effort" network service.  While the basic service
   provided by [RFC1112] is largely scalable, providing congestion
   control or reliability should be done carefully to avoid severe
   scalability limitations, especially in the presence of heterogeneous
   sets of receivers.

   There are currently two models of multicast delivery, the Any-Source
   Multicast (ASM) model as defined in [RFC1112] and the Source-Specific
   Multicast (SSM) model as defined in [RFC4607].  LCT works with both
   multicast models, but in a slightly different way with somewhat
   different environmental concerns.  When using ASM, a sender S sends
   packets to a multicast group G, and the LCT channel address consists
   of the pair (S,G), where S is the IP address of the sender and G is a
   multicast group address.  When using SSM, a sender S sends packets to
   an SSM channel (S,G), and the LCT channel address coincides with the
   SSM channel address.

   A sender can locally allocate unique SSM channel addresses, and this
   makes allocation of LCT channel addresses easy with SSM.  To allocate
   LCT channel addresses using ASM, the sender must uniquely chose the
   ASM multicast group address across the scope of the group, and this
   makes allocation of LCT channel addresses more difficult with ASM.

   LCT channels and SSM channels coincide, and thus the receiver will
   only receive packets sent to the requested LCT channel.  With ASM,
   the receiver joins an LCT channel by joining a multicast group G, and
   all packets sent to G, regardless of the sender, may be received by
   the receiver.  Thus, SSM has compelling security advantages over ASM
   for prevention of denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.  In either case,
   receivers SHOULD use packet authentication mechanisms to mitigate
   such attacks (see Sections 6.2 and 7).

   Some networks are not amenable to some congestion control protocols
   that could be used with LCT.  In particular, for a satellite or
   wireless network, there may be no mechanism for receivers to
   effectively reduce their reception rate since there may be a fixed
   transmission rate allocated to the session.

   LCT is compatible with both IPv4 and IPv6 as no part of the packet is
   IP version specific.

4.2.  Delivery Service Models

   LCT can support several different delivery service models.  Two
   examples are briefly described here.

   Push service model

      One way a push service model can be used for reliable content
      delivery is to deliver a series of objects.  For example, a
      receiver could join the session and dynamically adapt the number
      of LCT channels the receiver is joined to until enough packets
      have been received to reconstruct an object.  After reconstructing
      the object, the receiver may stay in the session and wait for the
      transmission of the next object.

      The push model is particularly attractive in satellite networks
      and wireless networks.  In these cases, a session may consist of
      one fixed rate LCT channel.

      A push service model can be used, for example, for reliable
      delivery of a large object such as a 100 GB file.  The sender
      could send a Session Description announcement to a control channel
      and receivers could monitor this channel and join a session
      whenever a Session Description of interest arrives.  Upon receipt
      of the Session Description, each receiver could join the session
      to receive packets until enough packets have arrived to
      reconstruct the object, at which point the receiver could report
      back to the sender that its reception was completed successfully.
      The sender could decide to continue sending packets for the object
      to the session until all receivers have reported successful
      reconstruction or until some other condition has been satisfied.

      There are several features Asynchronous Layered Coding (ALC)
      provides to support the push model.  For example, the sender can
      optionally include an Expected Residual Time (ERT) in the packet
      header extension that indicates the expected remaining time of
      packet transmission for either the single object carried in the
      session or for the object identified by the Transmission Object
      Identifier (TOI) if there are multiple objects carried in the
      session.  This can be used by receivers to determine if there is
      enough time remaining in the session to successfully receive
      enough additional packets to recover the object.  If, for example,
      there is not enough time, then the push application may have
      receivers report back to the sender to extend the transmission of
      packets for the object for enough time to allow the receivers to
      obtain enough packets to reconstruct the object.  The sender could
      then include an ERT based on the extended object transmission time
      in each subsequent packet header for the object.  As other
      examples, the LCT header optionally can contain a Close Session
      flag that indicates when the sender is about to stop sending
      packets to the session and a Close Object flag that indicates when
      the sender is about to stop sending packets to the session for the
      object identified by the Transmission Object ID.  However, these

      flags are not a completely reliable mechanism and thus the Close
      Session flag should only be used as a hint of when the session is
      about to close, and the Close Object flag should only be used as a
      hint of when transmission of packets for the object is about to
      end.

   On-demand content delivery model

      For an on-demand content delivery service model, senders typically
      transmit for some given time period selected to be long enough to
      allow all the intended receivers to join the session and recover
      the object.  For example, a popular software update might be
      transmitted using LCT for several days, even though a receiver may
      be able to complete the download in one hour total of connection
      time, perhaps spread over several intervals of time.  In this
      case, the receivers join the session at any point in time when it
      is active.  Receivers leave the session when they have received
      enough packets to recover the object.  The receivers, for example,
      obtain a Session Description by contacting a web server.

      In this case, the receivers join the session, and dynamically
      adapt the number of LCT channels to which they subscribe according
      to the available bandwidth.  Receivers then drop from the session
      when they have received enough packets to recover the object.

      As an example, assume that an object is 50 MB.  The sender could
      send 1 KB packets to the first LCT channel at 50 packets per
      second, so that receivers using just this LCT channel could
      complete reception of the object in 1,000 seconds in absence of
      loss, and would be able to complete reception even in presence of
      some substantial amount of losses with the use of coding for
      reliability.  Furthermore, the sender could use a number of LCT
      channels such that the aggregate rate of 1 KB packets to all LCT
      channels is 1,000 packets per second, so that a receiver could be
      able to complete reception of the object in as little 50 seconds
      (assuming no loss and that the congestion control mechanism
      immediately converges to the use of all LCT channels).

   Other service models

      There are many other delivery service models for which LCT can be
      used that are not covered above.  As examples, a live streaming or
      an on-demand archival content streaming service model.  A
      description of the many potential applications, the appropriate
      delivery service model, and the additional mechanisms to support
      such functionalities when combined with LCT is beyond the scope of

      this document.  This document only attempts to describe the
      minimal common scalable elements to these diverse applications
      using LCT as the delivery transport.

4.3.  Congestion Control

   The specific congestion control protocol to be used for LCT sessions
   depends on the type of content to be delivered.  While the general
   behavior of the congestion control protocol is to reduce the
   throughput in presence of congestion and gradually increase it in the
   absence of congestion, the actual dynamic behavior (e.g., response to
   single losses) can vary.

   It is RECOMMENDED that the congestion control mechanism specified in
   [RFC3738] be used.  Some alternative possible congestion control
   protocols for reliable content delivery using LCT are described in
   [VIC1998] and [BYE2000].  Different delivery service models might
   require different congestion control protocols.

5.  Packet Header Fields

   Packets sent to an LCT session MUST include an "LCT header".  The LCT
   header format is described below.

   Other building blocks MAY describe some of the same fields as
   described for the LCT header.  It is RECOMMENDED that protocol
   instantiations using multiple building blocks include shared fields
   at most once in each packet.  Thus, for example, if another building
   block is used with LCT that includes the optional Expected Residual
   Time field, then the Expected Residual Time field SHOULD be carried
   in each packet at most once.

   The position of the LCT header within a packet MUST be specified by
   any protocol instantiation that uses LCT.

5.1.  LCT Header Format

   The LCT header is of variable size, which is specified by a length
   field in the third byte of the header.  In the LCT header, all
   integer fields are carried in "big-endian" or "network order" format,
   that is, most significant byte (octet) first.  Bits designated as
   "padding" or "reserved" (r) MUST by set to 0 by senders and ignored
   by receivers in this version of the specification.  Unless otherwise
   noted, numeric constants in this specification are in decimal form
   (base 10).

   The format of the default LCT header is depicted in Figure 1.

        0                   1                   2                   3
        0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
       +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
       |   V   | C |PSI|S| O |H|Res|A|B|   HDR_LEN     | Codepoint (CP)|
       +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
       | Congestion Control Information (CCI, length = 32*(C+1) bits)  |
       |                          ...                                  |
       +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
       |  Transport Session Identifier (TSI, length = 32*S+16*H bits)  |
       |                          ...                                  |
       +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
       |   Transport Object Identifier (TOI, length = 32*O+16*H bits)  |
       |                          ...                                  |
       +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
       |                Header Extensions (if applicable)              |
       |                          ...                                  |
       +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

                    Figure 1: Default LCT Header Format

   The function and length of each field in the default LCT header is
   the following.

   LCT version number (V): 4 bits

      Indicates the LCT version number.  The LCT version number for this
      specification is 1.

   Congestion control flag (C): 2 bits

      C=0 indicates the Congestion Control Information (CCI) field is 32
      bits in length.  C=1 indicates the CCI field is 64 bits in length.
      C=2 indicates the CCI field is 96 bits in length.  C=3 indicates
      the CCI field is 128 bits in length.

   Protocol-Specific Indication (PSI): 2 bits

      The usage of these bits, if any, is specific to each protocol
      instantiation that uses the LCT building block.  If no protocol-
      instantiation-specific usage of these bits is defined, then a
      sender MUST set them to zero and a receiver MUST ignore these
      bits.

   Transport Session Identifier flag (S): 1 bit

      This is the number of full 32-bit words in the TSI field.  The TSI
      field is 32*S + 16*H bits in length, i.e., the length is either 0
      bits, 16 bits, 32 bits, or 48 bits.

   Transport Object Identifier flag (O): 2 bits

      This is the number of full 32-bit words in the TOI field.  The TOI
      field is 32*O + 16*H bits in length, i.e., the length is either 0
      bits, 16 bits, 32 bits, 48 bits, 64 bits, 80 bits, 96 bits, or 112
      bits.

   Half-word flag (H): 1 bit

      The TSI and the TOI fields are both multiples of 32 bits plus 16*H
      bits in length.  This allows the TSI and TOI field lengths to be
      multiples of a half-word (16 bits), while ensuring that the
      aggregate length of the TSI and TOI fields is a multiple of 32
      bits.

   Reserved (Res): 2 bits

      These bits are reserved.  In this version of the specification,
      they MUST be set to zero by senders and MUST be ignored by
      receivers.

   Close Session flag (A): 1 bit

      Normally, A is set to 0.  The sender MAY set A to 1 when
      termination of transmission of packets for the session is
      imminent.  A MAY be set to 1 in just the last packet transmitted
      for the session, or A MAY be set to 1 in the last few seconds of
      packets transmitted for the session.  Once the sender sets A to 1
      in one packet, the sender SHOULD set A to 1 in all subsequent
      packets until termination of transmission of packets for the
      session.  A received packet with A set to 1 indicates to a
      receiver that the sender will immediately stop sending packets for
      the session.  When a receiver receives a packet with A set to 1,
      the receiver SHOULD assume that no more packets will be sent to
      the session.

   Close Object flag (B): 1 bit

      Normally, B is set to 0.  The sender MAY set B to 1 when
      termination of transmission of packets for an object is imminent.
      If the TOI field is in use and B is set to 1, then termination of
      transmission for the object identified by the TOI field is

      imminent.  If the TOI field is not in use and B is set to 1, then
      termination of transmission for the one object in the session
      identified by out-of-band information is imminent.  B MAY be set
      to 1 in just the last packet transmitted for the object, or B MAY
      be set to 1 in the last few seconds that packets are transmitted
      for the object.  Once the sender sets B to 1 in one packet for a
      particular object, the sender SHOULD set B to 1 in all subsequent
      packets for the object until termination of transmission of
      packets for the object.  A received packet with B set to 1
      indicates to a receiver that the sender will immediately stop
      sending packets for the object.  When a receiver receives a packet
      with B set to 1, then it SHOULD assume that no more packets will
      be sent for the object to the session.

   LCT header length (HDR_LEN): 8 bits

      Total length of the LCT header in units of 32-bit words.  The
      length of the LCT header MUST be a multiple of 32 bits.  This
      field can be used to directly access the portion of the packet
      beyond the LCT header, i.e., to the first other header if it
      exists, or to the packet payload if it exists and there is no
      other header, or to the end of the packet if there are no other
      headers or packet payload.

   Codepoint (CP): 8 bits

      An opaque identifier that is passed to the packet payload decoder
      to convey information on the codec being used for the packet
      payload.  The mapping between the codepoint and the actual codec
      is defined on a per session basis and communicated out-of-band as
      part of the session description information.  The use of the CP
      field is similar to the Payload Type (PT) field in RTP headers as
      described in [RFC3550].

   Congestion Control Information (CCI): 32, 64, 96, or 128 bits

      Used to carry congestion control information.  For example, the
      congestion control information could include layer numbers,
      logical channel numbers, and sequence numbers.  This field is
      opaque for the purpose of this specification.

      This field MUST be 32 bits if C=0.

      This field MUST be 64 bits if C=1.

      This field MUST be 96 bits if C=2.

      This field MUST be 128 bits if C=3.

   Transport Session Identifier (TSI): 0, 16, 32, or 48 bits

      The TSI uniquely identifies a session among all sessions from a
      particular sender.  The TSI is scoped by the IP address of the
      sender, and thus the IP address of the sender and the TSI together
      uniquely identify the session.  Although a TSI in conjunction with
      the IP address of the sender always uniquely identifies a session,
      whether or not the TSI is included in the LCT header depends on
      what is used as the TSI value.  If the underlying transport is
      UDP, then the 16-bit UDP source port number MAY serve as the TSI
      for the session.  If the TSI value appears multiple times in a
      packet, then all occurrences MUST be the same value.  If there is
      no underlying TSI provided by the network, transport or any other
      layer, then the TSI MUST be included in the LCT header.

      The TSI MUST be unique among all sessions served by the sender
      during the period when the session is active, and for a large
      period of time preceding and following when the session is active.
      A primary purpose of the TSI is to prevent receivers from
      inadvertently accepting packets from a sender that belong to
      sessions other than the sessions to which receivers are
      subscribed.  For example, suppose a session is deactivated and
      then another session is activated by a sender and the two sessions
      use an overlapping set of channels.  A receiver that connects and
      remains connected to the first session during this sender activity
      could possibly accept packets from the second session as belonging
      to the first session if the TSI for the two sessions were
      identical.  The mapping of TSI field values to sessions is outside
      the scope of this document and is to be done out-of-band.

      The length of the TSI field is 32*S + 16*H bits.  Note that the
      aggregate lengths of the TSI field plus the TOI field is a
      multiple of 32 bits.

   Transport Object Identifier (TOI): 0, 16, 32, 48, 64, 80, 96, or 112
      bits.

      This field indicates to which object within the session this
      packet pertains.  For example, a sender might send a number of
      files in the same session, using TOI=0 for the first file, TOI=1
      for the second one, etc.  As another example, the TOI may be a
      unique global identifier of the object that is being transmitted
      from several senders concurrently, and the TOI value may be the
      output of a hash function applied to the object.  The mapping of
      TOI field values to objects is outside the scope of this document
      and is to be done out-of-band.  The TOI field MUST be used in all

      packets if more than one object is to be transmitted in a session,
      i.e., the TOI field is either present in all the packets of a
      session or is never present.

      The length of the TOI field is 32*O + 16*H bits.  Note that the
      aggregate length of the TSI field plus the TOI field is a multiple
      of 32 bits.

5.2.  Header-Extension Fields

5.2.1.  General

   Header Extensions are used in LCT to accommodate optional header
   fields that are not always used or have variable size.  Examples of
   the use of Header Extensions include:

   o  Extended-size versions of already existing header fields.

   o  Sender and receiver authentication information.

   o  Transmission of timing information.

   The presence of Header Extensions can be inferred by the LCT header
   length (HDR_LEN).  If HDR_LEN is larger than the length of the
   standard header, then the remaining header space is taken by Header
   Extension fields.

   If present, Header Extensions MUST be processed to ensure that they
   are recognized before performing any congestion control procedure or
   otherwise accepting a packet.  The default action for unrecognized
   Header Extensions is to ignore them.  This allows the future
   introduction of backward-compatible enhancements to LCT without
   changing the LCT version number.  Non-backward-compatible Header
   Extensions CANNOT be introduced without changing the LCT version
   number.

   There are two formats for Header Extension fields, as depicted in
   Figure 2.  The first format is used for variable-length extensions,
   with Header Extension Type (HET) values between 0 and 127.  The
   second format is used for fixed-length (one 32-bit word) extensions,
   using HET values from 127 to 255.

        0                   1                   2                   3
        0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
       +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
       |  HET (<=127)  |       HEL     |                               |
       +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+                               +
       .                                                               .
       .              Header Extension Content (HEC)                   .
       +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

        0                   1                   2                   3
        0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
       +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
       |  HET (>=128)  |       Header Extension Content (HEC)          |
       +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

                  Figure 2: Format of Additional Headers

   The explanation of each sub-field is the following:

   Header Extension Type (HET): 8 bits

      The type of the Header Extension.  This document defines a number
      of possible types.  Additional types may be defined in future
      versions of this specification.  HET values from 0 to 127 are used
      for variable-length Header Extensions.  HET values from 128 to 255
      are used for fixed-length 32-bit Header Extensions.

   Header Extension Length (HEL): 8 bits

      The length of the whole Header Extension field, expressed in
      multiples of 32-bit words.  This field MUST be present for
      variable-length extensions (HETs between 0 and 127) and MUST NOT
      be present for fixed-length extensions (HETs between 128 and 255).

   Header Extension Content (HEC): variable length

      The content of the Header Extension.  The format of this sub-
      field depends on the Header Extension Type.  For fixed-length
      Header Extensions, the HEC is 24 bits.  For variable-length Header
      Extensions, the HEC field has variable size, as specified by the
      HEL field.  Note that the length of each Header Extension field
      MUST be a multiple of 32 bits.  Also note that the total size of
      the LCT header, including all Header Extensions and all optional
      header fields, cannot exceed 255 32-bit words.

   The following LCT Header Extensions are defined by this
   specification:

   EXT_NOP, HET=0  No-Operation extension.  The information present in
                   this extension field MUST be ignored by receivers.

   EXT_AUTH, HET=1 Packet authentication extension.  Information used to
                   authenticate the sender of the packet.  The format of
                   this Header Extension and its processing is outside
                   the scope of this document and is to be communicated
                   out-of-band as part of the session description.

   It is RECOMMENDED that senders provide some form of packet
                   authentication.  If EXT_AUTH is present, whatever
                   packet authentication checks that can be performed
                   immediately upon reception of the packet SHOULD be
                   performed before accepting the packet and performing
                   any congestion-control-related action on it.

   Some packet authentication schemes impose a delay of several seconds
                   between when a packet is received and when the packet
                   is fully authenticated.  Any congestion control
                   related action that is appropriate SHOULD NOT be
                   postponed by any such full packet authentication.

   EXT_TIME, HET=2 Time Extension.  This extension is used to carry
                   several types of timing information.  It includes
                   general purpose timing information, namely the Sender
                   Current Time (SCT), Expected Residual Time (ERT), and
                   Sender Last Change (SLC) time extensions described in
                   the present document.  It can also be used for timing
                   information with narrower applicability (e.g.,
                   defined for a single protocol instantiation); in this
                   case, it will be described in a separate document.

   All senders and receivers implementing LCT MUST support the EXT_NOP
   Header Extension and MUST recognize EXT_AUTH and EXT_TIME, but are
   not required to be able to parse their content.

5.2.2.  EXT_TIME Header Extension

   This section defines the timing Header Extensions with general
   applicability.  The time values carried in this Header Extension are
   related to the server's wall clock.  The server MUST maintain
   consistent relative time during a session (i.e., insignificant clock
   drift).  For some applications, system or even global synchronization
   of server wall clock may be desirable, such as using the Network Time

   Protocol (NTP) [RFC1305] to ensure actual time relative to 00:00
   hours GMT, January 1st 1900.  Such session-external synchronization
   is outside the scope of this document.

   The EXT_TIME Header Extension uses the format depicted in Figure 3.

       0                   1                   2                   3
       0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
      +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
      |     HET = 2   |    HEL >= 1   |         Use (bit field)       |
      +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
      |                       first time value                        |
      +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
      ...            (other time values (optional)                  ...
      +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

                Figure 3: EXT_TIME Header Extension Format

   The "Use" bit field indicates the semantic of the following 32-bit
   time value(s).

   It is divided into two parts:

   o  8 bits are reserved for general purpose timing information.  This
      information is applicable to any protocol that makes use of LCT.

   o  8 bits are reserved for PI-specific timing information.  This
      information is out of the scope of this document.

   The format of the "Use" bit field is depicted in Figure 4.

                        2                                       3
        6   7   8   9   0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   0   1
      +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
      |SCT|SCT|ERT|SLC|   reserved    |          PI-specific          |
      |Hi |Low|   |   |    by LCT     |              use              |
      +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

                     Figure 4: "Use" Bit Field Format

   Several "time value" fields MAY be present in a given EXT_TIME Header
   Extension, as specified in the "Use-field".  When several "time
   value" fields are present, they MUST appear in the order specified by
   the associated flag position in the "Use-field": first SCT-High (if

   present), then SCT-Low (if present), then ERT (if present), then SLC
   (if present).  Receivers SHOULD ignore additional fields within the
   EXT_TIME Header Extension that they do not support.

   The fields for the general purpose EXT_TIME timing information are:

   Sender Current Time (SCT): SCT-High flag, SCT-Low flag, corresponding
   time value (one or two 32-bit words).

      This timing information represents the current time at the sender
      at the time this packet was transmitted.

      When the SCT-High flag is set, the associated 32-bit time value
      provides an unsigned integer representing the time in seconds of
      the sender's wall clock.  In the particular case where NTP is
      used, these 32 bits provide an unsigned integer representing the
      time in seconds relative to 00:00 hours GMT, January 1st 1900,
      (i.e., the most significant 32 bits of a full 64-bit NTP time
      value).  In that case, handling of wraparound of the 32-bit time
      is outside the scope of NTP and LCT.

      When the SCT-Low flag is set, the associated 32-bit time value
      provides an unsigned integer representing a multiple of 1/2^^32 of
      a second, in order to allow sub-second precision.  When the SCT-
      Low flag is set, the SCT-High flag MUST be set, too.  In the
      particular case where NTP is used, these 32 bits provide the 32
      least significant bits of a 64-bit NTP timestamp.

   Expected Residual Time (ERT): ERT flag, corresponding 32-bit time
   value.

      This timing information represents the sender expected residual
      transmission time for the transmission of the current object.  If
      the packet containing the ERT timing information also contains the
      TOI field, then ERT refers to the object corresponding to the TOI
      field; otherwise, it refers to the only object in the session.

      When the ERT flag is set, it is expressed as a number of seconds.
      The 32 bits provide an unsigned integer representing this number
      of seconds.

   Session Last Changed (SLC): SLC flag, corresponding 32-bit time
   value.

      The Session Last Changed time value is the server wall clock time,
      in seconds, at which the last change to session data occurred.
      That is, it expresses the time at which the last (most recent)

      Transport Object addition, modification, or removal was made for
      the delivery session.  In the case of modifications and additions,
      it indicates that new data will be transported that was not
      transported prior to this time.  In the case of removals, SLC
      indicates that some prior data will no longer be transported.

      When the SLC flag is set, the associated 32-bit time value
      provides an unsigned integer representing a time in seconds.  In
      the particular case where NTP is used, these 32 bits provide an
      unsigned integer representing the time in seconds relative to
      00:00 hours GMT, January 1st 1900, (i.e., the most significant 32
      bits of a full 64-bit NTP time value).  In that case, handling of
      wraparound of the 32-bit time is outside the scope of NTP and LCT.

      In some cases, it may be appropriate that a packet containing an
      EXT_TIME Header Extension with SLC information also contain an
      SCT-High information.

   Reserved by LCT for future use (4 bits):

      In this version of the specification, these bits MUST be set to
      zero by senders and MUST be ignored by receivers.

   PI-specific use (8 bits):

      These bits are out of the scope of this document.  The bits that
      are not specified by the PI built on top of LCT SHOULD be set to
      zero.

   The total EXT_TIME length is carried in the HEL, since this Header
   Extension is of variable length.  It also enables clients to skip
   this Header Extension altogether if not supported (but recognized).

6.  Operations

6.1.  Sender Operation

   Before joining an LCT session, a receiver MUST obtain a session
   description.  The session description MUST include:

   o  The sender IP address;

   o  The number of LCT channels;

   o  The addresses and port numbers used for each LCT channel;

   o  The Transport Session ID (TSI) to be used for the session;

   o  Enough information to determine the congestion control protocol
      being used;

   o  Enough information to determine the packet authentication scheme
      being used (if one is being used).

   The session description could also include, but is not limited to:

   o  The data rates used for each LCT channel;

   o  The length of the packet payload;

   o  The mapping of TOI value(s) to objects for the session;

   o  Any information that is relevant to each object being transported,
      such as when it will be available within the session, for how
      long, and the length of the object;

   Protocol instantiations using LCT MAY place additional requirements
   on what must be included in the session description.  For example, a
   protocol instantiation might require that the data rates for each
   channel, or the mapping of TOI value(s) to objects for the session,
   or other information related to other headers that might be required
   be included in the session description.

   The session description could be in a form such as SDP as defined in
   [RFC4566], or another format appropriate to a particular application.
   It might be carried in a session announcement protocol such as SAP as
   defined in [RFC2974], obtained using a proprietary session control
   protocol, located on a Web page with scheduling information, or
   conveyed via email or other out-of-band methods.  Discussion of
   session description format, and distribution of session descriptions
   is beyond the scope of this document.

   Within an LCT session, a sender using LCT transmits a sequence of
   packets, each in the format defined above.  Packets are sent from a
   sender using one or more LCT channels, which together constitute a
   session.  Transmission rates may be different in different channels
   and may vary over time.  The specification of the other building
   block headers and the packet payload used by a complete protocol
   instantiation using LCT is beyond the scope of this document.  This
   document does not specify the order in which packets are transmitted,
   nor the organization of a session into multiple channels.  Although
   these issues affect the efficiency of the protocol, they do not
   affect the correctness nor the inter-operability of LCT between
   senders and receivers.

   Several objects can be carried within the same LCT session.  In this
   case, each object MUST be identified by a unique TOI.  Objects MAY be
   transmitted sequentially, or they MAY be transmitted concurrently.
   It is good practice to only send objects concurrently in the same
   session if the receivers that participate in that portion of the
   session have interest in receiving all the objects.  The reason for
   this is that it wastes bandwidth and networking resources to have
   receivers receive data for objects in which they have no interest.

   Typically, the sender(s) continues to send packets in a session until
   the transmission is considered complete.  The transmission may be
   considered complete when some time has expired, a certain number of
   packets have been sent, or some out-of-band signal (possibly from a
   higher level protocol) has indicated completion by a sufficient
   number of receivers.

   For the reasons mentioned above, this document does not pose any
   restriction on packet sizes.  However, network efficiency
   considerations recommend that the sender uses an as large as possible
   packet payload size, but in such a way that packets do not exceed the
   network's maximum transmission unit size (MTU), or when fragmentation
   coupled with packet loss might introduce severe inefficiency in the
   transmission.

   It is recommended that all packets have the same or very similar
   sizes, as this can have a severe impact on the effectiveness of
   congestion control schemes such as the ones described in [VIC1998],
   [BYE2000], and [RFC3738].  A sender of packets using LCT MUST
   implement the sender-side part of one of the congestion control
   schemes that is in accordance with [RFC2357] using the Congestion
   Control Information field provided in the LCT header, and the
   corresponding receiver congestion control scheme is to be
   communicated out-of-band and MUST be implemented by any receivers
   participating in the session.

6.2.  Receiver Operation

   Receivers can operate differently depending on the delivery service
   model.  For example, for an on-demand service model, receivers may
   join a session, obtain the necessary packets to reproduce the object,
   and then leave the session.  As another example, for a streaming
   service model, a receiver may be continuously joined to a set of LCT
   channels to download all objects in a session.

   To be able to participate in a session, a receiver MUST obtain the
   relevant session description information as listed in Section 6.1.

   If packet authentication information is present in an LCT header, it
   SHOULD be used as specified in Section 5.2.  To be able to be a
   receiver in a session, the receiver MUST be able to process the LCT
   header.  The receiver MUST be able to discard, forward, store, or
   process the other headers and the packet payload.  If a receiver is
   not able to process an LCT header, it MUST drop from the session.

   To be able to participate in a session, a receiver MUST implement the
   congestion control protocol specified in the session description
   using the Congestion Control Information field provided in the LCT
   header.  If a receiver is not able to implement the congestion
   control protocol used in the session, it MUST NOT join the session.
   When the session is transmitted on multiple LCT channels, receivers
   MUST initially join channels according to the specified startup
   behavior of the congestion control protocol.  For a multiple rate
   congestion control protocol that uses multiple channels, this
   typically means that a receiver will initially join only a minimal
   set of LCT channels, possibly a single one, that in aggregate are
   carrying packets at a low rate.  This rule has the purpose of
   preventing receivers from starting at high data rates.

   Several objects can be carried either sequentially or concurrently
   within the same LCT session.  In this case, each object is identified
   by a unique TOI.  Note that even if a server stops sending packets
   for an old object before starting to transmit packets for a new
   object, both the network and the underlying protocol layers can cause
   some reordering of packets, especially when sent over different LCT
   channels, and thus receivers SHOULD NOT assume that the reception of
   a packet for a new object means that there are no more packets in
   transit for the previous one, at least for some amount of time.

   A receiver MAY be concurrently joined to multiple LCT sessions from
   one or more senders.  The receiver MUST perform congestion control on
   each such LCT session.  If the congestion control protocol allows the
   receiver some flexibility in terms of its actions within a session,
   then the receiver MAY make choices to optimize the packet flow
   performance across the multiple LCT sessions, as long as the receiver
   still adheres to the congestion control rules for each LCT session
   individually.

7.  Requirements from Other Building Blocks

   As described in [RFC3048], LCT is a building block that is intended
   to be used, in conjunction with other building blocks, to help
   specify a protocol instantiation.  A congestion control building
   block that uses the Congestion Control information field within the

   LCT header MUST be used by any protocol instantiation that uses LCT;
   other building blocks MAY also be used, such as a reliability
   building block.

   The congestion control MUST be applied to the LCT session as an
   entity, i.e., over the aggregate of the traffic carried by all of the
   LCT channels associated with the LCT session.  The Congestion Control
   Information field in the LCT header is an opaque field that is
   reserved to carry information related to congestion control.  There
   MAY also be congestion control Header Extension fields that carry
   additional information related to congestion control.

   The particular layered encoder and congestion control protocols used
   with LCT have an impact on the performance and applicability of LCT.
   For example, some layered encoders used for video and audio streams
   can produce a very limited number of layers, thus providing a very
   coarse control in the reception rate of packets by receivers in a
   session.  When LCT is used for reliable data transfer, some FEC
   codecs are inherently limited in the size of the object they can
   encode, and for objects larger than this size the reception overhead
   on the receivers can grow substantially.

   A more in-depth description of the use of FEC in Reliable Multicast
   Transport (RMT) protocols is given in [RFC3453].  Some of the FEC
   codecs that MAY be used in conjunction with LCT for reliable content
   delivery are specified in [RFC5052].  The Codepoint field in the LCT
   header is an opaque field that can be used to carry information
   related to the encoding of the packet payload.

   LCT also requires receivers to obtain a session description, as
   described in Section 6.1.  The session description could be in a form
   such as SDP as defined in [RFC4566], or another format appropriate to
   a particular application and may be distributed with SAP as defined
   in [RFC2974], using HTTP, or in other ways.  It is RECOMMENDED that
   an authentication protocol be used to deliver the session description
   to receivers to ensure the correct session description arrives.

   It is RECOMMENDED that LCT implementors use some packet
   authentication scheme to protect the protocol from attacks.  An
   example of a possibly suitable scheme is described in [Perrig2001].

   Some protocol instantiations that use LCT MAY use building blocks
   that require the generation of feedback from the receivers to the
   sender.  However, the mechanism for doing this is outside the scope
   of LCT.

8.  Security Considerations

   LCT is a building block as defined in [RFC3048] and as such does not
   define a complete protocol.  Protocol instantiations that use the LCT
   building block MUST address the potential vulnerabilities described
   in the following sections.  For an example, see [ALC-PI].

   Protocol instantiations could address the vulnerabilities described
   below by taking measures to prevent receivers from accepting
   incorrect packets, for example, by using a source authentication and
   content integrity mechanism.  See also Sections 6.2 and 7 for
   discussion of packet authentication requirements.

   Note that for correct operation, LCT assumes availability of session
   description information (see Sections 4 and 7).  Incorrect or
   maliciously modified session description information may result in
   receivers being unable to correctly receive the session content, or
   that receivers inadvertently try to receive at a much higher rate
   than they are capable of, thereby disrupting traffic in portions of
   the network.  Protocol instantiations MUST address this potential
   vulnerability, for example, by providing source authentication and
   integrity mechanisms for the session description.  Additionally,
   these mechanisms MUST allow the receivers to securely verify the
   correspondence between session description and LCT data packets.

   The following sections consider further each of the services provided
   by LCT.

8.1.  Session and Object Multiplexing and Termination

   The Transport Session Identifier and the Transport Object Identifier
   in the LCT header provide for multiplexing of sessions and objects.
   Modification of these fields by an attacker could have the effect of
   depriving a session or object of data and potentially directing
   incorrect data to another session or object, in both cases effecting
   a denial-of-service attack.

   Additionally, injection of forged packets with fake TSI or TOI values
   may cause receivers to allocate resources for additional sessions or
   objects, again potentially effecting a DoS attack.

   The Close Object and Close Session bits in the LCT header provide for
   signaling of the end of a session or object.  Modification of these
   fields by an attacker could cause receivers to incorrectly behave as
   if the session or object had ended, resulting in a denial-of-service
   attack, or conversely to continue to unnecessarily utilize resources
   after the session or object has ended (although resource utilization
   in this case is largely an implementation issue).

   As a result of the above vulnerabilities, these fields MUST be
   protected by protocol instantiation security mechanisms (for example,
   source authentication and data integrity mechanisms).

8.2.  Time Synchronization

   The SCT and ERT mechanisms provide rudimentary time synchronization
   features which can both be subject to attacks.  Indeed an attacker
   can easily de-synchronize clients, sending erroneous SCT information,
   or mount a DoS attack by informing all clients that the session
   (respectively, a particular object) is about to be closed.

   As a result of the above vulnerabilities, these fields MUST be
   protected by protocol instantiation security mechanisms (for example,
   source authentication and data integrity mechanisms).

8.3.  Data Transport

   The LCT protocol provides for transport of information for other
   building blocks, specifically the PSI field for the protocol
   instantiation, the Congestion Control field for the Congestion
   Control building block, the Codepoint field for the FEC building
   block, the EXT-AUTH Header Extension (used by the protocol
   instantiation) and the packet payload itself.

   Modification of any of these fields by an attacker may result in a
   denial-of-service attack.  In particular, modification of the
   Codepoint or packet payload may prevent successful reconstruction or
   cause inaccurate reconstruction of large portions of an object by
   receivers.  Modification of the Congestion Control field may cause
   receivers to attempt to receive at an incorrect rate, potentially
   worsening or causing a congestion situation and thereby effecting a
   DoS attack.

   As a result of the above vulnerabilities, these fields MUST be
   protected by protocol instantiation security mechanisms (for example,
   source authentication and data integrity mechanisms).

9.  IANA Considerations

9.1.  Namespace Declaration for LCT Header Extension Types

   This document defines a new namespace for "LCT Header Extension
   Types".  Values in this namespace are integers between 0 and 255
   (inclusive).

   Values in the range 0 to 63 (inclusive) are reserved for use for
   variable-length LCT Header Extensions and assignments shall be made
   through "IETF Review" as defined in [RFC5226].

   Values in the range 64 to 127 (inclusive) are reserved for variable-
   length LCT Header Extensions and assignments shall be made on the
   "Specification Required" basis as defined in [RFC5226].

   Values in the range 128 to 191 (inclusive) are reserved for use for
   fixed-length LCT Header Extensions and assignments shall be made
   through "IETF Review" as defined in [RFC5226].

   Values in the range 192 to 255 (inclusive) are reserved for fixed-
   length LCT Header Extensions and assignments shall be made on the
   "Specification Required" basis as defined in [RFC5226].

   Initial values for the LCT Header Extension Type registry are defined
   in Section 9.2.

   Note that the previous Experimental version of this specification
   reserved values in the ranges [64, 127] and [192, 255] for PI-
   specific LCT Header Extensions.  In the interest of simplification
   and since there were no overlapping allocations of these LCT Header
   Extension Type values by PIs, this document specifies a single flat
   space for LCT Header Extension Types.

9.2.  LCT Header Extension Type Registration

   This document registers three values in the LCT Header Extension Type
   namespace as follows:

                 +-------+----------+--------------------+
                 | Value | Name     | Reference          |
                 +-------+----------+--------------------+
                 | 0     | EXT_NOP  | This specification |
                 |       |          |                    |
                 | 1     | EXT_AUTH | This specification |
                 |       |          |                    |
                 | 2     | EXT_TIME | This specification |
                 +-------+----------+--------------------+

10.  Acknowledgments

   This specification is substantially based on RFC 3451 [RFC3451] and
   thus credit for the authorship of this document is primarily due to
   the authors of RFC 3451: Mike Luby, Jim Gemmel, Lorenzo Vicisano,
   Luigi Rizzo, Mark Handley, and Jon Crowcroft.  Bruce Lueckenhoff,

   Hayder Radha, and Justin Chapweske also contributed to RFC 3451.
   Additional thanks are due to Vincent Roca, Rod Walsh, and Toni Paila
   for contributions to this update to Proposed Standard.

11.  Changes from RFC 3451

   This section summarizes the changes that were made from the
   Experimental version of this specification published as RFC 3451
   [RFC3451]:

   o  Removed the 'Statement of Intent' from the introduction.  (The
      statement of intent was meant to clarify the "Experimental" status
      of RFC 3451.)

   o  Inclusion of material from ALC that is applicable in the more
      general LCT context.

   o  Creation of an IANA registry for LCT Header Extensions.

   o  Allocation of the 2 'reserved' bits in the LCT header as
      "Protocol-Specific Indication" - usage to be defined by protocol
      instantiations.

   o  Removal of the Sender Current Time and Expected Residual Time LCT
      header fields.

   o  Inclusion of a new Header Extension, EXT_TIME, to replace the SCT
      and ERT and provide for future extension of timing capabilities.

12.  References

12.1.  Normative References

   [RFC0768]     Postel, J., "User Datagram Protocol", STD 6, RFC 768,
                 August 1980.

   [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.

   [RFC5052]     Watson, M., Luby, M., and L. Vicisano, "Forward Error
                 Correction (FEC) Building Block", RFC 5052,
                 August 2007.

   [RFC5226]     Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing
                 an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26,
                 RFC 5226, May 2008.

12.2.  Informative References

   [ALC-PI]      Luby, M., Watson, M., and L. Vicisano, "Asynchronous
                 Layered Coding (ALC) Protocol Instantiation", Work
                 in Progress, September 2009.

   [BYE1998]     Byers, J., Luby, M., Mitzenmacher, M., and A. Rege,
                 "Fountain Approach to Reliable Distribution of Bulk
                 Data", Proceedings ACM SIGCOMM'98, Vancouver, Canada,
                 September 1998.

   [BYE2000]     Byers, J., Frumin, M., Horn, G., Luby, M.,
                 Mitzenmacher, M., Rotter, A., and W. Shaver, "FLID-DL:
                 Congestion Control for Layered Multicast", Proceedings
                 of Second International Workshop on Networked Group
                 Communications (NGC 2000), Palo Alto, CA,
                 November 2000.

   [GEM2000]     Gemmell, J., Schooler, E., and J. Gray, "Fcast
                 Multicast File Distribution", IEEE Network, Vol. 14,
                 No. 1, pp. 58-68, January 2000.

   [Perrig2001]  Perrig, A., Canetti, R., Song, D., and J. Tyger,
                 "Efficient and Secure Source Authentication for
                 Multicast", Network and Distributed System Security
                 Symposium, NDSS 2001, pp. 35-46, February 2001.

   [RFC1305]     Mills, D., "Network Time Protocol (Version 3)
                 Specification, Implementation", RFC 1305, March 1992.

   [RFC2357]     Mankin, A., Romanov, A., Bradner, S., and V. Paxson,
                 "IETF Criteria for Evaluating Reliable Multicast
                 Transport and Application Protocols", RFC 2357,
                 June 1998.

   [RFC2974]     Handley, M., Perkins, C., and E. Whelan, "Session
                 Announcement Protocol", RFC 2974, October 2000.

   [RFC3048]     Whetten, B., Vicisano, L., Kermode, R., Handley, M.,
                 Floyd, S., and M. Luby, "Reliable Multicast Transport
                 Building Blocks for One-to-Many Bulk-Data Transfer",
                 RFC 3048, January 2001.

   [RFC3269]     Kermode, R. and L. Vicisano, "Author Guidelines for
                 Reliable Multicast Transport (RMT) Building Blocks and
                 Protocol Instantiation documents", RFC 3269,
                 April 2002.

   [RFC3451]     Luby, M., Gemmell, J., Vicisano, L., Rizzo, L.,
                 Handley, M., and J. Crowcroft, "Layered Coding
                 Transport (LCT) Building Block", RFC 3451,
                 December 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.

   [RFC3550]     Schulzrinne, H., Casner, S., Frederick, R., and V.
                 Jacobson, "RTP: A Transport Protocol for Real-Time
                 Applications", STD 64, RFC 3550, July 2003.

   [RFC3738]     Luby, M. and V. Goyal, "Wave and Equation Based Rate
                 Control (WEBRC) Building Block", RFC 3738, April 2004.

   [RFC4566]     Handley, M., Jacobson, V., and C. Perkins, "SDP:
                 Session Description Protocol", RFC 4566, July 2006.

   [RFC4607]     Holbrook, H. and B. Cain, "Source-Specific Multicast
                 for IP", RFC 4607, August 2006.

   [RIZ1997a]    Rizzo, L., "Effective Erasure Codes for Reliable
                 Computer Communication Protocols", ACM SIGCOMM Computer
                 Communication Review, Vol.27, No.2, pp.24-36,
                 April 1997.

   [RIZ1997b]    Rizzo, L. and L. Vicisano, "Reliable Multicast Data
                 Distribution protocol based on software FEC
                 techniques", Proceedings of the Fourth IEEE Workshop on
                 the Architecture and Implementation of High Performance
                 Communication Systems, HPCS'97, Chalkidiki Greece,
                 June 1997.

   [RIZ2000]     Rizzo, L., "PGMCC: A TCP-friendly single-rate multicast
                 congestion control scheme", Proceedings of SIGCOMM
                 2000, Stockholm Sweden, August 2000.

   [VIC1998]     Vicisano, L., Rizzo, L., and J. Crowcroft, "TCP-like
                 Congestion Control for Layered Multicast Data
                 Transfer", IEEE Infocom'98, San Francisco, CA,
                 March 1998.

Authors' Addresses

   Michael Luby
   Qualcomm, Inc.
   3165 Kifer Rd.
   Santa Clara, CA  95051
   US

   EMail: luby@qualcomm.com

   Mark Watson
   Qualcomm, Inc.
   3165 Kifer Rd.
   Santa Clara, CA  95051
   US

   EMail: watson@qualcomm.com

   Lorenzo Vicisano
   Qualcomm, Inc.
   3165 Kifer Rd.
   Santa Clara, CA  95051
   US

   EMail: vicisano@qualcomm.com

 

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