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New paradigm for the Internet based on publish-subscribe approach

Conceived as a network of Hosts, the Internet has evolved into a network of contents and services. To meet new demands, the CONVERGENCE proposes a novel content-centric framework that complements and enhances the current Internet architecture, supporting a publish-subscribe paradigm in this enhanced Internet. The strategic goal of the project was to design, test and refine this framework using one or more of the experimental facilities created as part of FP7-ICT-2009.1.6a.

The Internet was originally conceived as an “Internet of Hosts”. Today, it is becoming an Internet of Things (devices awith their own IP address), an Internet of Services (in which users in different locations can access different functionalities on different hosts), an Internet of Media (shared and managed across different networks), and an Internet of People (boosted by the explosion of social networking and the emergence of the Web 2.0 paradigm).

In these “new Internets”, the key elements are no longer “hosts” but data and services (or content). In this context, the CONVERGENCE project proposes to develop six key enhancements to the current Internet architecture to support the referred Internet evolution. More specifically, the CONVERGENCE will introduce 1) the concept of the Versatile Digital Item - an extension of the MPEG-21 digital item that acts as the fundamental unit of transaction and distribution in the framework, representing media resources, Real World Objects, services and people; 2) new networking functionality supporting publish/subscribe, discovery, routing and authentication of VDIs; 3) new open source middleware supporting this functionality; 4) a Community Dictionary Service supporting semantic search; 5) novel security and privacy mechanisms including support to “digital forgetting”. The CONVERGENCE proposes an iterative research, design and experiment process in two “tracks” dedicated respectively to tests in real-life business scenarios and to network experimentations.

Project leader: Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Telecomunicazioni (CNIT) (IT,


Financial support: European Union, Seventh Framework Program, ICT

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