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Versions: 00

Internet Draft                                               Shai Herzog
Expiration: December 1996                                        USC/ISI
File: draft-ietf-rsvp-lpm-arch-00.txt

                             March 5, 1996

Status of Memo

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   This memo describes a set of building blocks for policy based
   admission control in RSVP. We describe an interface between RSVP and
   Local Policy Modules (LPM); this interface provides RSVP with policy
   related information, and allows Local policy modules to support
   various accounting and access control policies.

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1. Introduction

   RSVP, by its definition, discriminates between users, by providing
   some users with better service at the expense of others. Therefore,
   it is reasonable to expect that RSVP be accompanied by mechanisms for
   controlling and enforcing access and usage policies. In this
   document, we refer to such policies as "access control".  The term
   "access control" is quite broad; it ranges from simple access
   approval to sophisticated accounting and debiting mechanisms (Section
   describes a few sample scenarios of access control mechanisms). For
   scaling reasons, we concentrate on policies that follow the bilateral
   agreements model. The bilateral model assumes that network clouds
   (providers) contract with their closest point of contact (neighbor)
   to establish ground rules and arrangements for access control and
   accounting. These contracts are mostly local and do not rely on
   global agreements. The bilateral model has similar scaling properties
   to RSVP and is easier to maintain in distributed environments.

   The current admission process in RSVP uses resource (capacity) based
   admission control; we expand this model to include policy based
   admission control as well, in one atomic operation. Policy admission
   control is enforced at border/policy nodes by Local Policy Modules
   (LPMs). LPMs based their admission decision, among other factors, on
   the contents of POLICY_DATA objects that are carried inside RSVP
   messages. LPMs are responsible for receiving, processing, and
   forwarding POLICY_DATA objects. Subject to the applicable bilateral
   agreements, and local policies, LPMs may also rewrite and modify the
   POLICY_DATA objects as the pass through policy nodes.

   In this document, we describe the range of policies that can be
   supported, but leave the specific policies to local LPM
   configurations. [Note 1]

   We begin (Section ) by describing a few sample scenarios which
   provide both motivation and demonstration of possible access control
   policies.  Section  provides a general description of the RSVP/LPM
   interface and Section discusses RSVP spec related issues.  The
   appendices describe the detailed interface (object formats, LPM
   calls, etc.), and provide a peek into some of the more important LPM
   implementation internals.

[Note 1] We do not advocate specific access control policies since we
believe that standardization of specific policies may require
significantly more research and better understanding of the tradeoffs.

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2. Sample scenarios

   In this section, we outline a few sample scenarios for access
   control; we provide these scenarios as motivation and as needed
   context for the LPM architecture proposed in this document.

   These scenarios, as well as the LPM architecture as a whole, are
   based on two simple assumptions: (1) RSVP would provide the needed
   transport service of carrying access control state (POLICY_DATA
   objects), hop-by-hop. (2) Access control policies are based on
   bilateral agreements between neighboring providers or users, and are
   enforced locally by a Local Policy Modules (LPMs).  In this document
   we do not discuss policies based on global agreements or global
   information because of obvious scalability concerns.

   2.1 Simple access control

      To provide simple access control, the LPM attempts to match
      incoming policy objects with one or more of the pre-configured
      policies or bilateral agreements, in order to accept or reject the

      Consider the following network scenario: one receiver from ISI and
      two from MIT listen to a PARC seminar. For simplicity of the
      scenario, let us limit ourselves to a receiver based access
      control scenario.

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             ...........                  .............
            .    *ba*   .   *ba*         .             .
            . S1------->A--------------->B---+ *mc*    .
            .           .                .   |         .
             ...........                  ...C.........
              PARC                          /  BARRNet
                                      *mc* /
            ........        .............D.....         ........
           .        .      .    *ln+ne* /      .       .        .
           .   *is* . *ln* .           /       . *ne*  . *mi*   .
           .   +----G------F<--------E-------->J------->K----+  .
           .   |    .       .  *ln*     *ne*  .|        .    |  .
            ...H....         ................. |         ....L...
         Los   |                 MCINet        |             | Near
         Nettos| *is*                    *sp* /         *mi* | Net
        .......I....                         /        .......M...
       .       |    .                 ......N..      .*r2*/ \*r3*.
       .   *r1*|    .                .  *r4*|  .     .   /   \   .
       .       R1   .                .      R4 .     .  R2   R3  .
        ............                  .........       ...........
           ISI                         Sprint             MIT


       *xx* Credential
       .... Cloud border
       A..N Nodes
       Si   Sender i
       Ri   Receiver i

                       Figure 1: Simple access control

      The bilateral agreements between each two neighboring providers
      (e.g., R1, R2 with ISI, ISI with LosNettos,... BARRNet with PARC)
      are simple: the first provider obtains a permission to make
      reservations over the second provider's network. The notation
      PD(cr,uid) represents a policy data object of type "cr"
      (credential) verifying that the flow belongs to uid. Credentials
      can be hierarchical, and may be rewritten on a hop by hop basis
      through a locally configured conversion table.

      Figure  illustrates a reservation scenario. An typical example of
      a bilateral agreement could be between MCI and LosNettos: MCI
      would allow the LosNettos users to use its backbone. A policy data

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      object PD(cr, LosNettos) would be interpreted by MCI as a green
      light to accept the reservation. In this scenario, reservations
      from R1, R2, R3 carry policy data objects that propagate hop-by-
      hop (encapsulated in reservation messages) toward S1.  Assuming
      all nodes are configured consistently, policy objects are
      rewritten in nodes B,D,G,I,K,M, which are entry points to clouds).

      The MCI cloud is interesting. E is not a border/policy node, but
      still, it receives the following policy data objects: F->E:
      PD(cr,LosNettos) and J->E: PD(cr,NearNet).  Assuming E has no
      authority to merge or rewrite these credentials, it must
      concatenate the two objects and send PD(cr,LosNettos) +
      PD(cr,NearNet) to D. Let us further assume that D is configured
      with the following conversion table:

      PD(cr, LosNettos)   ->   PD(cr, MCI)
      PD(cr, NearNet)     ->   PD(cr, MCI)

      D's LPM first checks if LosNettos and NearNet are authorized to
      reserve on their corresponding links and responds accordingly.
      Assuming authorization is cleared, it merges and rewrites these
      policy objects as PD(cr, MCI) and forwards the reservation to C.

      To complicate the example, assume the conversion table was:

      PD(cr, LosNettos)   ->   PD(cr, MCI1)
      PD(cr, NearNet)     ->   PD(cr, MCI2)

      Then D's LPM would forward PD(cr, MCI1) + PD(cr, MCI2) to C

      Local policies can also reject reservations:

      In figure  we see that a reservation made by R4 is rejected
      because it arrives with insufficient credentials: the local policy
      in node J accepts only traffic marked as PD(cr, NearNet), and R4's
      reservation arrives with PD(cr, Sprint).

   2.2 Advanced reservation and preemption control

      Advanced reservation can be built on top of simple access control:
      consider the case where every advanced reservation consists of a
      set of bilateral agreements between different service providers,
      reserving network capacity at some future period of time. When
      advanced reservations are not public (i.e., only authorized users
      can use them), three classes of reservations exist: (1) walk-ins
      (where the conference itself does not have advanced reservations,
      (2) advanced reservation with unauthorized users, and (3) advanced

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      reservation with authorized users. These numbers (1..3) can define
      a "preemption priority" (i.e., walk-ins are preempted first,
      unauthorized pre-reserved second, and authorized pre-reserved are
      never preempted).

      The advanced reservation scenario is almost identical to the
      simple access control: let us assume that each bilateral pre-
      registration is identified by a PRID (Pre-Registration
      confirmation ID). Policy data objects of type AR (Advanced
      Reservation) would take the following form: PD(ar, prid ,uid).
      When an AR object arrives, the LPM verifies the existence of pre-
      reservation prid, and checks that uid is permitted to use it.
      Finally, the flow is classified to one of the above three
      preemptive priorities and RSVP is notifies.

   2.3 Quota enforcement/accounting/debiting

      The next step is to allow for more sophisticated access control
      that is based on usage feedback. Here we add two additional
      mechanisms which (1) determine how much should be debited for a
      reservation and (2) what debiting mechanism should be used (if
      any).  The following scenarios assume a pre-existing set of local
      accounts. These accounts are established by bilateral agreements
      that pre-purchase network capacity and set applicable debiting
      rules.  The role of accounting mechanism is to verify the
      availability of funds/quotas in these accounts for maintaining the
      reservation.  We consider several accounting schemes and briefly
      describe three: simple debiting, limited debiting, Edge Pricing,
      and MultiCost (MCost).

 Simple debiting

      Consider the following example: lets assume that LosNettos and
      Nearnet each have a debit account (pre-purchased capacity) with
      MCI for their traffic. When E's LPM receives the following
      PD(cr,LosNettos) and PD(cr,NearNet) for flow f, it must decide the
      following: (1) How much should be debited for flow f, and (2) how
      would that debit be shared between the account of LosNettos and
      NearNet. These are local configuration issues left for service
      providers. In this scenario, the LPM would attempt to perform the
      debiting, and would notify RSVP on success or failure. The other
      aspects of the scenario (Merging policy data objects and
      forwarding them) is identical to that of simple access control.

 Limited debiting (willingness to pay)

      Although we do not have a full understanding of the dynamics of
      willingness-to-pay and its properties, we can outline the basic

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      scenario, as an extension of the simple debiting model.
      Willingness to pay is manifested as a limit on the policy object
      that authorizes the debit. For instance, PD(crwp,ISI,10% of
      unicast) would represent a policy data object of type crwp
      (Credential, Willingness to Pay), that authorizes debiting the ISI
      account up to 10% of the unicast cost. Here, the basic idea is
      that market forces would be the driving force behind what users
      specify as their willingness to pay.

 Edge Pricing

      Edge Pricing was presented in [SHE95]. This paradigm is based on the
      assumption that network costs can be estimated and approximated at
      the edge of the network, based on purely local information. Edge
      Pricing is an extension of simple debiting: Edge Pricing can
      determine how much is to be debited, and the set of credentials
      associated with the reservation determines who (which account)
      should be debited.

 MultiCost (MCost)

      MCost is an accounting scheme (and mechanism) that was introduced
      in [HER95].  MCost has a unique feature: it takes into account the
      benefits of sharing a multicast tree and distributes these savings
      among the members of the multicast group, according to
      configurable policies, basic fairness, and equality.

      MCost computes the cost allocated to each user, and that cost can
      be the basis for debiting. MCost can be combined with simple
      debiting in a similar manner to Edge Pricing.

3. The RSVP/LPM interface

   Unless we are willing to declare a single monolithic access policy we
   need to accommodate varying, independent access control mechanisms in
   RSVP (e.g., over different regions of the Internet, internal
   accounting vs. inter-provider accounting, quota vs.  advanced
   reservations, etc.). Each mechanism can have its own, type-specific
   internal format, can be configured for local needs (e.g., policy data
   rewrite (conversion) table, etc.), and can be added and removed from
   nodes with little or no impact on other mechanisms.

   3.1 POLICY_DATA objects

      RSVP messages may carry optional POLICY_DATA objects. Each
      individual POLICY_DATA object includes a FILTER_SPEC object which
      identifies the flow it is associated with.  We expect some access
      control mechanisms to use session POLICY_DATA objects (with

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      wildcard FILTER_SPEC) while others may require the full power of
      per-flow object semantics. Generally, we assume that POLICY_DATA
      objects may be carried by any RSVP message, (e.g., Path, Resv,
      ResvErr, etc.).

   3.2 Modular Context

      Before RSVP accepts a reservation it must check for access
      authorization.  This is where local policy modules take effect,
      verifying access rights to local resources (i.e. links, clouds,
      etc.). Figure  illustrates the context for the proposed design:
      RSVP interfaces to the LPM to handle input and output of
      POLICY_DATA objects and to check the status of reservations.
      Conceptually, a reservation must be accepted both physically and
      administratively; physically, by traditional admission control
      (based on congestion) and administratively by the local access
      policy enforced by the LPM. This dual admission must be atomic and
      this atomicity is represented by the "accept/reject" module. In
      this document, we concentrate only on the highlighted modules: the
      RSVP and the LPM interfaces. The RSVP interface is defined by
      describing the functionality that is expected from RSVP in order
      to support access control.  It includes the handling of incoming
      messages, scheduling outgoing messages, and performing status
      checks.  The LPM interface describes the services the LPM
      provides, through a set of LPM functions. However, we do not
      define how RSVP should check the status of reservations (it could
      be done by calling the LPM directly, through an accept/reject
      module, or in other ways).  [Note 2]

[Note 2] The RSVP admission process is unidirectional and does not
include upcalls to RSVP, e.g., there is no upcall to notify RSVP that a
previously made reservation was canceled or preempted.  We do however
anticipate that once the initial access control architecture is in
place, later changes to the RSVP spec, would define an "accept/reject"
module, and associated status update upcalls to RSVP.

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                         |       RSVP         |
                            /|\          /|\
                Resv. status |            | In/Outgoing objects
                            \|/          \|/
                +---------------+      +---------------+
                | Accept/Reject |<---->|      LPM      |
                +---------------+      +---------------+
                | Ad. Control   |
               Figure 2: The modular context of access control

   3.3 Local Policy Modules

      Local Policy Modules (LPMs) can be configured locally, to a
      particular access policy. LPMs have three basic functions: first,
      to receive incoming policy data objects, second, to update the
      access/accounting status of reservations, and third, to build
      accounting/policy data objects for outgoing RSVP messages (The LPM
      message flow outline is illustrated in figure ).  LPMs maintain
      local access state for supporting the LPM operations, and this
      state must remain consistent with RSVP's state.

      3.3.1 Processing incoming messages

         RSVP calls the LPM for object processing each time it receives
         a POLICY_DATA object. The LPM processes, stores the object's
         information, and returns a status code to RSVP. The status code
         reports the success/failure of object processing, but does not
         reflect the acceptance of the reservation. The status of a
         reservation must be checked separately (see Section  for more

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              | RSVP                                         |
              |                                              |
          **************        ************************************>
         <=============*========*========       =====================
              |        *        *       ||      ||           |
              |        *        *    ***||******||******************>
              |        *        *   *   ||      ||    ===============
                       *        * *     ||      ||    ||
                      \*/       **      ||     \||/  \||/
              |        **********       +==============+
              |       LPM: Common Layer                      |
                   /|\               /|\              /|\
                    |                 |                |
                   \|/               \|/              \|/
              +-----------+     +-----------+     +-----------+
              | Handler 0 |     | Handler 1 |<----+ Handler 2 |
              +-----------+     +-----------+     +-----------+
                  Figure 3: LPM and RSVP: message flow outline

      3.3.2 Processing outgoing messages

         When RSVP generates an outgoing message it calls the LPM. The
         LPM assembles the outgoing policy data objects and hands them
         to RSVP for placing inside the outgoing message.

      3.3.3 Reservation status updates

         The concept of access control assumes that even previously
         admitted reservations are conditional, in a sense that changes
         in access status may trigger some action against the associated
         reservation (i.e., cancel it, allow its preemption, etc.).
         Therefore, the access control mechanism must periodically check
         for reservation status changes (like quota exhaustion) and take
         the appropriate measures.  Reservation status should also be
         checked when system events require it, (e.g., the arrival of a
         new policy data object with updated information).  Status
         checks may be limited to the scope of the change (e.g., only
         the interface from which the new RSVP message arrived).

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      3.3.4 Optional debiting for Reservations

         The simplest form of access control performs a binary task:
         accept or reject a reservation. More advanced policies may
         require the LPM to perform book keeping (i.e., usage quota
         enforcement or even cost recovery). To achieve such tasks, the
         LPM can be configured to perform debiting.  Debiting is not
         part of the LPM interface, and can be configured as an option
         into the status update: when RSVP queries the LPM about the
         status of a reservation, the LPM may perform debiting, and
         update the status of the reservation according to the debiting
         result.  The debiting process is based on two separate
         functions: determining "cost", and actual debiting. These two
         functions can be fully independent from each other, and most
         likely be carried out by different handlers.

         In multicast environments, with upstream merging, it is very
         likely that a reservation will be debited against multiple
         network entities that represent the aggregated credentials of
         the downstream receivers. This raises the issue of the "sharing
         model".  The sharing model defines how the reservation is
         shared among the different policy data objects. [Note 3]

         The sharing model, and the selection of cost allocation and
         actual debiting mechanisms is an issue of LPM local
         configuration, and is not discussed in this document.

      3.3.5 Security issues

         Hop-by-hop authentication mechanism:

              The RSVP security mechanism proposed in [BAK96] relies on hop-
              by-hop authentication. This form of authentication creates
              a chain of trust that is only as strong as its weakest
              element (in our case, the weakest router). As long as we
              believe that all RSVP nodes are policy nodes as well, then
              RSVP security is sufficient for the entire RSVP message,
              including the policy data objects.  This however is not
              the case when policy is enforced at boundary nodes only.
[Note 3] Sharing model examples: (1) Each policy object is allocated the
full cost, (2) The cost is divided equally between the different objects
(3) The cost is attributed to an arbitrary object (4) The cost allocated
relative to some criteria like the number of downstream receivers, the
size of the organization, the amount of pre-purchased capacity
(remaining quota), etc.

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         Security over clouds:

              If policies are only enforced at cloud entry and exit
              points, then RSVP's security is insufficient to protect
              policy objects, since from a policy enforcement
              perspective, the in-cloud nodes are unsecured.  We propose
              a "policy data tunneling" approach, where the logical
              policy topology is discovered automatically, and security
              is enforced over the logical topology.  When policy
              objects are created at border routers, they are
              encapsulated in a security envelope (described in Sections
               and ref security-issues).  The envelop is forwarded as-is
              over the cloud, and is only removed by the cloud border
              (exit) node.

   3.4 Default handling of policy data objects

      Because we do not expect (or desire) that every RSVP node will be
      capable of processing all types of policy data objects, it is
      essential that RSVP define default handling of such unrecognized
      objects, and that this default handling be required from any
      RSVP/LPM implementation.  The general concept is that RSVP play
      the role of a repeater (or a tunnel) by forwarding the received
      objects without modification.  Implementation details are an part
      of the internal LPM architecture, described in appendix .

4. RSVP spec issues

   This section presents changes to the RSVP specifications, required to
   support the LPM architecture.

   4.1 New RSVP message: Reservation Report

      The basic building blocks of access control and accounting must be
      bi-directional in order to allow both source and receiver based
      policy data objects and both advertising and feedback. Which RSVP
      messages should encapsulate these upstream and downstream objects?
      The choice for upstream message is natural; the reservation
      message. The downstream direction, however, is more problematic:
      Path messages flow downstream, but are routed according to the
      multicast group membership, and therefore cannot be accurately
      delivered to a specific next hop. [Note 4]
[Note 4] The same problem existed for the original design of ResvErr,
until it was changed to a unicast delivery along the multicast tree.

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      This makes Path messages less likely to be used for access
      control, and especially for accounting.

      We proposed a new RSVP message type: "Reservation Report" (Rept).
      Reservation Report messages are sent unicast, downstream,
      according to the Next_Hop object carried by Resv messages;
      although Reservation Report messages follow the multicast tree,
      their unicast delivery provides accurate delivery to the
      appropriate next hop nodes and only to these nodes [Note 5]

      Although we propose this new message for supporting the LPM
      architecture, it may prove useful for other, more general
      functions of the RSVP protocol. A reservation may have different
      forms of responses to it: A negative response (ResvErr), a
      positive response (ack), and a more advanced form of a Reservation
      Report, like the one proposed here.  An integrated approach may
      incorporate all three responses in the same message type while
      leaving room for future types.

   4.2 List of proposed changes to the RSVP spec

      o    LPM interface (LPM calls, error codes and response to errors)

      o    API modifications.

      o    Reservation Report messages (Either in a general form, or
           specific to the LPM architecture).

      o    Default handling of policy data objects.

5. Acknowledgment

   This document incorporates inputs from Deborah Estrin, Scott Shenker
   and Bob Braden and feedback from RSVP collaborators.


[BAK96]  F. Baker. RSVP Cryptographic Authentication "Internet-Draft",
    draft-ietf-rsvp-md5-02.txt, 1996.

[HER95]  S. Herzog, S. Shenker and D. Estrin, Sharing the Cost of
[Note 5] Consider the case of multipoint links or network clouds: a
single copy of a Path message may be delivered to an unknown number of
next hops, while the copy of a Report message is guaranteed to reach
only the targeted node.

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    Multicast Trees: An Axiomatic Analysis, "Proceedings of ACM/SIGCOMM
    '95", Cambridge, MA, Aug. 1995

[SHE95]  S. Shenker, D. Clark, D. Estrin, and S. Herzog Pricing in
    Computer Networks: Reshaping the Research Agenda,
    "Telecommunications Policy", Vol. 20, No. 1, 1996 also published in
    "Proceedings of the Twenty-Third Annual Telecommunications Policy
    Research Conference", 1995.

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7. Appendix: object format

POLICY_DATA objects are built from basic building blocks (sub-objects),
with the following format:

     |           length          |           PType           |
     |  PType specific format                                |

The header of the POLICY_DATA object is defined by the RSVP spec, while
the body format is hidden from RSVP, and is only known to the LPM.
POLICY_DATA object include the standard RSVP object header, with Class =
class_POLICY_DATA, and a CType value. Currently, the CType value selects
from three versions of POLICY_DATA objects: "POLICY_SIMPLE",


     |           length          | POLICY_DATA |      1      |
     |  policy data sub-object 1                             |
     |  policy data sub-object n                             |


The object format is similar to POLICY_SIMPLE, with the added integrity

     |           length          | POLICY_DATA |      2      |
     |  RSVP_HOP object                                      |
     |  INTEGRITY object                                     |
     |  policy data sub-object 1                             |
     |  policy data sub-object n                             |

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Encapsulation provides an optional security envelope for policy data
objects; it ensures that all the policy sub-objects were created by the
node described by the RSVP_HOP object, and were not compromised.  In
this document, we do not define how the INTEGRITY object is to be
computed. However, we would like to note that it may be computed over
other RSVP objects like SESSION, SCOPE etc., in order to guarantee that
the POLICY_DATA object is associated with the right flow/reservation.


This object is the external (visible) representation of POLICY_DATA
object, representing the full format.

     |           length          | POLICY_DATA |      255    |
     |  FILTER_SPEC object                                   |
     |  Flags      |          Reserved                       |
     |  POLICY_ENCAP or POLICY_SIMPLE object 1               |
     |  POLICY_ENCAP or POLICY_SIMPLE object n               |

Note: The FILTER_SPEC object is opaque to the LPM, however, it is
included in the POLICY_OBJECT to assist RSVP with fragmentation.

There is currently only one flag in the flags field,
POLICYD_FLAG_REPORT. This flag can be specified only for Resv messages,
and tells the LPM (and RSVP) that the reservation requires a Reservation
Report message. [Note 6]

8. Appendix: LPM calls

The LPM maintains access control state per flow. This state is
complementary to the RSVP state, and both are semantically attached by
flow handles, for all the LPM calls.

[Note 6] This may become obsolete if/when a Report Request bit is added
to the Resv message format.

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8.1 Success codes

   All the LPM calls report success/failure status. This report is made
   of three components: (1) a return code of the lpm function, that
   reports the general success of the call (2) a global variable
   "lpm_errno" that reports specific reason code (similar to the errno
   in Unix), and (3) a global variable "lpm_eflgs" used for flags set by
   the LPM call.

8.2 Flow handles (fh)

   The LPM uses Flow Handles (fh) to associate RSVP flows with LPM
   state.  RSVP obtains flow handles by calling "lpm_open()", which is
   called only once for each session or flow, upon the first arrival of
   a POLICY_DATA object associated with that flow or session.  RSVP
   obtains the flow handle and stores it in the flow's data structures,
   for future lpm calls.

   When an RSVP message is fragmented, POLICY_DATA objects may be out of
   order, and may reside in separate packets.  The responsibility of
   associating a POLICY_DATA object with a particular flow (and its flow
   handles (fh)) lies "always" with RSVP. The FILTER_SPEC object inside
   the POLICY_DATA object is visible to RSVP, and should be used by it
   to aid in this classification. [Note 7]

   It is important to note that under no circumstances should this
   classification be left to the LPM.

8.3 Associating source and receiver objects

   The access status of a reservation may depend on policy data objects
   originating from the source, receivers or both.  For instance, a
   lecture can be sponsored by the source that would provide the
   necessary credentials. If the LPM architecture is to support source
   based policies, it must be able to associate source objects with
   reservation state. Some associations are trivial (like in the case of
   fixed filter (FF) reservation style) but some are more complicated
   (as in WF reservations).  Since the LPM architecture associates flow
   handles with individual source state, it is the responsibility of
   RSVP to map reservations to their list of associated sources. The
   list takes the form of a list of flow handles, and can be passed on
   to LPM functions through a pair of parameters, "int fh_num" and "int
[Note 7] The FILTER_SPEC object is opaque to the LPM and the only reason
it is included inside the POLICY_DATA object is to allow RSVP to
associate the object with its corresponding flow.

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8.4 LPM calls format

   lpm_open (int *fh)

   When RSVP first encounters POLICY_DATA objects, it calls the LPM's
   "lpm_open" routine. The LPM builds internal control blocks and places
   the flow handle value in fh, for future reference.

   All incoming POLICY_DATA objects are passed by RSVP to the LPM:

   lpm_in (int fh_num, int *fh_vec, int vif, RSVP_HOP *hop, int mtype,
        POLICY_DATA *polp)

   Parameter "vif" describes the input virtual interface [Note 8]
    from which the RSVP message was received, "hop" describes the node
   that sent the RSVP message (previous hop/next hop), and "mtype"
   describes the type (and implicitly, the direction) of the RSVP
   message (i.e., Path, Resv etc.).  Parameter polp points to the policy
   data object.

   When RSVP is ready for output, it queries the LPM:

   lpm_out (int fh_num, int *fh_vec, int vif, RSVP_HOP *hop, int mtype,
        POLICY_DATA **polp)

   The parameters are similar to those for "lpm_in". A successful call
   places a pointer to the outgoing POLICY_DATA object in "polp"; Notice
   that the output process is performed separately for each outgoing
   RSVP message, but is required to maintain consistency and atomicity
   even if some LPM status had changed in between outputs of different
   outgoing RSVP messages.

   Checking the status of an existing reservation is done by calling:

   lpm_status (int fh_session, int fh_num, int *fh_vec, int vif, int
        phy_resv_handle, Object_header *phy_resv_flwspec, int ind)
[Note 8] The term Virtual Interface (vif) is borrowed from DVMRP
terminology, although, for LPM purposes it can be any integer index that
RSVP associates with specific interfaces, independently from any routing

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   Status is checked individually for each outgoing (reserved) link.
   Parameter "fh_session" specifies the flow handle associated with the
   session, and "phy_resv_handle" identifies the physical reservation
   (e.g., ISPS, etc.), "phy_resv_flwspec" describes the current, merged
   FlowSpec of the reservation. "ind" is used to have different flavors
   of status checks:
   "LPM_STATF_AGE": setting this flag ages (and times out)
   LPM state associated with the specified fh. Status checks may be
   periodic or event driven; this flag is set only for periodic status
   checks.  "LPM_STATF_RECALC": Status checks may involve calculations
   over multiple outgoing interfaces, and thus need only be done once
   for all interfaces before individual per-interface status is
   reported.  This bit is set on for the first vif checked and is reset
   for the rest. [Note 9]

   Status checks with "ind" set to 0 simply report values that were
   already calculated before and do not age the LPM state.

   If RSVP prunes branches from the reservation tree, it must notify the
   LPM by calling:

   lpm_prune (int fh_num, int *fh_vec, int vif, RSVP_HOP *hop, int

   (The details of this call is described in Section ).

   When RSVP deletes an entire flow state, it must notify the LPM:

   lpm_close (int fh)

   Upon this notification, the LPM finishes its accounting for this
   reservation (final debits/credits) and deletes all internal state
   associated with fh.

   Initializing the LPM is done once only, in the initialization phase
   of RSVP, by calling.

   lpm_config (void)

[Note 9] This is an optimization. While useless, there should be no harm
in recalculating status parameters, for each outgoing interface.

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8.5 State Maintenance

   LPM state must remain consistent with the corresponding RSVP state.
   State is created when POLICY_DATA objects are passed to the LPM and
   can be updated or removed through several possible mechanisms that
   correspond to RSVP's state management mechanisms:

   Atomic object management: Every new POLICY_DATA object is self
        contained and its content overrides all previous state: existing
        state that is not listed in the newly arriving POLICY_DATA
        object is purged.

   Aging: When new POLICY_DATA objects cease to arrive (either because
        RSVP messages cease to arrive, or because they arrive without
        policy data objects), the stored state begins to age. Aging is
        done in a similar manner to the way RSVP ages reservations: When
        a policy data object arrives, a timer is set to TTL_FACTOR.
        Every call to "lpm_status" decreases the timer by 1.  When the
        timer reaches 0, the state is purged.

   Pruning When the shape of the reserved tree changes due to routing
        updates or RSVP teardown messages, RSVP purges the state of the
        pruned link, and must also call "lpm_prune()" to purge the
        corresponding LPM state.

   Closing: The call "lpm_close(fh)" purges all the state associated
        with the handle fh. Closing a flow handle is done when RSVP no
        longer maintains any state associated with that flow (a sender
        quits, the session is over, etc.).

9. Appendix: LPM internals

This appendix describes the current internal design of the LPM. While
this design is not part of the mandatory specification we recommend
following it.

9.1 LPM configurations

   LPM configuration can be general, for all handlers, but can also be
   type/handler specific. (e.g., a specific handler's rewrite conversion
   table for policy data objects). Configuration may be expressed in a
   simple configuration file or even through a configuration language.

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            | RSVP                                                      |
            |        Incoming Resv:  Resv-header,LPM-header,P1,P2,P3,P4 |
            |                                         |                 |
            | LPM: Common Layer                      \|/                |
            | lpm_in()          +-------- LPM-header,P1,P2,P3,P4        |
            |                  /           /          |          \      |
            |           |   P1|     |   P2|     |   P3|     |   P4|     |
            |           |    \|/    |    \|/    |    \|/    |    \|/    |
            |           |           |           |           |           |
            | Handler 0 | Handler 1 | Handler 2 | Handler 4 | Handler 5 |
    Figure 4: Disassembly of an incoming Resv message with POLICY_DATA

9.2 The LPM layered Design

   The internal format of POLICY_DATA objects is PType specific,
   allowing up to 65535 independent types. Our design allow each
   specific PType to be handled by a separate handler, and allow such
   handlers to be added and configured independently. Clearly, handlers
   are allowed to handler more than one PTypes.

   The LPM is divided into two layers: a PType specific layer and a
   common layer (figure ).  The PType specific layer provides a set of
   locally configured independent handlers, one for each PType supported
   by the local node. The common layer provides the glue between RSVP
   and the PType specific layer by multiplexing RSVP's lpm calls into
   individual, PType specific calls.

   On input, the common layer disassembles the incoming POLICY_DATA
   object, dispatches the internal objects to their PType specific
   handlers, and aggregates the return code status (figure ).  On
   output, it collects the internal objects from all active handlers,
   and assembles them into a single POLICY_DATA object (figure ).

   On status queries, the common layer queries all the active handlers,
   and combines their individual status responses into a single status
   result. We use the following rule: a reservation is approved by the
   common layer, if there is at least one handler that approves it, and
   none other rejects it. PType specific handlers can accept, reject or
   be neutral in their responses. [Note 10]

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            | RSVP                                                      |
            |        Outgoing Resv:  Resv-header,LPM-header,P1,P2,P3,P4 |
            |                                        /|\                |
            | LPM: Common Layer                       |                 |
            | lpm_out()         +-------> LPM-header,P1,P2,P3,P4        |
            |                  /           /         /|\         \      |
            |           |   P1|     |   P2|     |   P3|     |   P4|     |
            |           |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
            |           |           |           |           |           |
            | Handler 0 | Handler 1 | Handler 2 | Handler 4 | Handler 5 |
   Figure 5: Assembly of POLICY_DATA objects for an outgoing Resv message

9.3 Interaction between handlers

   It is reasonable to assume that independent PTypes may require some
   interaction between their handlers.  Consider the case where policy
   object type-1 is a credential type (defines a user identity) and a
   type-2 is an accounting type (determines cost), a possible
   interaction could be to let type-2 determine the cost, and let type-1
   perform the actual debiting according to the user identity.  (See the
   scenario 3 Section ).  Such interaction has two basic requirements:
   order dependency and export capability. Order dependency is required
   because type-2 must calculate the cost before type-1. Export
   capability is needed to allow type-2 to export the calculation
   results to type-1.  Our implementation allows the ordering or
   handlers to be expressed as part of local LPM configuration. It also
   provides internal support for function calls between independent
   handlers (in order to obtain exported state).

   Consider the case where type-3 and type-4 also perform accounting.
   The proposed architecture is flexible enough to allow local
   configuration to select the handler that determines the debited cost:
   type-2, type-3 or type-4.

[Note 10] A policy data object that determines cost is a good example
for a neutral handler. It provide information about how much the flow
costs, but does not perform actual debiting.

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9.4 Default handling of policy data objects

   Default handling of policy data objects is needed in two cases:
   first, when the RSVP node is not a policy node at all, and second,
   when the arriving POLICY_DATA object includes objects of an unknown
   type. Both cases are handled in a similar manner: the policy object
   is stored and forwarded without modification, merging or any other
   operation. In our implementation we dedicate PType 0 for default
   handling: Unrecognized objects are handled by handler of PType 0. In
   a non-policy node, all objects are unrecognized, and thus all are
   handled as PType 0, regardless of their actual PType.  PType 0 is
   regarded as a reserved type.

   Notice that the internal format of POLICY_DATA objects is a list of
   objects; If a node is a merging point in the multicast tree, the
   default handler output is simply a concatenation of the lists of
   incoming objects encapsulated in a single POLICY_DATA object, of type

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