Abstract. A key early objective of Active Networking (AN) was to support on-the-fly network evolution. Although AN has been used relatively extensively to build application-customized protocols and even whole networking systems, demonstrations of evolution have been limited. This paper examines three AN mechanisms and how they enable evolution: active packets and plug-in extensions, well-known to the AN community, and update extensions, which are novel to AN. We devote our presentation to a series of demonstrations of how each type of evolution can be applied to the problem of adding support for mobility to a network. This represents the most large-scale demonstration of AN evolution to date. These demonstrations show what previous AN research has not: that AN technology can, in fact, support very significant changes to the network, even while the network is operational.
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