The Internet has successfully promoted address uniformity and a node centric forwarding semantics. However, NAT and wireless networks among others have shown the advantage and the need of revising basic assumptions of the Internet model. In this paper we review several of these basic networking concepts and introduce a new set of network abstractions like "membranes" which are individual physical or virtual networks and "wormholes" which link one or more membranes together. This leads us to an active network architecture called SelNet that is based on tunnelling and translation mechanisms. Besides the architecture we present several network services and abstractions that can be built on top of it. A brief status report on a prototype implementation is also provided.
Note: Originally written October 2001
Available as PDF (88 kB, no cover)
Download BibTeX entry.