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Motivated by limitations in today's host-centric IP network, recent studies have proposed clean-slate network architectures centered around alternate first-class principals, such as content, services, or users. However, much like the host-centric IP design, elevating one principal type above others hinders communication between other principals and inhibits the network's capability to evolve. This paper presents the eXpressive Internet Architecture (XIA), an architecture with native support for multiple principals and the ability to evolve its functionality to accommodate new, as yet unforeseen, principals over time. The authors describe key design requirements, and demonstrate how XIA's rich addressing and forwarding semantics facilitate flexibility and evolvability, while keeping core network functions simple and efficient.
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