Re: [Roll] Ralph's DISCUSS on MRHOF spec

Ralph Droms <> Thu, 07 June 2012 19:48 UTC

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From: Ralph Droms <>
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Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2012 15:48:24 -0400
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To: Philip Levis <>
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Cc: Haberman Brian <>, Stiemerling Martin <>, Michael Richardson <>, roll <>
Subject: Re: [Roll] Ralph's DISCUSS on MRHOF spec
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On Jun 6, 2012, at 10:43 AM 6/6/12, Philip Levis wrote:

> Responses inline.
> On Jun 4, 2012, at 9:31 AM, Ralph Droms wrote:
>> My question here is why a single objective function "MRHOF" is defined to use several different metrics.  My understanding is that any specific RPL instance will use one metric as its "selected metric" for MRHOF.  Another way to organize the objective functions would be to define a different OF number for each metric, binding the OF number to the selected metric.
> This was a design decision made early in RPL. There were two options: OFs are metric-specific, or OFs can be general with respect to metrics. The design team concluded the second approach was better, as the former would lead to a possibly huge number of OFs that would be hard to manage.

Now that a real OF has actually been designed and specified, perhaps this would be a good time to reconfirm that design decision.

Given that MRHOF is a pretty general objective function, and works over 5 (or perhaps 3) metrics, 16 bits would seem to provide plenty of code points for metric-specific OFs.

A bigger issue, I think, is expressing the semantics or behavior of an OF in its OCP.  I read section 18.6 of RFC 6550 to indicate that a node will use information including the OF (as indicated by the OCP) to compare against the node's policy for joining a DODAG.  As an aside, is there a reason why a node would choose to join a specific DODAG within a RPL Instance and on what basis would it make that choice?  Anyway, wouldn't the selected metric  used by MRHOF in a particular RPL Instance be a useful parameter for the policy rules?  For example, I can imagine a node preferring to join a RPL Instance providing minimal latency over one providing best ETX.  If the OCP is metric-specific, that selected metric will be immediately available for the policy rules.

- Ralph

> Phil