MAMI: Measurement and Architecture for a Middleboxed Internet

A central tussle in today’s Internet is that between the desire for privacy, which requires strong encryption to protect, and the need to efficiently manage network traffic. Current approaches to traffic management typically require access to plaintext and application payload, which is fundamentally incompatible with the privacy goal.

The MAMI project aims to rearchitect the Internet to allow explicit cooperation between endpoints and middleboxes, restoring the promise and innovation potential of the original end-to-end architecture of the Internet while enabling appropriate in-network services to ease management and scalability of ever more demanding applications. To ensure the applicability of the protocol, it will develop it on a background of middlebox behaviour models, derived from large-scale measurements of middleboxes in the public Internet conducted on top of the MONROE testbed. After evaluating the fitness of proposed MCP by assessing its applicability to a set of real-world use cases for transport layer evolution, it will focus on incremental deployability in the presence of both cooperative and uncooperative middleboxes by experimentation in the Internet utilising the facilities provided by MONROE.

Final goals

The MAMI project has three main goals:

1. Large-scale measurements of deployed middleboxes

The MAMI project will perform Internet measurements using existing large-scale measurement platforms such as RIPE ATLAS, CAIDA Ark and the MONROE FIRE+ testbed, as well as design and develop measurement techniques and tools to detect and monitor middlebox behavior. Further, MAMI will implement of a measurement observatory to collect measurement results and make them accessible to others.

2. An architecture for middlebox cooperation

Based on understanding derived from analysing middlebox characteristics, MAMI will develop an architecture providing a shim layer that contains the Middlebox Cooperation Protocol (MCP), which allows transport and application protocols to selectively expose semantic information to middleboxes while maintaining protocol level details inside an encrypted encapsulation protocol. Further, MAMI will investigate approaches to maintain connectivity even if the MCP is not supported on a certain path as well as the integration of encryption or partial encryption methods into the proposed architecture. Together with the MCP, this will provide a flexible transport framework that can be used by emerging applications.

3. Experimental evaluation of use case applicability and deployability

MAMI will develop a classification scheme and models of middlebox behavior as detected by Internet measurement. This analysis of the middlebox behavior not only be used to improve measurement techniques but will also provide the basic for performance evaluation of and experimentation with the proposed MAMI architecture and respective protocol mechanisms.

Funding source

EU Horizon 2020 (ICT-12-2015 - Integrating experiments and facilities in FIRE+)

All partners

Project leader

ETH Zürich (Switzerland)

Media presence

MAMI project website

Twitter account, @mamiproject


Find publication

Year published


Communication Systems


01.01.2016 – 30.6.2018

Contact person(s)