* WGs marked with an * asterisk has had at least one new draft made available during the last 5 days

Networks Machine Learning (NML) RG (Proposed)


Machine learning technologies can learn from historical data, and make predictions or decisions, rather than following strictly static program instructions. They can dynamically adapt to a changing situation and enhance their own intelligence with by learning from new data. This approach has been successful in image analysis, pattern recognition, language recognition, conversation simulation, and many other applications. It can learn and complete complicated tasks. It also has potential in the network technology area. It can be used to intelligently learn the various environments of networks and react to dynamic situations better than a fixed algorithm. When it becomes mature, it would be greatly accelerate the development of autonomic networking.

The Network Machine Learning Research Group (NMLRG) provides a forum for researchers to explore the potential of machine learning technologies for networks. In particular, the NMLRG will work on potential approaches that apply machine learning technologies in network control, network management, and supplying network data for upper-layer applications.

The initial focus of the NMLRG will be on higher-layer concepts where the machine learning mechanism could be applied in order to enhance the network establishing, controlling, managing, network applications and customer services. This includes mechanisms to acquire knowledge from the existing networks so that new networks can be established with minimum efforts; the potential to use machine learning mechanisms for routing control and optimization; using machine learning mechanisms in network management to predict future network status; using machine learning mechanisms to autonomic and dynamically manage the network; using machine learning mechanisms to analyze network faults and support recovery; learning network attacks and their behavior, so that protection mechanisms could be self-developed; unifying the data structure and the communication interface between network/network devices and customers, so that the upper-layer applications could easily obtain relevant network information, etc.

The NMLRG is expected to identify and document requirements, to survey possible approaches, to provide specifications for proposed solutions, and to prove concepts with prototype implementations that can be tested in real-world environments.

The group will report its progress through a publicly accessible web site and presentations at IETF meetings. Specifications developed by the NMLRG will be submitted for publication as Experimental or Informational RFCs.

This topic is rapidly moving from academic research into practical application. Therefore we hope to attract participants from both university environments and industrial research and development organizations, in order to create synergy and convert theory into practice. People actively implementing relevant software will be especially welcome.


Mailing List


Membership is open to any interested parties/individuals.


Regular working meetings are held about two/three times per year at locations convenient to the majority of the participants. Working meetings typically take 1-2 days and are typically co-located with either IETF meetings or conferences related to machine learning or autonomic networks.

Past meeting(s):

  • NMLRG1


Planned future meetings:

  • NMLRG2 meeting within IETF 95 in Argentina; potentially scheme is network traffic with machine learning. It could include traffic prediction using ML, traffic recognition (may even with encryption) using ML, traffic classification, traffic management using ML, deploying service using ML according to traffic history, etc.
  • NMLRG3 interim meeting companying with an academic conference; a workshop proposal has been submitted to EuCNC, http://www.eucnc.eu/ . A tutorial proposal has been submitted to ICML http://icml.cc
  • NMLRG4 meeting within IETF 96 in Germany;
  • NMLRG5 interim meeting companying with an academic conference; choose the opposite location of NMLRG3 between north American and Europe, with Asia as backup. ECML-PKDD, http://www.ecmlpkdd2016.org is a good candidate.
  • NMLRG6 meeting within IETF 97 in South Korea.