Active networks represent a signi cant step in the evolution of packet-switched networks, from traditional packet-forwarding engines to more general functionality supporting dynamic control and modi cation of the network behavior. However, the phrase \active network" means di erent things to di erent people. This article introduces a model and nomenclature for talking about active networks, describes some possible approaches in terms of that nomenclature, and presents various aspects of the architecture being developed in the DARPA-funded active networks program. Potential applications of active networks are highlighted, along with some of the challenges that must be overcome to make them a reality.

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@inproceedings{Calvert1997DirectionsIA, title={Directions in Active Networks}, author={Kenneth L. Calvert and Samrat Bhattacharjee and Ellen W. Zegura and James P. G. Sterbenz}, year={1997} }