RFC9033: 6TiSCH Minimal Scheduling Function (MSF)

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Related keywords:  (6P) (communication schedule) (TSCH)

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                     T. Chang, Ed.
Request for Comments: 9033                                    M. Vučinić
Category: Standards Track                                          Inria
ISSN: 2070-1721                                            X. Vilajosana
                                         Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
                                                            S. Duquennoy
                                                               RISE SICS
                                                              D. Dujovne
                                              Universidad Diego Portales
                                                                May 2021

                6TiSCH Minimal Scheduling Function (MSF)


   This specification defines the "IPv6 over the TSCH mode of IEEE
   802.15.4" (6TiSCH) Minimal Scheduling Function (MSF).  This
   Scheduling Function describes both the behavior of a node when
   joining the network and how the communication schedule is managed in
   a distributed fashion.  MSF is built upon the 6TiSCH Operation
   Sublayer Protocol (6P) and the minimal security framework for 6TiSCH.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 7841.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2021 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
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   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
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   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction
     1.1.  Requirements Language
     1.2.  Related Documents
   2.  Interface to the Minimal 6TiSCH Configuration
   3.  Autonomous Cells
   4.  Node Behavior at Boot
     4.1.  Start State
     4.2.  Step 1 - Choosing Frequency
     4.3.  Step 2 - Receiving EBs
     4.4.  Step 3 - Setting up Autonomous Cells for the Join Process
     4.5.  Step 4 - Acquiring a RPL Rank
     4.6.  Step 5 - Setting up First Tx Negotiated Cells
     4.7.  Step 6 - Sending EBs and DIOs
     4.8.  End State
   5.  Rules for Adding and Deleting Cells
     5.1.  Adapting to Traffic
     5.2.  Switching Parent
     5.3.  Handling Schedule Collisions
   6.  6P SIGNAL Command
   7.  Scheduling Function Identifier
   8.  Rules for CellList
   9.  6P Timeout Value
   10. Rule for Ordering Cells
   11. Meaning of the Metadata Field
   12. 6P Error Handling
   13. Schedule Inconsistency Handling
   14. MSF Constants
   15. MSF Statistics
   16. Security Considerations
   17. IANA Considerations
     17.1.  MSF Scheduling Function Identifiers
   18. References
     18.1.  Normative References
     18.2.  Informative References
   Appendix A.  Example Implementation of the SAX Hash Function
   Authors' Addresses

1.  Introduction

   The 6TiSCH Minimal Scheduling Function (MSF), defined in this
   specification, is a 6TiSCH Scheduling Function (SF).  The role of an
   SF is entirely defined in [RFC8480].  This specification complements
   [RFC8480] by providing the rules of when to add and delete cells in
   the communication schedule.  This specification satisfies all the
   requirements for an SF listed in Section 4.2 of [RFC8480].

   MSF builds on top of the following specifications: "Minimal IPv6 over
   the TSCH Mode of IEEE 802.15.4e (6TiSCH) Configuration" [RFC8180],
   "6TiSCH Operation Sublayer (6top) Protocol (6P)" [RFC8480], and
   "Constrained Join Protocol (CoJP) for 6TiSCH" [RFC9031].

   MSF defines both the behavior of a node when joining the network, and
   how the communication schedule is managed in a distributed fashion.
   When a node running MSF boots up, it joins the network by following
   the six steps described in Section 4.  The end state of the join
   process is that the node is synchronized to the network, has mutually
   authenticated with the network, has identified a routing parent, and
   has scheduled one negotiated Tx cell (defined in Section 5.1) to/from
   its routing parent.  After the join process, the node can
   continuously add, delete, and relocate cells as described in
   Section 5.  It does so for three reasons: to match the link-layer
   resources to the traffic, to handle changing parent, and to handle a
   schedule collision.

   MSF works closely with the IPv6 Routing Protocol for Low-Power and
   Lossy Networks (RPL), specifically the routing parent defined in
   [RFC6550].  This specification only describes how MSF works with the
   routing parent; this parent is referred to as the "selected parent".
   The activity of MSF towards the single routing parent is called a
   "MSF session".  Though the performance of MSF is evaluated only when
   the "selected parent" represents the node's preferred parent, there
   should be no restrictions to use multiple MSF sessions, one per
   parent.  The distribution of traffic over multiple parents is a
   routing decision that is out of scope for MSF.

   MSF is designed to operate in a wide range of application domains.
   It is optimized for applications with regular upstream traffic, from
   the nodes to the Destination-Oriented Directed Acyclic Graph (DODAG)
   root [RFC6550].

   This specification follows the recommended structure of an SF
   specification, given in Appendix A of [RFC8480], with the following

   *  We have reordered some sections, in particular to have the section
      on the node behavior at boot (Section 4) appear early in this

   *  We added sections on the interface to the minimal 6TiSCH
      configuration (Section 2), the use of the SIGNAL command
      (Section 6), the MSF constants (Section 14), and the MSF
      statistics (Section 15).

1.1.  Requirements Language

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in
   BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
   capitals, as shown here.

1.2.  Related Documents

   This specification uses messages and variables defined in IEEE Std
   802.15.4-2015 [IEEE802154].  It is expected that those resources will
   remain in the future versions of IEEE Std 802.15.4; in which case,
   this specification also applies to those future versions.  In the
   remainder of the document, we use [IEEE802154] to refer to IEEE Std
   802.15.4-2015 as well as future versions of IEEE Std 802.15.4 that
   remain compatible.

2.  Interface to the Minimal 6TiSCH Configuration

   In a Time-Slotted Channel Hopping (TSCH) network, time is sliced up
   into time slots.  The time slots are grouped as one or multiple
   slotframes that repeat over time.  The TSCH schedule instructs a node
   what to do at each time slot, such as transmit, receive, or sleep
   [RFC7554].  For time slots for transmitting or receiving, a channel
   is assigned to the time slot.  The tuple (slot, channel) is indicated
   as a cell of the TSCH schedule.  MSF is one of the policies defining
   how to manage the TSCH schedule.

   A node implementing MSF SHOULD implement the minimal 6TiSCH
   configuration [RFC8180], which defines the "minimal cell", a single
   shared cell providing minimal connectivity between the nodes in the
   network.  The MSF implementation provided in this specification is
   based on the implementation of the minimal 6TiSCH configuration.
   However, an implementor MAY implement MSF based on other
   specifications as long as the specification defines a way to
   advertise the Enhanced Beacons (EBs) and DODAG Information Objects
   (DIOs) among the network.

   MSF uses the minimal cell for broadcast frames such as Enhanced
   Beacons (EBs) [IEEE802154] and broadcast DODAG Information Objects
   (DIOs) [RFC6550].  Cells scheduled by MSF are meant to be used only
   for unicast frames.

   To ensure there is enough bandwidth available on the minimal cell, a
   node implementing MSF SHOULD enforce some rules for limiting the
   traffic of broadcast frames.  For example, the overall broadcast
   traffic among the node and its neighbors SHOULD NOT exceed one-third
   of the bandwidth of minimal cell.  One of the algorithms that
   fulfills this requirement is the Trickle timer defined in [RFC6206],
   which is applied to DIO messages [RFC6550].  However, any such
   algorithm of limiting the broadcast traffic to meet those rules is
   implementation-specific and is out of the scope of MSF.

   Three slotframes are used in MSF.  MSF schedules autonomous cells at
   Slotframe 1 (Section 3) and 6P negotiated cells at Slotframe 2
   (Section 5), while Slotframe 0 is used for the bootstrap traffic as
   defined in the minimal 6TiSCH configuration.  The same slotframe
   length for Slotframe 0, 1, and 2 is RECOMMENDED.  Thus it is possible
   to avoid the scheduling collision between the autonomous cells and 6P
   negotiated cells (Section 3).  The default slotframe length
   (SLOTFRAME_LENGTH) is RECOMMENDED for Slotframe 0, 1, and 2, although
   any value can be advertised in the EBs.

3.  Autonomous Cells

   MSF nodes initialize Slotframe 1 with a set of default cells for
   unicast communication with their neighbors.  These cells are called
   "autonomous cells", because they are maintained autonomously by each
   node without negotiation through 6P.  Cells scheduled by 6P
   Transaction are called "negotiated cells", which are reserved on
   Slotframe 2.  How to schedule negotiated cells is detailed in
   Section 5.  There are two types of autonomous cells:

   Autonomous Rx Cell (AutoRxCell):  One cell at a
      [slotOffset,channelOffset] computed as a hash of the 64-bit
      Extended Unique Identifier (EUI-64) of the node itself (detailed
      next).  Its cell options bits are assigned as TX=0, RX=1,

   Autonomous Tx Cell (AutoTxCell):  One cell at a
      [slotOffset,channelOffset] computed as a hash of the Layer 2
      EUI-64 destination address in the unicast frame to be transmitted
      (detailed in Section 4.4).  Its cell options bits are assigned as
      TX=1, RX=0, SHARED=1.

   To compute a [slotOffset,channelOffset] from an EUI-64 address, nodes
   MUST use the hash function SAX as defined in Section 2 of
   [SAX-DASFAA] with consistent input parameters, for example, those
   defined in Appendix A.  The coordinates are computed to distribute
   the cells across all channel offsets, and all but the first slot
   offset of Slotframe 1.  The first time offset is skipped to avoid
   colliding with the minimal cell in Slotframe 0.  The slot coordinates
   derived from a given EUI-64 address are computed as follows:

         slotOffset(MAC) = 1 + hash(EUI64, length(Slotframe_1) - 1)

         channelOffset(MAC) = hash(EUI64, NUM_CH_OFFSET)

   The second input parameter defines the maximum return value of the
   hash function.  Other optional parameters defined in SAX determine
   the performance of SAX hash function.  Those parameters could be
   broadcast in an EB frame or preconfigured.  For interoperability
   purposes, Appendix A provides the reference values of those

   AutoTxCell is not permanently installed in the schedule but is added
   or deleted on demand when there is a frame to be sent.  Throughout
   the network lifetime, nodes maintain the autonomous cells as follows:

   *  Add an AutoTxCell to the Layer 2 destination address, which is
      indicated in a frame when there is no 6P negotiated Tx cell in the
      schedule for that frame to transmit.

   *  Remove an AutoTxCell when:

      -  there is no frame to transmit on that cell, or

      -  there is at least one 6P negotiated Tx cell in the schedule for
         the frames to transmit.

   The AutoRxCell MUST always remain scheduled after synchronization.
   6P CLEAR MUST NOT erase any autonomous cells.

   Because of hash collisions, there will be cases that the AutoTxCell
   and AutoRxCell are scheduled at the same slot offset and/or channel
   offset.  In such cases, AutoTxCell always take precedence over
   AutoRxCell.  Notice AutoTxCell is a shared type cell that applies a
   back-off mechanism.  When the AutoTxCell and AutoRxCell collide,
   AutoTxCell takes precedence if there is a packet to transmit.  When
   in a back-off period, AutoRxCell is used.  In the case of conflict
   with a negotiated cell, autonomous cells take precedence over
   negotiated cells, which is stated in [IEEE802154].  However, when the
   Slotframe 0, 1, and 2 use the same length value, it is possible for a
   negotiated cell to avoid the collision with AutoRxCell.  Hence, the
   same slotframe length for Slotframe 0, 1, and 2 is RECOMMENDED.

4.  Node Behavior at Boot

   This section details the behavior the node SHOULD follow from the
   moment it is switched on until it has successfully joined the
   network.  Alternative behaviors may be involved, for example, when
   alternative security solutions are used for the network.  Section 4.1
   details the start state; Section 4.8 details the end state.  The
   other sections detail the six steps of the joining process.  We use
   the term "pledge" and "joined node", as defined in [RFC9031].

4.1.  Start State

   A node implementing MSF SHOULD implement the Constrained Join
   Protocol (CoJP) for 6TiSCH [RFC9031].  As a corollary, this means
   that a pledge, before being switched on, may be preconfigured with
   the Pre-Shared Key (PSK) for joining, as well as any other
   configuration detailed in [RFC9031].  This is not necessary if the
   node implements a security solution that is not based on PSKs, such

4.2.  Step 1 - Choosing Frequency

   When switched on, the pledge randomly chooses a frequency from the
   channels through which the network cycles and starts listening for
   EBs on that frequency.

4.3.  Step 2 - Receiving EBs

   Upon receiving the first EB, the pledge continues listening for
   additional EBs to learn:

   1.  the number of neighbors N in its vicinity, and

   2.  which neighbor to choose as a Join Proxy (JP) for the joining

   After having received the first EB, a node MAY keep listening for at
   most MAX_EB_DELAY seconds or until it has received EBs from
   NUM_NEIGHBOURS_TO_WAIT distinct neighbors.  This behavior is defined
   in [RFC8180].

   During this step, the pledge only gets synchronized when it has
   received enough EB from the network it wishes to join.  How to decide
   whether an EB originates from a node from the network it wishes to
   join is implementation-specific, but MAY involve filtering EBs by the
   PANID field it contains, the presence and contents of the Information
   Element (IE) defined in [RFC9032], or the key used to authenticate

   The decision of which neighbor to use as a JP is implementation-
   specific and is discussed in [RFC9031].

4.4.  Step 3 - Setting up Autonomous Cells for the Join Process

   After having selected a JP, a node generates a Join Request and
   installs an AutoTxCell to the JP.  The Join Request is then sent by
   the pledge to its selected JP over the AutoTxCell.  The AutoTxCell is
   removed by the pledge when the Join Request is sent out.  The JP
   receives the Join Request through its AutoRxCell.  Then it forwards
   the Join Request to the Join Registrar/Coordinator (JRC), possibly
   over multiple hops, over the 6P negotiated Tx cells.  Similarly, the
   JRC sends the Join Response to the JP, possibly over multiple hops,
   over AutoTxCells or the 6P negotiated Tx cells.  When the JP receives
   the Join Response from the JRC, it installs an AutoTxCell to the
   pledge and sends that Join Response to the pledge over AutoTxCell.
   The AutoTxCell is removed by the JP when the Join Response is sent
   out.  The pledge receives the Join Response from its AutoRxCell,
   thereby learns the keying material used in the network, as well as
   other configuration settings, and becomes a "joined node".

   When 6LoWPAN Neighbor Discovery (ND) [RFC8505] is implemented, the
   unicast packets used by ND are sent on the AutoTxCell.  The specific
   process how the ND works during the join process is detailed in

4.5.  Step 4 - Acquiring a RPL Rank

   Per [RFC6550], the joined node receives DIOs, computes its own Rank,
   and selects a routing parent.

4.6.  Step 5 - Setting up First Tx Negotiated Cells

   Once it has selected a routing parent, the joined node MUST generate
   a 6P ADD Request and install an AutoTxCell to that parent.  The 6P
   ADD Request is sent out through the AutoTxCell, containing the
   following fields:

   CellOptions:  Set to TX=1, RX=0, SHARED=0.

   NumCells:  Set to 1.

   CellList:  At least 5 cells, chosen according to Section 8.

   The joined node removes the AutoTxCell to the selected parent when
   the 6P Request is sent out.  That parent receives the 6P ADD Request
   from its AutoRxCell.  Then it generates a 6P ADD Response and
   installs an AutoTxCell to the joined node.  When the parent sends out
   the 6P ADD Response, it MUST remove that AutoTxCell.  The joined node
   receives the 6P ADD Response from its AutoRxCell and completes the 6P
   Transaction.  In the case that the 6P ADD transaction failed, the
   node MUST issue another 6P ADD Request and repeat until the Tx cell
   is installed to the parent.

4.7.  Step 6 - Sending EBs and DIOs

   The node starts sending EBs and DIOs on the minimal cell, while
   following the transmit rules for broadcast frames from Section 2.

4.8.  End State

   At the end state of the joining process, a new node:

   *  is synchronized to the network,

   *  is using the link-layer keying material it learned through the
      secure joining process,

   *  has selected one neighbor as its routing parent,

   *  has one AutoRxCell,

   *  has one negotiated Tx cell to the selected parent,

   *  starts to send DIOs, potentially serving as a router for other
      nodes' traffic, and

   *  starts to send EBs, potentially serving as a JP for new pledges.

5.  Rules for Adding and Deleting Cells

   Once a node has joined the 6TiSCH network, it adds/deletes/relocates
   cells with the selected parent for three reasons:

   *  to match the link-layer resources to the traffic between the node
      and the selected parent (Section 5.1),

   *  to handle switching the parent (Section 5.2), or

   *  to handle a schedule collision (Section 5.3).

   These cells are called "negotiated cells" as they are scheduled
   through 6P and negotiated with the node's parent.  Without specific
   declaration, all cells mentioned in this section are negotiated
   cells, and they are installed at Slotframe 2.

5.1.  Adapting to Traffic

   A node implementing MSF MUST implement the behavior described in this

   The goal of MSF is to manage the communication schedule in the 6TiSCH
   schedule in a distributed manner.  For a node, this translates into
   monitoring the current usage of the cells it has to one of its
   neighbors, in most cases to the selected parent.

   *  If the node determines that the number of link-layer frames it is
      attempting to exchange with the selected parent per unit of time
      is larger than the capacity offered by the TSCH negotiated cells
      it has scheduled with it, the node issues a 6P ADD command to that
      parent to add cells to the TSCH schedule.

   *  If the traffic is lower than the capacity, the node issues a 6P
      DELETE command to that parent to delete cells from the TSCH

   The node MUST maintain two separate pairs of the following counters
   for the selected parent: one for the negotiated Tx cells to that
   parent and one for the negotiated Rx cells to that parent.

   NumCellsElapsed:  Counts the number of negotiated cells that have
      elapsed since the counter was initialized.  This counter is
      initialized at 0.  When the current cell is declared as a
      negotiated cell to the selected parent, NumCellsElapsed is
      incremented by exactly 1, regardless of whether the cell is used
      to transmit or receive a frame.

   NumCellsUsed:  Counts the number of negotiated cells that have been
      used.  This counter is initialized at 0.  NumCellsUsed is
      incremented by exactly 1 when, during a negotiated cell to the
      selected parent, either of the following happens:

      *  The node sends a frame to the parent.  The counter increments
         regardless of whether a link-layer acknowledgment was received
         or not.

      *  The node receives a valid frame from the parent.  The counter
         increments only when a valid frame per [IEEE802154] is received
         by the node from its parent.

   The cell option of cells listed in CellList in a 6P Request frame
   SHOULD be either (Tx=1, Rx=0) only or (Tx=0, Rx=1) only.  Both
   NumCellsElapsed and NumCellsUsed counters can be used for both types
   of negotiated cells.

   As there is no negotiated Rx cell installed at initial time, the
   AutoRxCell is taken into account as well for downstream traffic
   adaptation.  In this case:

   *  NumCellsElapsed is incremented by exactly 1 when the current cell
      is AutoRxCell.

   *  NumCellsUsed is incremented by exactly 1 when the node receives a
      frame from the selected parent on AutoRxCell.

   Implementors MAY choose to create the same counters for each neighbor
   and add them as additional statistics in the neighbor table.

   The counters are used as follows:

   1.  Both NumCellsElapsed and NumCellsUsed are initialized to 0 when
       the node boots.

   2.  When the value of NumCellsElapsed reaches MAX_NUM_CELLS:

       *  If NumCellsUsed is greater than LIM_NUMCELLSUSED_HIGH, trigger
          6P to add a single cell to the selected parent.

       *  If NumCellsUsed is less than LIM_NUMCELLSUSED_LOW, trigger 6P
          to remove a single cell to the selected parent.

       *  Reset both NumCellsElapsed and NumCellsUsed to 0 and restart

   The value of MAX_NUM_CELLS is chosen according to the traffic type of
   the network.  Generally speaking, the larger the value MAX_NUM_CELLS
   is, the more accurately the cell usage is calculated.  By using a
   larger value of MAX_NUM_CELLS, the 6P traffic overhead could be
   reduced as well.  Meanwhile, the latency won't increase much by using
   a larger value of MAX_NUM_CELLS for periodic traffic type.  For
   bursty traffic, a larger value of MAX_NUM_CELLS indeed introduces
   higher latency.  The latency caused by slight changes of traffic load
   can be alleviated by the additional scheduled cells.  In this sense,
   MSF is a Scheduling Function that trades latency with energy by
   scheduling more cells than needed.  Setting MAX_NUM_CELLS to a value
   at least four times the recent maximum number of cells used in a
   slotframe is RECOMMENDED.  For example, a two packets/slotframe
   traffic load results in an average of four cells scheduled (two cells
   are used), using at least the value of double the number of scheduled
   cells (which is eight) as MAX_NUM_CELLS gives a good resolution on
   the cell usage calculation.

   In the case that a node has booted or has disappeared from the
   network, the cell reserved at the selected parent may be kept in the
   schedule forever.  A cleanup mechanism MUST be provided to resolve
   this issue.  The cleanup mechanism is implementation-specific.  The
   goal is to confirm that those negotiated cells are not used anymore
   by the associated neighbors and remove them from the schedule.

5.2.  Switching Parent

   A node implementing MSF SHOULD implement the behavior described in
   this section.

   As part of its normal operation, RPL can have a node switch parent.
   The procedure for switching from the old parent to the new parent is
   the following:

   1.  The node counts the number of negotiated cells it has per
       slotframe to the old parent.

   2.  The node triggers one or more 6P ADD commands to schedule the
       same number of negotiated cells with same cell options to the new

   3.  When that successfully completes, the node issues a 6P CLEAR
       command to its old parent.

   The type of negotiated cell that should be installed first depends on
   which traffic has the higher priority, upstream or downstream, which
   is application-specific and out of scope of MSF.

5.3.  Handling Schedule Collisions

   A node implementing MSF SHOULD implement the behavior described in
   this section.  Other algorithms for handling schedule collisions can
   be an alternative to the algorithm proposed in this section.

   Since scheduling is entirely distributed, there is a nonzero
   probability that two pairs of nearby neighbor nodes schedule a
   negotiated cell at the same [slotOffset,channelOffset] location in
   the TSCH schedule.  In that case, data exchanged by the two pairs may
   collide on that cell.  We call this case a "schedule collision".

   The node MUST maintain the following counters for each negotiated Tx
   cell to the selected parent:

   NumTx:  Counts the number of transmission attempts on that cell.
      Each time the node attempts to transmit a frame on that cell,
      NumTx is incremented by exactly 1.

   NumTxAck:  Counts the number of successful transmission attempts on
      that cell.  Each time the node receives an acknowledgment for a
      transmission attempt, NumTxAck is incremented by exactly 1.

   Since both NumTx and NumTxAck are initialized to 0, we necessarily
   have NumTxAck less than or equal to NumTx.  We call Packet Delivery
   Ratio (PDR) the ratio NumTxAck/NumTx and represent it as a
   percentage.  A cell with a PDR equal to 50% means that half of the
   frames transmitted are not acknowledged.

   Each time the node switches parent (or during the join process when
   the node selects a parent for the first time), both NumTx and
   NumTxAck MUST be reset to 0.  They increment over time, as the
   schedule is executed, and the node sends frames to that parent.  When
   NumTx reaches MAX_NUMTX, both NumTx and NumTxAck MUST be divided by
   2.  MAX_NUMTX needs to be a power of two to avoid division error.
   For example, when MAX_NUMTX is set to 256, and NumTx=255 and
   NumTxAck=127, the counters become NumTx=128 and NumTxAck=64 if one
   frame is sent to the parent with an acknowledgment received.  This
   operation does not change the value of the PDR but allows the
   counters to keep incrementing.  The value of MAX_NUMTX is

   The key for detecting a schedule collision is that, if a node has
   several cells to the selected parent, all cells should exhibit the
   same PDR.  A cell that exhibits a PDR significantly lower than the
   others indicates that there are collisions on that cell.

   Every HOUSEKEEPINGCOLLISION_PERIOD, the node executes the following

   1.  It computes, for each negotiated Tx cell with the parent (not for
       the autonomous cell), that cell's PDR.

   2.  Any cell that hasn't yet had NumTx divided by 2 since it was last
       reset is skipped in steps 3 and 4.  This avoids triggering cell
       relocation when the values of NumTx and NumTxAck are not
       statistically significant yet.

   3.  It identifies the cell with the highest PDR.

   4.  For any other cell, it compares its PDR against that of the cell
       with the highest PDR.  If the subtraction difference between the
       PDR of the cell and the highest PDR is larger than
       RELOCATE_PDRTHRES, it triggers the relocation of that cell using
       a 6P RELOCATE command.

   The RELOCATION for negotiated Rx cells is not supported by MSF.

6.  6P SIGNAL Command

   The 6P SIGNAL command is not used by MSF.

7.  Scheduling Function Identifier

   The Scheduling Function Identifier (SFID) of MSF is 0.  How the value
   of 0 was chosen is described in Section 17.

8.  Rules for CellList

   MSF uses two-step 6P Transactions exclusively.  6P Transactions are
   only initiated by a node towards its parent.  As a result, the cells
   to put in the CellList of a 6P ADD command, and in the candidate
   CellList of a RELOCATE command, are chosen by the node initiating the
   6P Transaction.  In both cases, the same rules apply:

   *  The CellList is RECOMMENDED to have five or more cells.

   *  Each cell in the CellList MUST have a different slotOffset value.

   *  For each cell in the CellList, the node MUST NOT have any
      scheduled cell on the same slotOffset.

   *  The slotOffset value of any cell in the CellList MUST NOT be the
      same as the slotOffset of the minimal cell (slotOffset=0).

   *  The slotOffset of a cell in the CellList SHOULD be randomly and
      uniformly chosen among all the slotOffset values that satisfy the
      restrictions above.

   *  The channelOffset of a cell in the CellList SHOULD be randomly and
      uniformly chosen from [0..numFrequencies], where numFrequencies
      represents the number of frequencies a node can communicate on.

   As a consequence of random cell selection, there is a nonzero chance
   that nodes in the vicinity have installed cells with same slotOffset
   and channelOffset.  An implementer MAY implement a strategy to
   monitor the candidate cells before adding them in CellList to avoid
   collision.  For example, a node MAY maintain a candidate cell pool
   for the CellList.  The candidate cells in the pool are preconfigured
   as Rx cells to promiscuously listen to detect transmissions on those
   cells.  If transmissions that rely on [IEEE802154] are observed on
   one cell over multiple iterations of the schedule, that cell is
   probably used by a TSCH neighbor.  It is moved out from the pool, and
   a new cell is selected as a candidate cell.  The cells in CellList
   are picked from the candidate pool directly when required.

9.  6P Timeout Value

   The timeout value is calculated for the worst case that a 6P response
   is received, which means the 6P response is sent out successfully at
   the very latest retransmission.  And for each retransmission, it
   backs off with largest value.  Hence the 6P timeout value is
   calculated as ((2^MAXBE) - 1) * MAXRETRIES * SLOTFRAME_LENGTH, where:

   *  MAXBE, defined in [IEEE802154], is the maximum backoff exponent

   *  MAXRETRIES, defined in [IEEE802154], is the maximum retransmission

   *  SLOTFRAME_LENGTH represents the length of slotframe.

10.  Rule for Ordering Cells

   Cells are ordered by slotOffset first, channelOffset second.

   The following sequence is correctly ordered (each element represents
   the [slotOffset,channelOffset] of a cell in the schedule):


11.  Meaning of the Metadata Field

   The Metadata field is not used by MSF.

12.  6P Error Handling

   Section 6.2.4 of [RFC8480] lists the 6P return codes.  Table 1 lists
   the same error codes and the behavior a node implementing MSF SHOULD

                | Code            | RECOMMENDED Behavior |
                | RC_SUCCESS      | nothing              |
                | RC_EOL          | nothing              |
                | RC_ERR          | quarantine           |
                | RC_RESET        | quarantine           |
                | RC_ERR_VERSION  | quarantine           |
                | RC_ERR_SFID     | quarantine           |
                | RC_ERR_SEQNUM   | clear                |
                | RC_ERR_CELLLIST | clear                |
                | RC_ERR_BUSY     | waitretry            |
                | RC_ERR_LOCKED   | waitretry            |

                  Table 1: Recommended Behavior for Each
                              6P Error Code

   The meaning of each behavior from Table 1 is:

   nothing:  Indicates that this return code is not an error.  No error
      handling behavior is triggered.

   clear:  Abort the 6P Transaction.  Issue a 6P CLEAR command to that
      neighbor (this command may fail at the link layer).  Remove all
      cells scheduled with that neighbor from the local schedule.

   quarantine:  Same behavior as for "clear".  In addition, remove the
      node from the neighbor and routing tables.  Place the node's
      identifier in a quarantine list for QUARANTINE_DURATION.  When in
      quarantine, drop all frames received from that node.

   waitretry:  Abort the 6P Transaction.  Wait for a duration randomly
      and uniformly chosen from [WAIT_DURATION_MIN,WAIT_DURATION_MAX].
      Retry the same transaction.

13.  Schedule Inconsistency Handling

   The behavior when schedule inconsistency is detected is explained in
   Table 1, for 6P return code RC_ERR_SEQNUM.

14.  MSF Constants

   Table 2 lists MSF constants and their RECOMMENDED values.

           | Name                         | RECOMMENDED value |
           | SLOTFRAME_LENGTH             | 101 slots         |
           | NUM_CH_OFFSET                | 16                |
           | MAX_NUM_CELLS                | 100               |
           | LIM_NUMCELLSUSED_HIGH        | 75                |
           | LIM_NUMCELLSUSED_LOW         | 25                |
           | MAX_NUMTX                    | 256               |
           | HOUSEKEEPINGCOLLISION_PERIOD | 1 min             |
           | RELOCATE_PDRTHRES            | 50 %              |
           | QUARANTINE_DURATION          | 5 min             |
           | WAIT_DURATION_MIN            | 30 s              |
           | WAIT_DURATION_MAX            | 60 s              |

           Table 2: MSF Constants and Their RECOMMENDED Values

15.  MSF Statistics

   Table 3 lists MSF statistics and their RECOMMENDED widths.

                  | Name            | RECOMMENDED width |
                  | NumCellsElapsed | 1 byte            |
                  | NumCellsUsed    | 1 byte            |
                  | NumTx           | 1 byte            |
                  | NumTxAck        | 1 byte            |

                     Table 3: MSF Statistics and Their
                             RECOMMENDED Widths

16.  Security Considerations

   MSF defines a series of "rules" for the node to follow.  It triggers
   several actions that are carried out by the protocols defined in the
   following specifications: "Minimal IPv6 over the TSCH Mode of IEEE
   802.15.4e (6TiSCH) Configuration" [RFC8180], "6TiSCH Operation
   Sublayer (6top) Protocol (6P)" [RFC8480], and "Constrained Join
   Protocol (CoJP) for 6TiSCH" [RFC9031].  Confidentiality and
   authentication of MSF control and data traffic are provided by these
   specifications whose security considerations continue to apply to
   MSF.  In particular, MSF does not define a new protocol or packet

   MSF uses autonomous cells for initial bootstrap and the transport of
   join traffic.  Autonomous cells are computed as a hash of nodes'
   EUI-64 addresses.  This makes the coordinates of autonomous cell an
   easy target for an attacker, as EUI-64 addresses are visible on the
   wire and are not encrypted by the link-layer security mechanism.
   With the coordinates of autonomous cells available, the attacker can
   launch a selective jamming attack against any node's AutoRxCell.  If
   the attacker targets a node acting as a JP, it can prevent pledges
   from using that JP to join the network.  The pledge detects such a
   situation through the absence of a link-layer acknowledgment for its
   Join Request.  As it is expected that each pledge will have more than
   one JP available to join the network, one available countermeasure
   for the pledge is to pseudorandomly select a new JP when the link to
   the previous JP appears bad.  Such a strategy alleviates the issue of
   the attacker randomly jamming to disturb the network but does not
   help in the case the attacker is targeting a particular pledge.  In
   that case, the attacker can jam the AutoRxCell of the pledge in order
   to prevent it from receiving the join response.  This situation
   should be detected through the absence of a particular node from the
   network and handled by the network administrator through out-of-band

   MSF adapts to traffic containing packets from the IP layer.  It is
   possible that the IP packet has a nonzero DSCP (Differentiated
   Services Code Point) [RFC2474] value in its IPv6 header.  The
   decision how to handle that packet belongs to the upper layer and is
   out of scope of MSF.  As long as the decision is made to hand over to
   MAC layer to transmit, MSF will take that packet into account when
   adapting to traffic.

   Note that nonzero DSCP values may imply that the traffic originated
   at unauthenticated pledges (see [RFC9031]).  The implementation at
   the IPv6 layer SHOULD rate limit this join traffic before it is
   passed to the 6top sublayer where MSF can observe it.  If there is no
   rate limit for join traffic, intermediate nodes in the 6TiSCH network
   may be prone to a resource exhaustion attack, with the attacker
   injecting unauthenticated traffic from the network edge.  The
   assumption is that the rate-limiting function is aware of the
   available bandwidth in the 6top Layer 3 bundle(s) towards a next hop,
   not directly from MSF, but from an interaction with the 6top sublayer
   that ultimately manages the bundles under MSF's guidance.  How this
   rate limit is implemented is out of scope of MSF.

17.  IANA Considerations

17.1.  MSF Scheduling Function Identifiers

   This document adds the following number to the "6P Scheduling
   Function Identifiers" subregistry, part of the "IPv6 Over the TSCH
   Mode of IEEE 802.15.4 (6TiSCH)" registry, as defined by [RFC8480]:

         | SFID | Name                              | Reference |
         | 0    | Minimal Scheduling Function (MSF) | RFC 9033  |

             Table 4: New SFID in the "6P Scheduling Function
                         Identifiers" Subregistry

   The SFID was chosen from the range 0-127, which has the registration
   procedure of IETF Review or IESG Approval [RFC8126].

18.  References

18.1.  Normative References

              IEEE, "IEEE Standard for Low-Rate Wireless Networks", IEEE
              Standard 802.15.4-2015, DOI 10.1109/IEEESTD.2016.7460875,
              April 2016,

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,

   [RFC2474]  Nichols, K., Blake, S., Baker, F., and D. Black,
              "Definition of the Differentiated Services Field (DS
              Field) in the IPv4 and IPv6 Headers", RFC 2474,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2474, December 1998,

   [RFC6550]  Winter, T., Ed., Thubert, P., Ed., Brandt, A., Hui, J.,
              Kelsey, R., Levis, P., Pister, K., Struik, R., Vasseur,
              JP., and R. Alexander, "RPL: IPv6 Routing Protocol for
              Low-Power and Lossy Networks", RFC 6550,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6550, March 2012,

   [RFC8126]  Cotton, M., Leiba, B., and T. Narten, "Guidelines for
              Writing an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26,
              RFC 8126, DOI 10.17487/RFC8126, June 2017,

   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC
              2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174,
              May 2017, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8174>.

   [RFC8180]  Vilajosana, X., Ed., Pister, K., and T. Watteyne, "Minimal
              IPv6 over the TSCH Mode of IEEE 802.15.4e (6TiSCH)
              Configuration", BCP 210, RFC 8180, DOI 10.17487/RFC8180,
              May 2017, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8180>.

   [RFC8480]  Wang, Q., Ed., Vilajosana, X., and T. Watteyne, "6TiSCH
              Operation Sublayer (6top) Protocol (6P)", RFC 8480,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8480, November 2018,

   [RFC9030]  Thubert, P., Ed., "An Architecture for IPv6 over the Time-
              Slotted Channel Hopping Mode of IEEE 802.15.4 (6TiSCH)",
              RFC 9030, DOI 10.17487/RFC9030, May 2021,

   [RFC9031]  Vučinić, M., Ed., Simon, J., Pister, K., and M.
              Richardson, "Constrained Join Protocol (CoJP) for 6TiSCH",
              RFC 9031, DOI 10.17487/RFC9031, May 2021,

   [RFC9032]  Dujovne, D., Ed. and M. Richardson, "Encapsulation of
              6TiSCH Join and Enrollment Information Elements",
              RFC 9032, DOI 10.17487/RFC9032, May 2021,

              Ramakrishna, M.V. and J. Zobel, "Performance in Practice
              of String Hashing Functions", DASFAA,
              DOI 10.1142/9789812819536_0023, 1997,

18.2.  Informative References

   [RFC6206]  Levis, P., Clausen, T., Hui, J., Gnawali, O., and J. Ko,
              "The Trickle Algorithm", RFC 6206, DOI 10.17487/RFC6206,
              March 2011, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6206>.

   [RFC7554]  Watteyne, T., Ed., Palattella, M., and L. Grieco, "Using
              IEEE 802.15.4e Time-Slotted Channel Hopping (TSCH) in the
              Internet of Things (IoT): Problem Statement", RFC 7554,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7554, May 2015,

   [RFC8505]  Thubert, P., Ed., Nordmark, E., Chakrabarti, S., and C.
              Perkins, "Registration Extensions for IPv6 over Low-Power
              Wireless Personal Area Network (6LoWPAN) Neighbor
              Discovery", RFC 8505, DOI 10.17487/RFC8505, November 2018,

              Richardson, M., "6tisch Zero-Touch Secure Join protocol",
              Work in Progress, Internet-Draft, draft-ietf-6tisch-
              dtsecurity-zerotouch-join-04, 8 July 2019,

Appendix A.  Example Implementation of the SAX Hash Function

   To support interoperability, this section provides an example
   implementation of the SAX hash function [SAX-DASFAA].  The input
   parameters of the function are:

   *  T, which is the hashing table length.

   *  c, which is the characters of string s, to be hashed.

   In MSF, the T is replaced by the length of slotframe 1.  String s is
   replaced by the node EUI-64 address.  The characters of the string,
   c0 through c7, are the eight bytes of the EUI-64 address.

   The SAX hash function requires shift operation, which is defined as

   *  L_shift(v,b), which refers to the left shift of variable v by b

   *  R_shift(v,b), which refers to the right shift of variable v by b

   The steps to calculate the hash value of SAX hash function are:

   1.  Initialize variable h, which is the intermediate hash value, to
       h0 and variable i, which is the index of the bytes of the EUI-64
       address, to 0.

   2.  Sum the value of L_shift(h,l_bit), R_shift(h,r_bit), and ci.

   3.  Calculate the result of the exclusive OR between the sum value in
       Step 2 and h.

   4.  Modulo the result of Step 3 by T.

   5.  Assign the result of Step 4 to h.

   6.  Increase i by 1.

   7.  Repeat Step 2 to Step 6 until i reaches to 8.

   The value of variable h is the hash value of the SAX hash function.

   The values of h0, l_bit, and r_bit in Step 1 and Step 2 are
   configured as:

         h0 = 0

         l_bit = 0

         r_bit = 1

   The appropriate values of l_bit and r_bit could vary depending on the
   set of nodes' EUI-64 address.  How to find those values is out of the
   scope of this specification.


   Beshr Al Nahas
   Chalmers University

   Email: beshr@chalmers.se

   Olaf Landsiedel
   Chalmers University

   Email: olafl@chalmers.se

   Yasuyuki Tanaka

   Email: yatch1.tanaka@toshiba.co.jp

Authors' Addresses

   Tengfei Chang (editor)
   2 rue Simone Iff
   75012 Paris

   Email: tengfei.chang@gmail.com

   Mališa Vučinić
   2 rue Simone Iff
   75012 Paris

   Email: malisa.vucinic@inria.fr

   Xavier Vilajosana
   Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
   156 Rambla Poblenou
   08018 Barcelona Catalonia

   Email: xvilajosana@uoc.edu

   Simon Duquennoy
   Isafjordsgatan 22
   SE-164 29 Kista

   Email: simon.duquennoy@gmail.com

   Diego Dujovne
   Universidad Diego Portales
   Escuela de Informática y Telecomunicaciones
   Av. Ejército 441
   Región Metropolitana

   Phone: +56 (2) 676-8121
   Email: diego.dujovne@mail.udp.cl