Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) T. Chang, Ed.
Request for Comments: 9033
Category: Standards Track Inria
ISSN: 2070-1721 X. Vilajosana
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Universidad Diego Portales
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 https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc9033
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) in effect on the date of
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Table of Contents 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.
Normative References 18.2.
Informative References Appendix A
. Example Implementation of the SAX Hash Function
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
] 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
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
"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
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
MSF works closely with the IPv6 Routing Protocol for Low-Power and
Lossy Networks (RPL), specifically the routing parent defined in
]. 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)
This specification follows the recommended structure of an SF
specification, given in Appendix A
], 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
), the MSF constants (Section 14
), and the MSF
statistics (Section 15
1.1. Requirements Language
The key words "MUST
", "MUST NOT
", "SHALL NOT
", "SHOULD NOT
", "NOT RECOMMENDED
" in this document are to be interpreted as described in
BCP 14 [RFC2119
] 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
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
]. 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
], 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
]. 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
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
), 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
[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
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
], 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
a 6P ADD Request and install an AutoTxCell to that parent. The 6P
ADD Request is sent out through the AutoTxCell, containing the
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
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
* 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
* 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
* NumCellsUsed is incremented by exactly 1 when the node receives a
frame from the selected parent on AutoRxCell.
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
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
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
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
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
scheduled cell on the same slotOffset.
* The slotOffset value of any cell in the CellList MUST NOT
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
* 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
| 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
| Name | RECOMMENDED
| 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
15. MSF Statistics
Table 3 lists MSF statistics and their RECOMMENDED
| Name | RECOMMENDED
| NumCellsElapsed | 1 byte |
| NumCellsUsed | 1 byte |
| NumTx | 1 byte |
| NumTxAck | 1 byte |
Table 3: MSF Statistics and Their RECOMMENDED
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
The SFID was chosen from the range 0-127, which has the registration
procedure of IETF Review or IESG Approval [RFC8126
18.1. Normative References
IEEE, "IEEE Standard for Low-Rate Wireless Networks", IEEE
Standard 802.15.4-2015, DOI 10.1109/IEEESTD.2016.7460875,
] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119
, March 1997,
] 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
, December 1998,
] 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
, March 2012,
] 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,
] 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
] 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
] Wang, Q., Ed., Vilajosana, X., and T. Watteyne, "6TiSCH
Operation Sublayer (6top) Protocol (6P)", RFC 8480
, November 2018,
] 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,
] Vučinić, M., Ed., Simon, J., Pister, K., and M.
Richardson, "Constrained Join Protocol (CoJP) for 6TiSCH", RFC 9031
, DOI 10.17487/RFC9031
, May 2021,
] 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
] 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
] 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
, May 2015,
] 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
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
Tengfei Chang (editor)
rue Simone Iff
rue Simone Iff
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
156 Rambla Poblenou
08018 Barcelona Catalonia
SE-164 29 Kista
Universidad Diego Portales
Escuela de Informática y Telecomunicaciones
Av. Ejército 441
Phone: +56 (2) 676-8121