Overcoming the Sorrows of the Young UDP Options

Raffaele Zullo* (Corresponding Author), Tom Jones, Gorry Fairhurst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution


A recently proposed extension adds support for options to a UDP datagram creating an options area after the UDP payload. This leverages redundancy between IP payload length and UDP length. The area carries per-message options, encoded in a way that resembles TCP Options. This design is impacted by the way the UDP checksum is processed. We evaluate how implementations calculate the UDP checksum and unveil an underlying level of ossification that was silently affecting UDP. We demonstrate a range of schemes that result in a range of pathologies, and reduce the expected success for deployment. We detail the extent of each of the issues discussing their genesis and their implications, and describe an approach to neutralize the most widespread pathology. Our findings show how this change can overcome the major obstacles to deployment and significantly enhances the chances of adoption of the new extension.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication4th Network Traffic Measurement and Analysis Conference (TMA)
PublisherIFIP Open Digital Library
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-903176-27-0
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2020
EventNetwork Traffic Measurement and Analysis Conference 2020 - Online
Duration: 10 Jun 202011 Jun 2020


ConferenceNetwork Traffic Measurement and Analysis Conference 2020
Abbreviated titleTMA 2020
Internet address


  • UDP-O
  • Checksum
  • Internet Transport


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