With the development of new technologies and applications, such as the Internet of Things, smart cities, 5G, and edge computing, traditional Internet Protocol-based (IP-based) networks have been exposed as having many problems. Information-Centric Networking (ICN), Named Data Networking (NDN), and Content-Centric Networking (CCN) are therefore proposed as an alternative for future networks. However, unlike IP-based networks, CCN routing is non-deterministic and difficult to optimize due to frequent in-network caching replacement. This paper presents a novel probe-based routing algorithm that explores real-time in-network caching to ensure the routing table storing the optimal paths to the nearest content provider is up to date. Effective probe-selections, Pending Interest Table (PIT) probe, and Forwarding Information Base (FIB) probe are discussed and analyzed by simulation with different performance measurements. Compared with the basic CCN, in terms of qualitative analysis, the additional computational overhead of our approach is O(NCS + Nrt + NFIB ∗ NSPT ) and O(NFIB ) on processing interest packets and data packets, respectively. However, in terms of quantitative analysis, our approach reduces the number of timeout interests by 6% and the average response time by 0.6 s. Furthermore, although basic CCN and our approach belong to the same Quality of Service (QoS) category, our approach outperforms basic CCN in terms of real values. Additionally, our probe-based approach performs better than RECIF+PIF and EEGPR. Owing to speedup FIB updating by probes, our approach provides more reliable interest packet routing when accounting for router failures. In summary, the results demonstrate that compared to basic CCN, our probe-based routing approach raises FIB accuracy and reduces network congestion and response time, resulting in efficient routing.
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