Книга: Iptables Tutorial 1.2.2
The information request and reply types are obsolete since there are protocols on top of the IP protocol that can now take care of this when necessary (DHCP, etc). The information request generates a reply from any answering host on the network that we are attached to.
The host that wishes to receive information creates a packet with the source address set to the network we are attached to (for example, 192.168.0.0), and the destination network set to 0. The reply will contain information about our numbers (netmask and ip address).
The information request is run through ICMP type 15 while the reply is sent via type 16.