The purpose of this expose is to explain the generic design of a customized communication subsystem. The expose addresses both functional and non-functional aspects. Starting point is a real-time requirement from the application area building automation. We show how this application requirement and some background information about the application area lead to a system architecture, a communication service, a protocol architecture and to the selection, adaptation, and composition of protocol functionalities. The reader will probably be surprised how much effort is necessary in order to implement the innocuous, innocent, inconspicuous looking application requirement. Formal description techniques (FDTs) will be used in all design phases.
Today's communication systems are typically structured into several layers, where each layer realizes a fixed set of protocol functionalities. These functionalities have been carefully chosen such that a wide range of applications can be supported and protocols work in a general environment of networks. However, due to evolving network technologies as well as increased and varying demands of modern applications general-purpose protocol stacks are not always adequate. To improve this situation new flexible communication architectures have been developed which enable the configuration of customized communication subsystems by composing a proper set of reusable building blocks. In particular, several approaches to automatic configuration of communication subsystems have been reported in the literature. This report gives an overview of theses approaches (F-CCS, Da CaPo, x-Kernel, and ADAPTIVE) and, in particular, defines a framework, which identifies common architectural issues and configuration tasks.
A new approach for modelling time that does not rely on the concept of a clock is proposed. In order to establish a notion of time, system behaviour is represented as a joint progression of multiple threads of control, which satisfies a certain set of axioms. We show that the clock-independent time model is related to the well-known concept of a global clock and argue that both approaches establish the same notion of time.
Due to the large variety of modern applications and evolving network technologies, a small number of general-purpose protocol stacks will no longer be sufficient. Rather, customization of communication protocols will play a major role. In this paper, we present an approach that has the potential to substantially reduce the effort for designing customized protocols. Our approach is based on the concept of design patterns, which is well-established in object oriented software development. We specialize this concept to communication protocols, and - in addition - use formal description techniques (FDTs) to specify protocol design patterns as well as rules for their instantiation and composition. The FDTs of our choice are SDL-92 and MSCs, which offer suitable language support. We propose an SDL pattern description template and relate pattern-based configuring of communication protocols to existing SDL methodologies. Particular SDL patterns and the configuring of a customized resource reservation protocol are presented in detail.