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.
In order to improve the quality of software systems and to set up a more effective process for their development, many attempts have been made in the field of software engineering. Reuse of existing knowledge is seen as a promising way to solve the outstanding problems in this field. In previous work we have integrated the design pattern concept with the formal design language SDL, resulting in a certain kind of pattern formalization. For the domain of communication systems we have also developed a pool of SDL patterns with an accompanying process model for pattern application. In this paper we present an extension that combines the SDL pattern approach with the experience base concept. This extension supports a systematic method for empirical evaluation and continuous improvement of the SDL pattern approach. Thereby the experience base serves as a repository necessary for effective reuse of the captured knowledge. A comprehensive usage scenario is described which shows the advantages of the combined approach. To demonstrate its feasibility, first results of a research case study are given.