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Title: Active group communication.
Author: Graves, Rory.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3512 057X
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis explores the application of active networking (A.N.) to group communication. A.N. adds programmable computation platforms to the nodes that form the switching fabric of the network. By leveraging these new facilities we can make the development of complex protocols easier and provide new 'value-added' services to the network infrastructure. Active networking is a relatively new research area. There are popular toolkits but no overall agreements. We examine this field in detail exploring its benefits and pitfalls. We explore the problems of simulating A.N. and possible solutions. We describe NetSim a network simulator we have developed to meet the goals of A.N. simulation. Writing A.N. protocols is far more difficult than writing conventional protocols. We must consider not only the end-points of communication, but also the switching hardware within the network. We show the inherent complexity can be addressed by abstraction and the use of frameworks. We demonstrate AFrame, an active service that supplies both communication and local information to active agents at each node. This framework abstracts and hides some of the complexities of communication. We use this framework to develop new information agents and higher-level protocols. We have constructed the Active Multicast Framework (AMF) to show how programming techniques (abstraction and object-oriented) can be applied to the complex area of group communication. We use A.N. to simplify and improve current multicast and group communication protocols and show implementations of best effort, reliable and ordered multicast. We leverage AMF to show that novel protocols can be developed. Using processing power within the network allows us to develop new breeds of protocols. To show this we developed ATOM, an efficient, fair, totally ordered multicast implementation. We achieve our goal of demonstrating the benefits of applying A.N. technology to group communication and the strengths of good frameworks.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available