Integrating a Data Description Language with Protocol Stack Development

Y. Wang and V. Gaspes (Sweden)


Network programming, Communication software, Domain-specific languages.


Communication software, most notoriously protocol stacks, are an area of growing interest. Many compa nies implement new or revised protocols for new applica tion requirements, and reimplement well-known infrastruc ture protocol stacks to accomodate to new hardware and software platforms. However, due to the complexity and performance-critical nature of communication software, implementing protocol stacks remains a time-consuming and error-prone task with considerable impact on time to market, scalability and maintainance. The work at hand investigates how to provide program development support for protocol stack implementation to make it easier and more likely to be correct while respecting non-functional constraints. We present a language-based approach for the implementation of protocol stacks. We define a domain specific embedded language, IPS, for declaratively describ ing overlaid protocol stacks. In IPS a high-level packet specification is described using a data description language which is compiled into a.) an internal data representation, and b.) packet processing functions in C. Both are then in tegrated into the dataflow framework of a protocol overlay specification. IPS generates highly portable C code for var ious architectures from this source. We present the com pilation framework for generating packet processing and protocol logic code, and a preliminary evaluation.

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