A Dynamic Network Architecture

Sean W. O'Malley, Larry L. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Network software is a critical component of any distributed system. Because of its complexity, network software is commonly layered into a hierarchy of protocols, or more generally, into a protocol graph. Typical protocol graphs—including those standardized in the ISO and TCP/IP network architectures—share three important properties; the protocol graph is simple, the nodes of the graph 1992 encapsulate complex functionality, and the topology of the graph is relatively static. This paper describes a new way to organize network software that differs from conventional architectures in all three of these properties. In our approach, the protocol graph is complex, individual protocols encapsulate a single function, and the topology of the graph is dynamic. The main contribution of this paper is to describe the ideas behind our new architecture, illustrate the advantages of using the architecture, and demonstrate that the architecture results in efficient network software.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-143
Number of pages34
JournalACM Transactions on Computer Systems (TOCS)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 5 1992


  • composibility
  • dynamic configuration
  • reuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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