Efficient Data Processing using Cross Layer Hints
Kramer, Michael J.
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Conventional network stacks define a layered architecture, where each layer implements a set of services and exports a well-defined interface to be used by its immediate upper layer. A key design choice of the layered architecture has been to provide isolation between the functional modules of distinct layers. While such an architecture provides an useful abstraction for system development, the strict isolation of this layered architecture limits the flexibility of tailoring the behavior of the lower layers of the stack to the needs of the application. In this paper we define a new architecture, called X-Tags, which allows flexible interaction between layers for cooperative data processing without impacting the isolation property. In this architecture, applications use special tags to provide semantic hints for data processing to lower layers. We motivate the usefulness of this architecture by describing ts applicability to some emerging applications. UMIACS-TR-2002-59