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A framework based approach to the development of network aware applications

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2 Author(s)
J. Bolliger ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Fed.. Inst. of Technol., Zurich, Switzerland ; T. Gross

Modern networks provide a QoS (quality of service) model to go beyond best-effort services, but current QoS models are oriented towards low-level network parameters (e.g., bandwidth, latency, jitter). Application developers, on the other hand, are interested in quality models that are meaningful to the end-user and, therefore, struggle to bridge the gap between network and application QoS models. Examples of application quality models are response time, predictability or a budget (for transmission costs). Applications that can deal with changes in the network environment are called network-aware. A network-aware application attempts to adjust its resource demands in response to network performance variations. This paper presents a framework-based approach to the construction of network-aware programs. At the core of the framework is a feedback loop that controls the adjustment of the application to network properties. The framework provides the skeleton to address two fundamental challenges for the construction of network-aware applications: how to find out about dynamic changes in network service quality; and how to map application-centric quality measures (e.g., predictability) to network-centric quality measures (e.g., QoS models that focus on bandwidth or latency). Our preliminary experience with a prototype network-aware image retrieval system demonstrates the feasibility of our approach. The prototype illustrates that there is more to network-awareness than just taking network resources and protocols into account and raises questions that need to be addressed (from a software engineering point of view) to make a general approach to network-aware applications useful

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 5 )