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A network architecture for heterogeneous mobile computing

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13 Author(s)
Brewer, E.A. ; California Univ., Berkeley, CA, USA ; Katz, R.H. ; Chawathe, Y. ; Gribble, S.D.
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This article summarizes the results of the BARWAN project, which focused on enabling truly useful mobile networking across an extremely wide variety of real-world networks and mobile devices. We present the overall architecture, summarize key results, and discuss four broad lessons learned along the way. The architecture enables seamless roaming in a single logical overlay network composed of many heterogeneous (mostly wireless) physical networks, and provides significantly better TCP performance for these networks. It also provides complex scalable and highly available services to enable powerful capabilities across a very wide range of mobile devices, and mechanisms for automated discovery and configuration of localized services. Four broad themes arose from the project: (1) the power of dynamic adaptation as a generic solution to heterogeneity, (2) the importance of cross-layer information, such as the exploitation of TCP semantics in the link layer, (3) the use of agents in the infrastructure to enable new abilities and to hide new problems from legacy servers and protocol stacks, and (4) the importance of soft state for such agents for simplicity, ease of fault recovery, and scalability

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Personal Communications, IEEE  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 5 )