System Support for Partition-Aware Network Applications

Author: O. Babaoglu, R. Davoli, A. Montresor, R. Segala

Appears: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS '98), pages 184-191, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, May 1998.

Abstract: Network applications and services need to be environment-aware in order to meet non-functional requirements in increasingly dynamic contexts. In this paper we consider partition awareness as an instance of environment awareness in network applications that need to be reliable and self-managing. Partition-aware applications dynamically reconfigure themselves and adjust the quality of their services in response to partitioning and merging of networks. As such, they can automatically adapt to changes in the environment so as to remain available in multiple partitions without blocking, albeit with reduced or degraded functionality. We propose a system layer consisting of group membership and reliable multicast services that provides systematic support for partition-aware application development. We illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed interface by solving several problems that represent different classes of realistic network applications.

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