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Thesis Defense - Ryan

Using Event-Based Translation to Support Dynamic Protocol Evolution
Nathan Ryan
Computer Science PhD Candidate
10/5/2004
10:00am-12:00pm

All systems built from distributed components involve the use of one or more protocols for inter-component communication. Whether these protocols are based on a broadly used "standard" or are specially designed for a particular application, they are likely to evolve. The goal of the work described here is to contribute techniques that can support protocol evolution.

We are concerned not with how or why a protocol might evolve, or even whether that evolution is in some sense correct. Rather, our concern is with making it possible for applications to accommodate protocol changes dynamically. Our approach is based on a method for isolating the syntactic details of a protocol from the semantic concepts manipulated within components.

Protocol syntax is formally specified in terms of tokens, message structures, and message sequences. Event-based translation techniques are used in a novel way to present to the application the semantic concepts embodied by these syntactic elements. We illustrate our approach by showing how it would support an HTTP 1.1 client interacting with an HTTP 1.0 server.

Committee: Alexander Wolf, Professor (Chair)
Dennis Heimbigner, Research Associate Professor
Kenneth Anderson, Assistant Professor
Amer Diwan, Assistant Professor
William Waite, Professor
Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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