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Synthesis of Communication Protocols: Survey and Assessment
April 1991 (vol. 40 no. 4)
pp. 468-476

Eleven methods for the synthesis of communication protocols are described. Based on particular features of the synthesis process, these methods are classified and compared. In particular, it is noted that interactive methods allow flexibility in the design process; as a result, communication patterns are not prespecified but may be constructed interactively. Methods that only consider the synchronous mode of behavior of communicating entities exclude a wide range of real-life protocols. Methods that make no reference to service requirements do not guarantee the semantic correctness of the synthesized protocol and therefore require the application of a semantic verification procedure. Most methods concentrate on the synthesis of the control part of the protocol entities, which mainly consists of the exchange of synchronization messages. The data part is not adequately treated by any of the synthesis methods. Other than the exchange of synchronization messages, some methods have been extended to deal with unreliable media by synthesizing error-recovery patterns. Some new research directions for enhancing the applicability of the synthesis approach to the design of real-life protocols are obtained.

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Index Terms:
communication protocols synthesis; survey; assessment; interactive methods; design process; synchronous mode of behavior; communicating entities; semantic correctness; error-recovery patterns; protocols.
Citation:
R.L. Probert, K. Saleh, "Synthesis of Communication Protocols: Survey and Assessment," IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 468-476, April 1991, doi:10.1109/12.88466
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