A flexible way of building modular communication stacks relies on the use of protocol composition. This paper describes a protocol composition framework that simplifies the task of deriving the worst-case response time of a protocol composition from the protocol implementation. In order to derive the worst-case response time of a protocol composition, one needs to capture its event-graph: the event-graph consists of the set of all events processed by each component and the relation between those events. The framework, called RT-Appia, takes a pragmatic approach: instead of requiring the use of domain specific code analysis tools, or dedicated compilers, it simply requires protocol programmers to make explicit which events are processed and produced by each layer, and how these events are related. An interesting aspect of the approach is that the same data structures that are used to simplify the task of computing the worst-case response time of the protocol composition are also used to optimize the performance and to debug the resulting implementation.
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