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A Flexible Cross-Layer Interface for Ad-Hoc Networks: Architectural Design and Implementation Issues

Cross layering has recently emerged as a new trend to cope with performance issues of mobile ad hoc networks. The concept behind this technique is to exploit local information produced by other protocols, so as to enable optimizations and deliver better network performance. However, the need for a new interaction paradigm inside the protocol stack has to face with the legacy aspects of classical architectures (e.g., the Internet), where layer separation allows for easy standardization and deployment. In this paper, we show that cross layering can be achieved maintaining a clean architectural modularity, making protocols exchange information through a vertical interface. Specifically, we present the design of a cross-layer module, providing a functional analysis and a proof of concepts of its “usability” at different layers of the protocol stack. Finally, we discuss some guidelines for a possible implementation in a real operating system environment.

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