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In this paper, the authors introduce XLayer, a cross-layer communications substrate for tactical Information Management Systems which enable nodes on a radio network to seamlessly communicate with nodes on different heterogeneous networks. While conventional cross-layer strategies for tactical environments tend to focus on the localized optimization between neighbor layers of the communications stack, their approach focuses on the interface between middleware and the underlying communications infrastructure. The XLayer communications substrate leverages native information and services available at the tactical communications infrastructure to improve the functionally and capabilities of overlay applications and middleware.
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