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This paper discusses architectural details related to a possible evolution in the protocol stack design, enabling to move a set of functions implemented at a particular layer of the protocol stack of one node to another element of the network (node, router, or base station). Communication with the functional block detached in such way is performed using a predefined communication interface. This novel paradigm is refereed to as distributed protocol stacks, and aims at providing a framework for performance optimization of data transfer, improved QoS provisioning, as well as advances in network design, operation, and management.
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