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This paper argues a new relevance for an old idea: Decomposing transport protocols into a set of resuable building blocks that can be recomposed in different ways depending on application requirements. The authors conjecture that point-to-point applications may well be adequately served by the existing suite of monolithic protocol implementations, but widely-distributed peer-to-peer systems such as overlays are not: The design space of transport protocols between nodes in a large, highly coordinated system is much larger. The authors provide several examples of existing systems that have implemented a diverse range of transport protocols, and show how a building-block approach covers these systems well, enabling simple specification of hybrids and variants of the protocols.
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