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The Case for a Network Protocol Isolation Layer

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Executive Summary

Network protocols are typically designed and tested individually. In practice, however, applications use multiple protocols concurrently. This discrepancy can lead to failures from unanticipated interactions between protocols. In this paper, the authors argue that sensor network communication stacks should have an isolation layer, whose purpose is to make each protocol's perception of the wireless channel independent of what other protocols are running. The authors identify two key mechanisms the isolation layer must provide: shared collision avoidance and fair channel allocation.

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