Spyros Panagiotakis and Vangelis Gazis
Communication Networks Laboratory, University of Athens
Despite the strong trend to support an evolutionary dimension of mobile communication architectures and to re-use existing infrastructure investments as much as possible, a number of wireless access technologies have emerged over the last decade. Targeted to different application domains and aimed to satisfy different quality of service levels, wireless system architectures tend to exhibit a varying number of similarities and dissimilarities – both in structure and function. However, reconfigurability as an emerging enabler for system integration and flexible service provision support brings about the impeding support for advanced software development practices in mobile communication system software. Numerous research efforts have been undertaken or are currently under way in the fields of adaptive, parameterisable or extendable protocols. The adaptive protocols are characterised by their ability to be configured and initialised at session initiation based on specific communication conditions (e.g. user-, terminal-, network- or service/application-dependent) and then to be reconfigured and re-adapted properly, even at run-time, following the changes in their communication environment. This chapter, which can be considered as an introductory survey to protocol adaptability, presents the origins, drivers and general requirements behind protocol adaptability and protocol ...