Programming Overlay Networks with Overlay Sockets

  • Jörg Liebeherr
  • Jianping Wang
  • Guimin Zhang
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2816)


The emergence of application-layer overlay networks has inspired the development of new network services and applications. Research on overlay networks has focused on the design of protocols to maintain and forward data in an overlay network, however, less attention has been given to the software development process of building application programs in such an environment. Clearly, the complexity of overlay network protocols calls for suitable application programming interfaces (APIs) and abstractions that do not require detailed knowledge of the overlay protocol, and, thereby, simplify the task of the application programmer. In this paper, we present the concept of an overlay socket as a new programming abstraction that serves as the end point of communication in an overlay network. The overlay socket provides a socket-based API that is independent of the chosen overlay topology, and can be configured to work for different overlay topologies. The overlay socket can support application data transfer over TCP, UDP, or other transport protocols. This paper describes the design of the overlay socket and discusses API and configuration options. The overlay socket has been used to develop a variety of applications, from multicast-file transfer programs, to multicast video streaming systems.


Overlay Networks Application-layer Multicast OverlayNetwork Programming 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörg Liebeherr
    • 1
  • Jianping Wang
    • 1
  • Guimin Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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