|NDL waterloo.edu!qucis!fokas@RELAY.CS.NET (Elias Fokas) (1989-02-16)|
|From:||Elias Fokas <waterloo.edu!qucis!fokas@RELAY.CS.NET>|
|Date:||Thu, 16 Feb 89 23:12:57 EST|
|Organization:||Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada|
Network Definition Language (NDL)
The ever increasing complexity and popularity of computer networks
are a challenge to the network designer. Not only can he not afford
any compromise of quality, but also he is required to design and
maintain larger networks in less time.
Evidently, the use of an appropriate software tool will facilitate
the designer's job.
We think that the kernel of any such tool should consist of a means
to completely and explicitly define the network, i.e. a Network
Conceptually, NDL will:
1. enforce user defined semantic and syntactic restrictions on the
structure of the network (i.e. a network may only contain previously
defined components which may be interconnected only in certain patterns).
2. introduce a user defined level of abstraction (i.e. the same network
might be "viewed" as a set of nodes and links or as a set of real life
3. isolate network-related algorithms from the actual representation
and storage of the network in the computer's memory. Once the network
is defined, any algorithm can be applied to it.
4. link any network (or network component) to a user defined "data base"
(the term is used metaphorically), containing any information the user
deems relevant (i.e. anything from the price and availability of an
ethernet adaptor to the transmission characteristics (bps, distance,
reliabilty, cost per byte etc) of a physical medium) to that particular
network (or network component).
5. provide a means of embeding functional and non-quantifiable attributes
in the definition of a network (or its components). For instance, if a
node fails and this node happens to be the administrative mainframe
the damage is considerable; whereas, if this node is the fileserver
of the secretarial services LAN, the damage is not so severe.
Preliminary research on the subject is under way. However, we have not
yet found any referernce to the aforementioned concepts.
If you have any comments or suggestions even remotely associated with
the subject, please contact:
Department of computer and information science
e-mail FOKAS@QUCIS on bitnet
Areas related to this research include: Object-oriented languages,
hardware description languages, network design, software tools,
and expert systems.
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