NCS: Message Transfer Systems

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This lecture describes different choices for message transfer systems in a networked control system. The message transfer system is responsible for managing network communications between computers and software modules with the control system. We focus on systems that are build on top of the TCP/IP protocol stack. Design choices include how to encode information in packets, whether to broadcast or send packets point-to-point, and whether to retransmit packets on lost data transmission. Because of the closed loop nature of the networked embedded systems that we are programming, timing and latency are critical issues. We focus on the use of spread as a specific example of a low-level message transfer subsystem and describe how it can be used in a NCS context.

Lecture Materials


Technical Report CNDS-98-4, The Center for Networking and Distributed Systems, The Johns Hopkins University, 1998. The paper provides an overview of the Spread Toolkit, which provides a simple mechanism for networked communications.

Additional Resources