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Scientific Programming
Volume 7 (1999), Issue 2, Pages 147-156

U-Net/SLE: A Java-Based User-Customizable Virtual Network Interface

Matt Welsh, David Oppenheimer, and David Culler

Computer Science Division, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We describe U‐Net/SLE (Safe Language Extensions), a user‐level network interface architecture which enables per‐application customization of communication semantics through downloading of user extension applets, implemented as Java classfiles, to the network interface. This architecture permits applications to safely specify code to be executed within the NI on message transmission and reception. By leveraging the existing U‐Net model, applications may implement protocol code at the user level, within the NI, or using some combination of the two. Our current implementation, using the Myricom Myrinet interface and a small Java Virtual Machine subset, allows host communication overhead to be reduced and improves the overlap of communication and computation during protocol processing.