Efficient Engineering and Execution of Pipe-and-Filter Architectures

Wulf, Christian

Pipe-and-Filter (P&F) is a well-known and often used architectural style. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is no P&F framework which can model and execute generic P&F architectures. For example, the frameworks Fastflow, StreamIt, and Spark do not support multiple input and output streams per filter and thus cannot model branches. Other frameworks focus on very specific use cases and neglect type-safety when interconnecting filters. Furthermore, an efficient parallel execution of P&F architectures is still an open challenge. Although some available frameworks can execute filters in parallel, there is much potential for optimization. Unfortunately, most frameworks have a fixed execution strategy which cannot be altered without major changes. In this thesis, we present our generic and parallel P&F framework TeeTime. It is able to model and to execute arbitrary P&F architectures. Simultaneously, it is open for modifications in order to experiment with the P&F style. Moreover, it allows to execute filters in parallel by utilizing the capabilities of contemporary multi-core processor systems. Extensive lab experiments show that TeeTime imposes a very low and in certain cases even no runtime overhead compared to implementations without framework abstractions. Moreover, several case studies from research and industry show TeeTime’s broad applicability and extensibility. We provide a replication package containing all our experimental data and code to facilitate the verifiability, repeatability, and further extensibility of our results. Furthermore, we provide reference implementations for TeeTime in Java and in C++ as open source software on https://teetime-framework.github.io.

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Wulf, Christian: Efficient Engineering and Execution of Pipe-and-Filter Architectures. 2019.

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