Semantics for Joining Multipoint Leaves

In the following, a multipoint socket is frequently described by defining its role in one of the two planes (control or data). It should be understood that this same socket has a role in the other plane, but this is not mentioned in order to keep the references short. For example when a reference is made to a "c_root socket", this could be either a c_root/d_root or a c_root/d_leaf socket.

In rooted control plane schemes, new leaf nodes are added to a multipoint session in one or both of two different ways. In the first method, the root uses WSAJoinLeaf to initiate a connection with a leaf node and to invite it to become a participant. On the leaf node, the peer application must have created a c_leaf socket and used listen to set it into listen mode. The leaf node receives an FD_ACCEPT indication when invited to join the session, and signals its willingness to join by calling WSAAccept. The root application then receives an FD_CONNECT indication when the join operation has been completed.

In the second method, the roles are essentially reversed. The root application creates a c_root socket and sets it into listen mode. A leaf node wishing to join the session creates a c_leaf socket and uses WSAJoinLeaf to initiate the connection and request admittance. The root application receives FD_ACCEPT when an incoming admittance request arrives, and admits the leaf node by calling WSAAccept. The leaf node receives FD_CONNECT when it has been admitted.

In a nonrooted control plane, where all nodes are c_leaf's, the WSAJoinLeaf is used to initiate the inclusion of a node into an existing multipoint session. An FD_CONNECT indication is provided when the join has been completed and the returned socket descriptor is usable in the multipoint session. In the case of IP multicast, this would correspond to the IP_ADD_MEMBERSHIP socket option.

(Readers familiar with IP multicast's use of the connectionless UDP protocol may be concerned by the connection-oriented semantics presented here. In particular the notion of using WSAJoinLeaf on a UDP socket and waiting for an FD_CONNECT indication may be troubling. There is, however, ample precedent for applying connection-oriented semantics to connectionless protocols. It is allowed and sometimes useful, for example, to invoke the standard connect function on a UDP socket. The general result of applying connection-oriented semantics to connectionless sockets is a restriction in how such sockets may be used, and this is the case here, as well. A UDP socket used in WSAJoinLeaf will have certain restrictions, and waiting for an FD_CONNECT indication (which in this case simply indicates that the corresponding IGMP message has been sent) is one such limitation.)

There are therefore, three instances where an application would use WSAJoinLeaf acting as a:

  • Multipoint root and inviting a new leaf to join the session
  • Leaf making an admittance request to a rooted multipoint session
  • Leaf seeking admittance to a nonrooted multipoint session (for example, IP multicast)