Several multiparty communication paradigms, such as multicast and anycast, have been discussed in the literature and some of them have been used to build applications. There is a vast design space to be explored in implementing these communication paradigms over the wide area Internet. Ideally, application programmers should be able to use these paradigms independent of their implementation details and implementors should be able to explore the design space. However, this is hindered by the lack of three components; a naming system to identify the paradigms, a standard API, and a system to deploy the implementations. We provide a framework to address the above problems. The framework includes a model to name the communication paradigms through the notion of communication types. It also provides an API suitable for all communication types. The framework also includes a middleware that facilitates the implementation and deployment of communication types. We have implemented a wide assortment of communication types and we demonstrate their utility and the effectiveness of the framework through some simple example applications. We also show that the cost interposed by the middleware is minimal and that the framework facilitates the concise implementation of communication types.
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