LCM: Lightweight Communications and Marshalling

  • Huang A
  • Olson E
  • Moore D
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Abstract

We describe the Lightweight Communications and Marshalling (LCM) library
for message passing and data marshalling. The primary goal of LCM
is to simplify the development of low-latency message passing systems,
especially for real-time robotics research applications. Messages
can be transmitted between different processes using LCM's publish/subscribe
message-passing system. A platformand language-independent type specification
language separates message description from implementation. Message
specifications are automatically compiled into language-specific
bindings, eliminating the need for users to implement marshalling
code while guaranteeing run-time type safety. LCM is notable in providing
a real-time deep traffic inspection tool that can decode and display
message traffic with minimal user effort and no impact on overall
system performance. This and other features emphasize LCM's focus
on simplifying both the development and debugging of message passing
systems. In this paper, we explain the design of LCM, evaluate its
performance, and describe its application to a number of autonomous
land, underwater, and aerial robots.

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Authors

  • Albert S. Huang

  • Edwin Olson

  • David C. Moore

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