You are here: Part 2: Core Concepts > Receiving Data > DataReader QosPolicies > DATA_READER_PROTOCOL QosPolicy (DDS Extension)


The DATA_READER_PROTOCOL QosPolicy applies only to DataReaders that are set up for reliable operation (see RELIABILITY QosPolicy). This policy allows the application to fine-tune the reliability protocol separately for each DataReader. For details of the reliable protocol used by Connext DDS, see Reliable Communications.

Connext DDS uses a standard protocol for packet (user and meta data) exchange between applications. The DataReaderProtocol QosPolicy gives you control over configurable portions of the protocol, including the configuration of the reliable data delivery mechanism of the protocol on a per DataReader basis.

These configuration parameters control timing and timeouts, and give you the ability to trade off between speed of data loss detection and repair, versus network and CPU bandwidth used to maintain reliability.

It is important to tune the reliability protocol on a per DataReader basis to meet the requirements of the end-user application so that data can be sent between DataWriters and DataReaders in an efficient and optimal manner in the presence of data loss.

You can also use this QosPolicy to control how DDS responds to "slow" reliable DataReaders or ones that disconnect or are otherwise lost.

See the RELIABILITY QosPolicy for more information on the per-DataReader/DataWriter reliability configuration. The HISTORY QosPolicy and RESOURCE_LIMITS QosPolicy also play an important role in the DDS reliability protocol.

This policy includes the members presented in and . For defaults and valid ranges, please refer to the API Reference HTML documentation.

When setting the fields in this policy, the following rule applies. If this is false, Connext DDS returns DDS_RETCODE_INCONSISTENT_POLICY when setting the QoS:

max_heartbeat_response_delay >= min_heartbeat_response_delay



Field Name




The virtual GUID (Global Unique Identifier) is used to uniquely identify the same DataReader across multiple incarnations. In other words, this value allows Connext DDS to remember information about a DataReader that may be deleted and then recreated.

This value is used to provide durable reader state.

For more information, see Durability and Persistence Based on Virtual GUIDs.

By default, Connext DDS will assign a virtual GUID automatically. If you want to restore the DataReader’s state after a restart, you can get the DataReader's virtual GUID using its get_qos() operation, then set the virtual GUID of the restarted DataReader to the same value.



Determines the DataReader’s RTPS object ID, according to the DDS-RTPS Interoperability Wire Protocol.

Only the last 3 bytes are used; the most significant byte is ignored.

The rtps_host_id, rtps_app_id, rtps_instance_id in the WIRE_PROTOCOL QosPolicy (DDS Extension), together with the 3 least significant bytes in rtps_object_id, and another byte assigned by Connext DDS to identify the entity type, forms the BuiltinTopicKey in SubscriptionBuiltinTopicData.



Specifies whether this DataReader expects inline QoS with every DDS sample.

DataReaders usually rely on the discovery process to propagate QoS changes for matched DataWriters. Another way to get QoS information is to have it sent inline with a DDS sample.

With Connext DDS, DataWriters and DataReaders cache discovery information, so sending inline QoS is typically unnecessary. The use of inline QoS is only needed for stateless implementations of DDS in which DataReaders do not cache Discovery information.

The complete set of QoS that a DataWriter may send inline is specified by the Real-Time Publish-Subscribe (RTPS) Wire Interoperability Protocol.

Note: The use of inline QoS creates an additional wire-payload, consuming extra bandwidth and serialization/deserialization time.



Determines whether the DataReader sends positive acknowledgements (ACKs) to matching DataWriters.

When TRUE. the matching DataWriter will keep DDS samples in its queue for this DataReader for a minimum keep duration (see Disabling Positive Acknowledgements ).

When strict-reliability is not required and NACK-based reliability is sufficient, setting this field reduces overhead network traffic.



Indicates whether or not an instance can move to the DDS_NOT_ALIVE_DISPOSED_INSTANCE_STATE state without being in the DDS_ALIVE_INSTANCE_STATE state.

When set to TRUE, the DataReader will receive dispose notifications even if the instance is not alive.

This field only applies to keyed DataReaders.

To make sure the key is available to the FooDataReader’s get_key_value() operation, use this option in combination with setting the DataWriter’s serialize_key_with_dispose field (in the DATA_WRITER_PROTOCOL QosPolicy (DDS Extension)) to TRUE.

See Propagating Serialized Keys with Disposed-Instance Notifications.



Indicates whether or not an instance can move to the DDS_NOT_ALIVE_NO_WRITERS_INSTANCE_STATE state without being in the DDS_ALIVE_INSTANCE_STATE state.

When set to TRUE, the DataReader will receive unregister notifications even if the instance is not alive.

This field only applies to keyed DataReaders.







Field Name




How long additionally received heartbeats are suppressed.

When a reliable DataReader receives consecutive heartbeats within a short duration, this may trigger redundant NACKs. To prevent the DataReader from sending redundant NACKs, the DataReader may ignore the latter heartbeat(s) for this amount of time.

See How Often Heartbeats are Resent (heartbeat_period).


Minimum delay between when the DataReader receives a heartbeat and when it sends an ACK/NACK.


Maximum delay between when the DataReader receives a heartbeat and when it sends an ACK/NACK. Increasing this value helps prevent NACK storms, but increases latency.


Rate at which to send negative acknowledgements to new DataWriters. See Example.



The number of received out-of-order DDS samples a reader can keep at a time. See Receive Window Size



The duration from sending a NACK to receiving a repair of a DDS sample. See Round-Trip Time For Filtering Redundant NACKs



The period at which application-level acknowledgment messages are sent.

A DataReader sends application-level acknowledgment messages to a DataWriter at this periodic rate, and will continue sending until it receives a message from the DataWriter that it has received and processed the acknowledgment.



The minimum number of DDS samples acknowledged by one application-level acknowledgment message.

This setting applies only when the RELIABILITY QosPolicy acknowledgment_kind is set to APPLICATION_EXPLICIT or APPLICATION_AUTO.

A DataReader will immediately send an application-level acknowledgment message when it has at least this many DDS samples that have been acknowledged. It will not send an acknowledgment message until it has at least this many DDS samples pending acknowledgment.

For example, calling the DataReader’s acknowledge_sample() this many times consecutively will trigger the sending of an acknowledgment message. Calling the DataReader’s acknowledge_all() may trigger the sending of an acknowledgment message, if at least this many DDS samples are being acknowledged at once. See Acknowledging DDS Samples.

This is independent of the DDS_RtpsReliableReaderProtocol_t’s app_ack_period, where a DataReader will send acknowledgment messages at the periodic rate regardless.

When this is set to DDS_LENGTH_UNLIMITED, acknowledgment messages are sent only periodically, at the rate set by DDS_RtpsReliableReaderProtocol_t’s app_ack_period.



Minimum duration for which application-level acknowledgment response data is kept.

The user-specified response data of an explicit application-level acknowledgment (called by DataReader’s acknowledge_sample() or acknowledge_all() operations) is cached by the DataReader for the purpose of reliably resending the data with the acknowledgment message. After this duration has passed from the time of the first acknowledgment, the response data is dropped from the cache and will not be resent with future acknowledgments for the corresponding DDS sample(s).

Receive Window Size

A reliable DataReader presents DDS samples it receives to the user in-order. If it receives DDS samples out-of-order, it stores them internally until the other missing DDS samples are received. For example, if the DataWriter sends DDS samples 1 and 2, if the DataReader receives 2 first, it will wait until it receives 1 before passing the DDS samples to the user.

The number of out-of-order DDS samples that a DataReader can keep is set by the receive_window_size. A larger window allows more out-of-order DDS samples to be kept. When the window is full, any subsequent out-of-order DDS samples received will be dropped, and such drops would necessitate NACK repairs that would degrade throughput. So, in network environments where out-of-order samples are more probable or where NACK repairs are costly, this window likely should be increased.

By default, the window is set to 256, which is the maximum number of DDS samples a single NACK submessage can request.

Round-Trip Time For Filtering Redundant NACKs

When a DataReader requests for a DDS sample to be resent, there is a delay from when the NACK is sent, to when it receives the resent DDS sample. During that delay, the DataReader may receive HEARTBEATs that normally would trigger another NACK for the same DDS sample. Such redundant repairs waste bandwidth and degrade throughput.

The round_trip_time is a user-configured estimate of the delay between sending a NACK to receiving a repair. A DataReader keeps track of when a DDS sample has been NACK'd, and will prevent subsequent NACKs from redundantly requesting for the same DDS sample, until the round trip time has passed.

Note that the default value of 0 seconds means that the DataReader does not filter for redundant NACKs.


For many applications, changing these values will not be necessary. However, the more nodes that your distributed application uses, and the greater the amount of network traffic it generates, the more likely it is that you will want to consider experimenting with these values.

When a reliable DataReader receives a heartbeat from a DataWriter, it will send an ACK/NACK packet back to the DataWriter. Instead of sending the packet out immediately, the DataReader can choose to send it after a delay. This policy sets the minimum and maximum time to delay; the actual delay will be a random value in between. (For more on heartbeats and ACK/NACK messages, see Discovery.)

Why is a delay useful? For DataWriters that have multiple reliable DataReaders, an efficient way of heartbeating all of the DataReaders is to send a single heartbeat via multicast. In that case, all of the DataReaders will receive the heartbeat (approximately) simultaneously. If all DataReaders immediately respond with a ACK/NACK packet, the network may be flooded. While the size of a ACK/NACK packet is relatively small, as the number of DataReaders increases, the chance of packet collision also increases. All of these conditions may lead to dropped packets which forces the DataWriter to send out additional heartbeats that cause more simultaneous heartbeats to be sent, ultimately resulting a network packet storm.

By forcing each DataReader to wait for a random amount of time, bounded by the minimum and maximum values in this policy, before sending an ACK/NACK response to a heartbeat, the use of the network is spread out over a period of time, decreasing the peak bandwidth required as well as the likelihood of dropped packets due to collisions. This can increase the overall performance of the reliable connection while avoiding a network storm.

When a reliable DataReader first matches a reliable DataWriter, the DataReader sends periodic NACK messages at the specified period to pull historical data from the DataWriter. The DataReader will stop sending periodic NACKs when it has received all historical data available at the time that it matched the DataWriter. The DataReader ensures that at least one NACK is sent per period; for example, if, within a NACK period, the DataReader responds to a HEARTBEAT message with a NACK, then the DataReader will not send another periodic NACK.


This QosPolicy cannot be modified after the DataReader is created.

It only applies to DataReaders, so there are no restrictions for setting it compatibly with respect to DataWriters.

Related QosPolicies

Applicable Dds Entities

System Resource Considerations

Changing the values in this policy requires making tradeoffs between minimizing latency (decreasing min_heartbeat_response_delay), maximizing determinism (decreasing the difference between min_heartbeat_response_delay and max_heartbeat_response_delay), and minimizing network collisions/spreading out the ACK/NACK packets across a time interval (increasing the difference between min_heartbeat_response_delay and max_heartbeat_response_delay and/or shifting their values between different DataReaders).

If the values are poorly chosen with respect to the characteristics and requirements of a given application, the latency and/or throughput of the application may suffer.

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