In this thesis a framework for the design of communication protocols is presented. It provides a theoretical foundation for an existing design method used in industry. The framework supports the specification of protocols as well as the generation of protocol interfaces. For the specification an appropriate formal design language is defined based on dataflow algebras. The language contains operators for conditional choice, hierarchical modelling and the specification of pipelines. For a protocol specification the framework provides decomposition rules that produce an interface for each component of the system for which the protocol has been defined. These rules formally relate dataflow-algebraic models with process-algebraic ones. Thus, the framework provides an intuitive and general as well as formally defined design method for communication protocols. As a case study the PI-bus protocol has been modelled using this framework.