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Elements of Network protocol

  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 24 Aug, 2020

Protocol :
Set of rules that govern data communication.

Network communication protocol requires following elements :

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  1. Message encoding :
    A source message from sender is encoded into signals or waves then transmitted through a medium wired / wireless then received and decoded and message is passed to destination. Encoding is the process of transforming set of Unicode characters into a sequence of bytes.

    Message Source  –> Encoder  –> Transmitter –> Transmitter Medium –>
    Receiver –>Decoder –> Message destination
  2. Message formatting and encapsulation :
    There is an agreed format by sender and receiver. It encapsulates information to identify sender and receiver rightly.

    A message format will depend on the type of message and the medium through which the message is delivered.
    Message encapsulation is a process that is used to place one message inside another message for transfer from the source to the destination.

  3. Message size :
    Here long messages must break into small pieces to travel across a network or The process of breaking up a long message into individual pieces before being sent over the network.

    Example – In mobile phone SMS limits message size to 160 normal alphabet characters. For non-alphabet character, It needs 16 bit of data to represent them limiting size to 70 characters only.

  4. Message timing :
    It manages flow control. Acknowledgments response time out. This requires certain timing control information. It checks for any delays in data passing. It includes rules like Access method, flow control, response timeout.
  5. Message delivery options :
    There are different delivery options like Unicast, Multicast, Broadcast.

    Sending information to a single person is referred to as a one-to-one delivery and is called unicast which implies that there is only one destination (single destination).

    To communicate information to more than one person (Group of people at the same time) is referred to as one-to-many and is called multicast which implies that one sender to multiple destinations/recipients for the same message.

    Sometimes information is to be communicated to every person in the same area. This is referred to as one-to-all and is called broadcast which implies that one sender sends a message to all connected recipients.

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