ARPA Network Series

I. Introduction to the ARPA Network at RAND and to the RAND Video Graphic System

by T. O. Ellis, Eric F. Harslem, J. F. Heafner, K. Uncapher


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An overview of the Advanced Research Projects Agency's experimental computer network, and a technical description of the RAND Video Graphic System that links RAND computing resources into the network. Based on principles of distributed communications without a central control point, set forth in a 1964 RAND publication series, the ARPA network has 18 nodes, located at 10 university sites, 4 research institutes (RAND, SDC, SRI, Mitre), 2 manufacturers (BB&N, Burroughs), and Rome Air Development Center. Computers of different make, model, size, speed, hardware, and software are interconnected by small special Interface Message Processor computers at each site. SRI handles all network documentation. UCLA analyzes performance statistics. BB&N coordinates maintenance and testing. RAND will experiment with information processing techniques. Network control programs are being written at each site. The Video Graphic System and its relation to the network are described and illustrated. (See also RM-3097, RM-3103, RM-3420, RM-3578, RM-3638, RM-3762-RM-3767.)

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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