On Distributed Communications

II. Digital Simulation of Hot-Potato Routing in a Broadband Distributed Communications Network

by Paul Baran, Sharla P. Boehm


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One in a series of eleven Memoranda detailing the Distributed Adaptive Message Block Network, a proposed digital data communications system based on a distributed network concept. It describes preliminary computer simulation of a message routing scheme investigated as part of a study of ways of reducing the vulnerability of command and control communications networks. This routing doctrine, referred to as the “hot-potato” switching doctrine, differs from normal store-and-forward switching in that it permits an apparent real-time transmission of data even though it itself uses store-and-forward techniques.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

  • Summary

  • Section One


  • Section Two

    The Simulated Network

  • Section Three

    Description of the Program: Subroutines

  • Section Four

    Time Scale and Scaling Factors

  • Section Five

    Determination of Learning Time

  • Section Six

    Determination of Traffic Handling Capacity

  • Section Seven

    Determination of Path Length

  • Appendix A

    Sample Output

  • Appendix B

    Program Listing

  • List of Publications in the Series

This research is sponsored by the United States Air Force under Project RAND-Contract No. AF 49(638)-700 monitored by the Directorate of Development Plans, Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development, Hq USAF.

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