On Distributed Communications Series

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


This Memorandum is one in a series of eleven RAND Memoranda detailing the Distributed Adaptive Message Block Network, a proposed digital data communications system based on a distributed network concept, as presented in Vol. I in the series.[1] Various other items in the series deal with specific features of the concept, results of experimental modelings, engineering design considerations, and background and future implications.

The series, entitled On Distributed Communications, is a part of The RAND Corporation's continuing program of research under U.S. Air Force Project RAND, and is related to research in the field of command and control and in governmental and military planning and policy making.

The present Memorandum, the second in the series, 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.

The purpose of the simulation was primarily to determine whether the doctrine contained any unforeseen problems, and to define first-cut design parameters. A further simulation permitting faster operating speeds and a larger array of nodes is reported in Vol. III in the series.

[1] A list of all items in the series is found on p. 47.