On Distributed Communications Series

IV. Priority, Precedence, and Overload


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 fourth in the series, is concerned with the establishment of traffic precedence doctrines designed to achieve optimum utilization of the communications resource, especially within a seriously degraded and overloaded network.

The proposed all-digital network has properties that differ in many respects from conventional communications networks. Network control features that can be performed only with great difficulty in conventional systems can be readily incorporated into a network of the type contemplated. While this Memorandum is oriented primarily around the distributed digital network, the considerations are sufficiently general to be of interest to those concerned with the best utilization of an overloaded and impaired command and control communications network.

[1] A list of all items in the series is found on p. 61.