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5.2. Reliable Byte Stream (TCP)

5.2. Reliable Byte Stream (TCP)

In contrast to a simple demultiplexing protocol like UDP, a more sophisticated transport protocol is one that offers a reliable, connection-oriented, byte-stream service. Such a service has proven useful to a wide assortment of applications because it frees the application from having to worry about missing or reordered data. The Internet's Transmission Control Protocol is probably the most widely used protocol of this type; it is also the most carefully tuned. It is for these two reasons that this section studies TCP in detail, although we identify and discuss alternative design choices at the end of the section.
In terms of the properties of transport protocols given in the problem statement at the start of this chapter, TCP guarantees the reliable, in-order delivery of a stream of bytes. It is a full-duplex protocol, meaning that each TCP connection supports a pair of byte streams, one flowing in each direction. It also includes a flow-control mechanism for each of these byte streams that allows the receiver to limit how much data the sender can transmit at a given time. Finally, like UDP, TCP supports a demultiplexing mechanism that allows multiple application programs on any given host to simultaneously carry on a conversation with their peers. In addition to the above features, TCP also implements a highly tuned (and still evolving) congestion....Chapter 6

  

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