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Sharing resources
Medium Access Control
To understand the operation of Medium Access Control algorithms, it is often interesting to use a geometric representation of the transmission of frames on a shared medium. This representation is suitable if the communicating devices are attached to a single cable. Consider a simple scenario with a host connected at one end of a cable. For simplicity, let us consider a cable that has a length of one kilometer. Let us also consider that the propagation delay of the electrical signal is five microseconds per kilometer. The figure below shows the transmission of a 2000 bits frame at 100 Mbps by host A on the cable.
If the transmitting host is located at another position on the shared medium than one of the edges, then the geometrical pattern that represents the transmission of a frame is slightly different. If the transmitting host is placed in the middle of the cable, then the signal is transmitted in both directions on the cable. The figure below shows the transmission of one 100 bits frame at 100 Mbps by host C on the same cable.
In a shared medium, a collision may happen if two hosts transmit at almost the same time as shown in the example below.
Consider the following scenario for the ALOHA medium access control algorithm. Three hosts are attached to a one-kilometer long cable and transmit 1000 bits frames at 1 Mbps. Each arrow represents a request to transmit a frame on the corresponding host. Each square represents 250 microseconds in the figure. Represent all the transmitted frames and list the frames that collide.
Same question as above, but now consider that the hosts transmit 1000 bits frames at 100 Mbps. The cable has a length of 2 kilometers. C is in the middle of the cable. Each square in the figure below corresponds to 10 microseconds.
In ALOHA, the hosts rely on acknowledgments to detect whether their frame has been received correctly by the destination. Consider a network running at 100 Mbps where the host exchange 1000 bits frames and acknowledgments of 100 bits. Draw the frames sent by hosts A and B in the figure below. Assume that a square corresponds to 10 microseconds and that the cable has a length of 2 kilometers.
Same question as above, but now assume that the retransmission timer of each host is set to 50 microseconds.
In practice, hosts transmit variable length frames. Consider a cable having a bandwidth of 100 Mbps and a length of 2 kilometers.
With CSMA, hosts need to listen to the communication channel before starting their transmission. Consider again a 2 kilometers long cable where hosts send frames at 100 Mbps. Show in the figure below the correct transmission of frames with CSMA.
CSMA/CD does not use acknowledgments but instead assumes that each host can detect collisions by listening while transmitting. Consider a 2 kilometers long cable running at 10 Mbps. Show in the figure below the utilization of the communication channel and the collisions that would occur. For this exercise, do not attempt to retransmit the frames that have collided.
Consider again a network that uses CSMA/CD. This time, the bandwidth is set to 1 Gbps and the cable has a length of two kilometers. When a collision occurs, consider that the hosts B and C retransmit immediately while host A waits for the next slot.
An important part of the CSMA/CD algorithm is the exponential backoff. To illustrate the operation of this algorithm, let us consider a cable that has a length of one kilometer. The bandwidth of the network is set to 10 Mbps. Assume that when a collision occurs, host A always selects the highest possible random delay according to the exponential backoff algorithm while host B always selects the shortest one. In this network, the slot time is equal to the time required to transmit 100 bits. We further assume that a host can detect collision immediately (i.e. as soon as the other frame arrives).
Fairness and congestion control
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