The end-to-end principle is a design framework in computer networking. In networks designed according to this principle, application-specific features reside in the communicating end nodes of the network, rather than in intermediary nodes, such as gateways and routers , that exist to establish the network. The essence of what would later be called the end-to-end principle was contained in the work of Paul Baran and Donald Davies on packet-switched networks in the s.
Also, noteworthy formulations of the end-to-end principle can be found prior to the seminal Saltzer, Reed, and Clark paper. A basic premise of the principle is that the payoffs from adding features to a simple network quickly diminish, especially in cases in which the end hosts have to implement those functions only for reasons of conformance, i. The end-to-end principle is closely related, and sometimes seen as a direct precursor, to the principle of net neutrality. The fundamental notion behind the end-to-end principle is that for two processes communicating with each other via some communication means, the reliability obtained from that means cannot be expected to be perfectly aligned with the reliability requirements of the processes.
In particular, meeting or exceeding very high reliability requirements of communicating processes separated by networks of nontrivial size is more costly than obtaining the required degree of reliability by positive end-to-end acknowledgements and retransmissions referred to as PAR or ARQ.
end to end
The end-to-end principle does not trivially extend to functions beyond end-to-end error control and correction. In a paper, Blumenthal and Clark note: To quote from a Baran paper, "Reliability and raw error rates are secondary.
The network must be built with the expectation of heavy damage anyway. Powerful error removal methods exist.
Because of this, loss of packets, if it is sufficiently rare, can be tolerated. The French CYCLADES network was the first to make the hosts responsible for the reliable delivery of data, rather than this being a centralized service of the network itself. Internet Protocol IP is a connectionless datagram service with no delivery guarantees.
On the internet, IP is used for nearly all communications. End-to-end acknowledgment and retransmission is the responsibility of the connection-oriented Transmission Control Protocol TCP which sits on top of IP. The functional split between IP and TCP exemplifies proper application of the end-to-end principle to transport protocol design. An example of the end-to-end principle is that of an arbitrarily reliable file transfer between two endpoints in a distributed network of a varying, nontrivial size: The most important limitation of the end-to-end principle is that its basic premise, placing functions in the application end points rather than in the intermediary nodes, is not trivial to implement.
An example of the limitations of the end-to-end principle exists in mobile devices.
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Pushing service-specific complexity to the endpoints can cause issues with mobile devices if the device has unreliable access to network channels. The implementation of new protocols such as Internet Protocol version 6 also has potential consequences for the end-to-end principle. You like your news fresh!
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