Appendix E. TCP/IP GAME


The purpose of this game is to help you better understand how messages are transmitted in TCP/IP-based computer networks. Players are organized into five-person teams that represent different computers in the network. Each person in the team assumes the role of one layer of software or hardware on that computer (e.g., data link layer) and works with the others to send messages through the network.

General Rules

  1. This is a team game. The class will be broken into a set of five-member teams, with each team being one computer in the communications network. Each person in the team will role-play one layer in the computer, either the application layer, the transport layer, the network layer, the data link layer, or the physical layer.

  2. Messages will be created by the application layer and passed to the transport layer. The transport layer will break the message into several smaller messages if necessary and pass them to the network layer. The network layer will address and route the message and pass the message to the data link layer. The data link layer will format the message and perform error control (which will involve sending ACKs and NAKs) and pass the message to the physical layer for transmission. The physical layer will transmit the message to the physical layer of the destination computer. Messages are sent using the forms in Figure E.1. Be sure to make lots of copies of the forms before the game starts.

  3. Each layer will have a set of instructions ...

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