There are many ways to approach teaching (or understanding) the fundamentals of computer network operation. For instance, one rather traditional way is to begin by examining the operation of a control plane in total, from building neighbor adjacencies to carrying information to building routes. Another common method is to start with a model, such as the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) model, and describe the operation of the protocols from within the model. These methods have obviously been useful in teaching engineers and engineering students about how computer networks work, as they have been used to teach thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of network engineers over the last 30 years.

But—in the view of the authors writing ...

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