Chapter 3. The Data Link Layer

In this chapter we will study the design principles for layer 2, the data link layer. This study deals with the algorithms for achieving reliable, efficient communication between two adjacent machines at the data link layer. By adjacent, we mean that the two machines are connected by a communication channel that acts conceptually like a wire (e.g., a coaxial cable, telephone line, or point-to-point wireless channel). The essential property of a channel that makes it ‘‘wirelike’’ is that the bits are delivered in exactly the same order in which they are sent.

At first you might think this problem is so trivial that there is no software to study—machine A just puts the bits on the wire, and machine B just takes them ...

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