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Fundamentals of Data Communication Networks by Oliver C. Ibe

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Chapter 1Overview of Data Communication Networks

1.1 Introduction

In a very broad sense, a network is any interconnected group of people or devices that are capable of sharing meaningful information with one another. In the telecommunication sense, a data communication network is a collection of two or more computing devices that are interconnected to enable them to share data. Data communication networking arose in response to the need to share data in a timely manner. Data sharing and information dissemination are critical to the success of any business. Thus, data communication networks are important to all contemporary organizations.

As discussed earlier, data communication networks deal with the transfer of data between two points. Data originates at the source and is finally delivered to the destination, which is also called a sink. Sometimes, the source and destination are interconnected by one link; at other times, the data must traverse multiple links to reach the destination. A typical communication environment includes multiple sources and sinks that are interconnected by communication links to build a network. Thus, a communication network is essentially an arrangement of hardware and software that allows users to exchange information.

1.2 Data Communication Network Model

A communication model is necessary to enable us to introduce the main elements of a communication system as well as to define some of the terminology used in the remainder of this book. A communication ...

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