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Network Algorithmics by George Varghese

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Chapter 6

Transferring Control

Control thy passions, lest they take vengeance on thee.

— EPICETUS

In a Scott Adams cartoon, Dilbert complains to Dogbert that he is embarassed to work at a company where even paying a simple invoice takes 6 months. The invoice first comes into the mail room for aging, spends some time at the secretary’s desk, goes to the desk of the main decision maker, and finally ends up in accounts payable. When processing an invoice in Dilbert’s company, the flow of control works its way through layers of command, each of which incurs significant overhead.

A management consultant might suggest that Dilbert’s company streamline the processing of an invoice by eliminating mediating layers wherever possible and by making each layer ...

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