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OSPF: Anatomy of an Internet Routing Protocol by John T. Moy

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Chapter 1. Role of Routers in the Internet

The Internet is a packet-switching network that enables its attached computers—the PC on your desk, the high-end workstation that enables you to enroll in your local university over the Web, the mainframe that checks your credit card balance, the supercomputer that you use for simulations in your physics labs—to exchange information. This information is encoded as long strings of bits called packets. As these packets travel through the Internet on their way to their destination computers, routing decisions are made: Should the packet be sent this way or that way? The devices making these decisions are themselves computers, called routers. The distributed algorithms that the routers run among themselves ...

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