She is Jewish. Her father worked on radar and her mother was a mathematician by training who worked as a computer programmer. She enjoyed playing the piano and French horn. While her mother helped her with her math homework, they mainly talked about literature and music. She was the only woman in the class and later reflected "I was not a hands-on type person.
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These boxes are variously called bridges, routers, switches, and hubs. The book also describes the devices that connect to the network. There is considerable confusion in this area. Most of the terminology is ill defined and is used in conflicting ways. The terminology and the specifications tend to be daunting.
Some knowledge is spread among many different documents; much is unwritten folk wisdom. Adding to the confusion is dogma. Beliefs are accepted as truth, and questioning any of the dogma is often greeted with hostility. In Interconnections, Second Edition, instead of diving right into the details of one protocol, I first focus on the problems to be solved.
I examine various solutions to each of these problems and discuss the engineering trade-offs involved. Then I look at a variety of solutions that have been deployed and compare the approaches. I give technical arguments for any opinions, and if you think I have missed any arguments I welcome email discussion. My email address is at the back of the book, which I hope you will find after having read the book cover to cover.
In the first edition, my intention was to help people understand the problems and the general types of solutions, assuming that they would read the specifications to get the details of specific protocols.
But people used the book as a reference in addition to using it to understand the issues. So in this edition I have documented many more of the protocols in detail. I believe that to understand something deeply you need to compare it to something else. The first edition was "minimalist" in that I always used only two examples: two types of bridges, bridges versus routers, connection-oriented versus connectionless network layer protocols, and two examples of connectionless protocols CLNP and IP.
I did this in part because these protocols exist, and it is hard to get information about them. But mostly I did it because the protocols embody interesting ideas that should not be lost. When we design new protocols, we should learn from previous ideas, both good and bad. Also, it takes very little additional effort, after the problem is described generically, to describe several examples. Roadmap to the Book The first four chapters are not significantly different from their counterparts in the first edition, but the rest of the book has been largely rewritten.
Chapters 1 through 4 cover general networking concepts, data link issues such as addressing and multiplexing, transparent bridges and the spanning tree algorithm, and source routing bridges.
Chapter 5 is completely new and explains how the notion of a switch evolved into a rediscovery of the bridge. The remainder of the book concentrates on layer 3 the network layer. Chapter 6 gives an overview of the network layer. Chapter 7 covers connection-oriented networks, including ATM and X. Chapter 8 discusses the issues in a generic connectionless network layer.
Chapter 10 covers the information that should appear in a network layer header and contrasts the headers of several protocols. Chapter 12 covers routing algorithms generically. Chapter 13 discusses the problem of doing longest-prefix matching, which is required in order to forward IP packets quickly.
Chapter 15 covers network layer multicast. Chapter 16 explains how to design a network that is invulnerable to sabotage, an idea whose time may come.
The final two chapters summarize the book, and I hope they will be mostly light and entertaining reading. Chapter 17 probes the mystery of what, if anything, distinguishes a router from a bridge. Chapter 18 attempts to capture folk wisdom about how to design a protocol. Finally, there is an extensive glossary. I try to define terms when I first use them, but if I ever fail to do that, you will probably find them in the glossary.
Acknowledgments Writing this section is scary because I am afraid I will leave people out. The first time I sent an email question in the middle of the night when I did most of my work on this book to Craig Partridge, the co-series editor for this book, the beep indicating incoming mail happened so immediately that I assumed it was an automatic mail responder informing me he was on vacation.
But it was an answer to my question. Brian Kernighan, the other series editor, also had detailed and helpful comments on the entire book. She of all people will have read every word of the book, while maintaining the concentration to note inconsistencies and ways of removing excess words here and there. Mike Speciner helped me figure out the mysteries of Framemaker.
Ray Perlner made sure that I maintained some humor in the book and watched over my shoulder while I typed the last chapter to see that I had enough funny bad real-life protocols. Dawn Perlner has been terrifically supportive, convincing her friends and even strangers in bookstores to buy my books.
She used to be my child. Page 49, Figure 3. Page 49, Line 6: " see Figure 3. C and destination a. H and destination a.
H" Page , Line 5: "on Page , Line 3: "Notice that in this format there is" now reads "Notice that in this format there are". Page , Line "minimum delay, or minimum delay variance" now reads "maximum delay, or maximum delay variance". Page , Line "the router fragments into 1, and 2," now reads "the router fragments into 1, and ". Page , Line A " " symbol was inserted at the beginning of the line.
Page Tenth paragraph was omitted. Page , Line "64 bits for link cost is sufficient. Page , Line "note the size the prefix was," now reads "note that the size the prefix was". Page , Line "reply sent to the switch," now reads "reply sent to the router,". Page , Line "switch.
Page , Line 2: "addressed to the switch" now reads "addressed to the router". Page , Figure Page , Line "from Stanford" now reads "from Stanford University. Instead, the lines between R3 and R6 as well as the lines between R6 and R are now bold. The B node is now labelled R.
Interconnections: Bridges, Routers, Switches, and Internetworking Protocols, 2nd Edition
About this title Radia Perlmans Interconnections is recognized as a leading text on networking theory and practice. It provides authoritative and comprehensive information on general networking concepts, routing algorithms and protocols, addressing, and the mechanics of bridges, routers, switches, and hubs. You will gain a deeper understanding of the range of solutions possible and find valuable information on protocols for which documentation is not readily available elsewhere. Written by the inventor of many of the algorithms that make switching and routing robust and efficient, Interconnections, Second Edition offers an experts insight into how and why networks operate as they do.
But it is solidly grounded in real-life experience — Perlman has spent years designing and implementing network protocols and algorithms most notably the spanning tree algorithm used in most bridges and uses that experience to provide practical illustrations of the theory. She is also fun to read, being prepared to laugh at things that deserve it and to offer personal opinions, sometimes quite bluntly. It is configuration-intensive. Routes can be permanently unstable. It solves only whatever it happens to solve rather than providing a general-purpose solution.