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FLOW CONTROL TCP, unlike UDP, provides flow control.

The sending TCP controls how much data can be accepted from the sending process; the receiving TCP controls how much data can to be sent by the sending TCP (See Chapter 13). This is done to prevent the receiver from being overwhelmed with data. The numbering system allows TCP to use a byte oriented flow control. FLOW CONTROL Whenever an entity produces items and another entity consumes them, there should be a balance between production and consumption rates. If the items are produced faster than they can be consumed, the consumer can be overwhelmed and needs to discard some items. If the items are produced slower than they can be consumed, the consumer should wait; the system becomes less efficient. Flow control is related to the first issue. We need to prevent losing the data items at the consumer site. PUSHING OR PULLING Delivery of items from a producer to a consumer can occur in one of the two ways: pushing or pulling. If the sender delivers items whenever they are produced .without the prior request from the consumer .the delivery is referred to as pushing. If the producer delivers the items after the consumer has requested them, the delivery is referred to as pulling. Figure 13.8 shows these two types of delivery.

When the producer pushes the items, the consumer may be overwhelmed and there is a need for flow control, in the opposite direction, to prevent the discarding of the items. In other words, the consumer needs to warn the producer to stop the delivery and to inform it when it is ready again to receive the items. When the consumer pulls the items, it requests them when it is ready. In this case, there is no need for flow control. Flow Control at Transport Layer In communication at the transport layer, we are dealing with four entities: sender process, sender transport layer, receiver transport layer, and receiver process. The sending process at the application layer is only a producer. It produces message chunks and pushes them to the transport layer. The sending transport layer has a double role: it is both a consumer and the producer. It consumes the messages pushed by the producer. It encapsulates the messages in packets and pushes them to the receiving transport layer. The receiving transport layer has also a double role: it is the consumer for the packets received from the sender. It is also a producer; it needs to decapsulate the messages and deliver them to the application layer. The last delivery, however, is normally a pulling delivery; the transport layer waits until the application-layer process asks for messages.

Figure 13.9 shows that we need at least two cases of flow control: from the sending transport layer to the sending application layer and from the receiving transport layer to the sending transport layer.

Buffers Although flow control can be implemented in several ways, one of the solutions is normally to use two buffers. One at the sending transport layer and the other at the receiving transport layer. A buffer is a set of memory locations that can hold packets at the sender and receiver. The flow control communication can occur by sending signals from the consumer to producer. When the buffer of the sending transport layer is full, it informs the application layer to stop passing chunks of messages; when there are some vacancies, it informs the application layer that it can pass message chunks again. When the buffer of the receiving transport layer is full, it informs the sending transport layer to stop sending packets. When there are some vacancies, it informs the sending transport layer that it can send message again. ERROR CONTROL To provide reliable service, TCP implements an error control mechanism. Although error control considers a segment as the unit of data for error detection (loss or corrupted segments), error control is byte-oriented. ERROR CONTROL In the Internet, since the underlying network layer (IP), which is responsible to carry the packets from the sending transport layer to the receiving transport layer, is unreliable, we need to make the transport layer reliable if the application requires reliability. Reliability can be achieved to add error control service to the transport layer. Error control at the transport layer is responsible to 1. Detect and discard corrupted packets. 2. Keep track of lost and discarded packets and resend them. 3. Recognize duplicate packets and discard them. 4. Buffer out-of-order packets until the missing packets arrive. Error control, unlike the flow control, involves only the sending and receiving transport layers. We are assuming that the message chunks exchanged between the application and transport layers are error free.

Figure 13.10 shows the error control between the sending and receiving transport layer. As with the case of flow control, the receiving transport layer manages error control, most of the time, by informing the sending transport layer about the problems. Sequence Numbers Error control requires that the sending transport layer knows which packet is to be resent and the receiving transport layer knows which packet is a duplicate, or which packet has arrived out of order. This can be done if the packets are numbered. We can add a field to the transport layer packet to hold the sequence number of the packets. When a packet is corrupted or lost, the receiving transport layer can somehow in formthe sending transport layer to resend that packet using the sequence number. The receiving transport layer can also detect duplicate packets if two received packets have the same sequence number. The out-of-order packets can be recognized by observing gaps in the sequence numbers.

We can use both positive and negative signals as error control. The receiver side can send an acknowledgement (ACK) for each or a collection of packets that have arrived safe and sound. The receiver can simply discard the corrupted packets. The sender can detect lost packets if it uses a timer. When a packet is sent, the sender starts a timer; when the timer expires, if an ACK does not arrive before the timer expires, the sender resends the packet. Duplicate packets can be silently discarded by the receiver. Outoforder packets can be either discarded (to be treated as lost packets by the sender), or stored until the missing ones arrives.

The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) level of the TCP/IP transport protocol is connection-oriented. Connection-oriented means that, before any data can be transmitted, a reliable connection must be obtained and acknowledged. TCP level data transmissions, connection establishment, and connection termination maintain specific control parameters that govern the entire process. The control bits are listed as follows: URG: Urgent Pointer field significant ACK: Acknowledgement field significant PSH: Push Function RST: Reset the connection SYN: Synchronize sequence numbers FIN: No more data from sender There are two scenarios where a three-way handshake will take place: Establishing a connection (an active open) Terminating a connection (an active close)

Step1: Machine 1 wants to initiate a connection with machine 2, So machine 1 sends a segment with SYN(Synchronize Sequence Number). This segment will inform the machine 2 that Machine 1 would like to start a communication with Machine 2 and informs machine 2 what sequence number it will start its segments with. Note: Sequence Numbers are mainly used to keep data in order. Step2: Machine 2 will respond to Machine 1 with "Acknowledgment" (ACK) and SYN bits set. Now machine 2's ACK segment does two things; they are as below. 1. It acknowledges machine 1's SYN segment. 2.It informs Machine 1 what sequence number it will start its data with. Step 3:Now finally machine 1 Acknowledges Machine 2's initial sequence Number and its ACK signal. And then Machine 1 will start the actual data transffer.

TCP Three-Way Handshake

A TCP connection is initialized through a three-way handshake. The purpose of the three-way handshake is to synchronize the sequence number and acknowledgment numbers of both sides of the connection and to exchange TCP window sizes. The following steps outline the process for the common situation when a client computer contacts a server computer: 1. The client sends a TCP segment to the server with an initial sequence number for the connection and a window size indicating the size of a buffer on the client to store incoming segments from the server. 2. The server sends back a TCP segment containing its chosen initial sequence number, an acknowledgment of the clients sequence number, and a window size indicating the size of a buffer on the server to store incoming segments from the client. 3. The client sends a TCP segment to the server containing an acknowledgment of the servers sequence number. TCP uses a similar handshake process to end a connection. This guarantees that both hosts have finished transmitting and that all data was received.