[e2e] What is the meaning of "end-to end"?

David P. Reed dpreed at reed.com
Tue May 22 07:41:12 PDT 2001

I have always been bothered by the asymmetry implied by the classification

N=2 - unicast
N>2 - multicast
N maximal - broadcast.

Communications is more than the act of *sending*.

So we also should have:

N=2 - uniscan
N>2 - multiscan
N maximal - holoscan

Yes, I'm serious.  We should classify systems by the number of stations a 
station can listen to simultaneously.  If you think about this a while, it 
is orthogonal to the prior dimension, because there are such things as 
holoscan but non-broadcast systems (e.g. repeater-based wireless networks 
since the receiver treats the original signal to it as noise, preferring to 
get the repeated packet from a more local station).

The symmetry applies especially well with architectures like Ethernet and 
802.11b.  And becomes even more relevant with systems like OFDMA which 
start out with systems that are holoscan, turning them into uniscan and 
unicast through a bunch of protocol layers.

- David
WWW Page: http://www.reed.com/dpr.html

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