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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Tree LANS with collision avoidance : protocol, switch architecture, and performance


Packet collisions and their resolution create a performance bottleneck in random access LANs. A hardware solution to this problem is to use collision avoidance switches. These switches allow the implementation of random access protocols without the penalty of collisions among packets. We review and compare the designs of some tree LANs that use collision avoidance switches. They have the potential of combining the benefits of random access (low delay when traffic is light, simple and distributed, and therefore robust, protocols) with excellent network utilization and concurrency of transmission. The collision avoidance LANs we review are broadcast star, Hubnet-like tree, Tinker-Tree, and a treenet that allows concurrent broadcasts within non-intersecting subtrees. After this review, we present a slotted-time, infinite user analysis of the broadcast star network.

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