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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Specification of initial connection handling in TCP using structured Petri nets

  • Author(s): Rose, Marshall T.
  • et al.

This paper uses structured Petri nets to specify how connection establishment is handled by the DoD Transmission Control Protocol. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate an alternate specification technique by examining its application to a portion of a protocol of reasonable complexity.

Initially we briefly present the semantics of structured Petri nets. Following this, a terse discussion of the problems of establishing connections in a network takes place. This discussion centers on the use of the three-way handshake, which is used by TCP, as a solution for many of these problems. Finally, the specification of the three-way handshake used in TCP is made. The specification is presented in three sections: first, a general set of notes concerning the nature of this particular specification is discussed; second, the data definitions of the specification are given; and, third, the actual nets themselves are presented.

This paper is condensed from a portion of the author's dissertation, which is still in preparation. In the interests of brevity, some components of the specification, such a retransmission handling, have been omitted. Interested readers should contact the author for a more detailed paper.

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