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TCP/IP Protocol Suite Layers and the Communication Flow
IST 7040: Data Communications and Networking
Dr. Michael Blair
Sep 9, 2020
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Abstract
In this article, I discussed the TCP/IP internet protocol suite which is one of the most important
network architectures, and how each layer of the model illustrates the communication flow and
end data to the other layers. The discussion also includes the explanation of the communication
flow by taking a hierarchy of a college where they are looking to set up a new degree program by
collaborating with another college and how the communication between different departments
occur.
Keywords: TCP/IP, Protocols, Network architectures, Communication flow.
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TCP/IP Protocol Suite Layers and the Communication Flow
TCP/IP protocol was originated by the group of computer scientists in 1970. The
objective was to create an open architecture that would enable virtually all networks to inter-
communicate. The user would connect at the one layer, usually the uppermost layer and will be
separated from the details of the electrical signals located at the subsequent lower layer. The
layers present in the TCP/IP protocol varies from different sources. Some sources refer to four
layers and others present them as five layers. The five layers in the TCP/IP protocols are
application, transport, network, network access, and physical layers. The function of various
layers is, the topmost layer of the TCP/IP protocol suite is the Application layer, supports the
network applications, and in some cases includes additional services such as encryptions or
compression. The TCP/IP protocol suite includes several frequently used applications, HTTP,
SMTP, FTP, and SNMP. The next layer in the TCP/IP suite is the transport layer. The transport
layer commonly used to maintain an error-free end to end flow connection. The transport layer is
used only at the two endpoints connection not in use while data pockets are expecting from point
to point within the network. The two layers described so far perform their operations only at the
beginning point and endpoint of the network connection. TCP/IP next layer is the network layer
and also called the Internet Layer. This will generate the path for network addressing necessary
for the system to recognize the intended end receiver. The next layer of the TCP/IP protocol suite
is the network access layer. The network access layer is the layer that gets the data from the local
area network. So network access layer transmission the data packets from LAN and the internet.
The bottom-most layer in the TCP/IP protocol is the physical layer. The physical layer is the
layer in which transmission of actual data, this transmission can happen through wires, cables or
it can be a radio signal transmitted through the air.
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TCP/IP logical and physical communication between different layers
To understand the TCP/IP protocol suite’s logical and physical connections, the above
chart shows how the logical and physical connections work. The dotted lines indicated in the
chart show the logical connection between the layers and the solid blue line at the bottom
indicates the physical connection. The logical connection between the layers means, those two
layers will exchange commands and responses but the actual data flow will not happen between
those two layers. For example, let’s take the application layer. A set of commands that are related
to the application layer are shared between the sender and the receiver. The receiver responds to
the application layer commands that are sent by the sender but the actual data flow will not
happen between the application layers because they are not physically connected. They are
logically connected and without a logical connection, the communication between the sender and
receiver is not possible. Whereas physical connection is the only possible layer where the sender
and receiver coordinate each other directly. Physical communication happened between the
sender and the receiver on the bottom layer of TCP/IP protocol that is a physical layer, where
actual 1s and 0s, the actual digital content of the message, happened through wires and airwaves.
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Representation of TCP/IP flow across departments in an actual business hierarchy
Here is a nontechnical example to understand better about logical and physical
connections of TCP/IP protocol suite. The department of Arts and Science wants to create a new
joint degree with the School of Business. To explain in detail, the communication flow between
departments and divisions of science and arts. Every department of school has basic hierarchies,
like the head of departments, committees, chairpersons, and secretaries.
Like we discussed, creating a new joint degree with the school of business the
communication flow as follows from the dean of arts and sciences could call the dean of business
who creates the new joint degree before gets to the bean of business but they are not the ones
who create necessary details so the first request goes to the chairperson of computer science, the
chairpersons examine the request add the necessary details if required and then sends the request
to the computer science curriculum committee, which designs new course design for new joint
degree and then curriculum committee sends a request to the secretary, who prepares the memos
and with all necessary details in it to create new joint degree. Then the memos will be placed in
the inter-campus mailbox where the marketing depart of the school can access the details. Once
the request reaches the marketing department of business, the secretary in the marketing
department opens the memo and distributes to the marketing curriculum committee and then
makes the necessary changes and additions to the memo which is received from the computer
science curriculum committee. Once these changes are made and then the proposal reaches the
chairperson of marketing who examines the proposal accuracy and required staffing needs which
were suggested by the chairperson of the computer science department. The chair of marketing
then heads the request to the dean of marketing, who examines the entire proposal and gives the
approval for a new joint degree with few small changes. The request then reaches back to the
secretary of marketing, who sends back to the secretary of Arts and Science and sends the reply
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to all layers of business until it reaches to the dean of Arts and science. Below flow diagram
gives us a brief idea, how the request for a degree moves up and down through the layers of the
university’s departments.
So this diagram gives us an idea of how data flow between the department of business, so it did
not flow directly between deans nor chairpersons or committees. Instead, the data has to flow all
the way down to the physical layer, in this case, the secretaries.
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References
White C. M. (2014). Data Coomunications & Computer Networks. A Business Users Approach
Piscitello, D. M and Chapin A. L Open Systems Networking: TCP/IP and OS
(http://www.interisle.net/OSN/OpenSysNet.pdf)
Billington, J., & Bing Han. (2007). Formalising TCP’s Data Transfer Service Language: A
Symbolic Automaton and its Properties. Fundamenta Informaticae, 80(1–3), 49–74.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

1 TCP/IP Protocol Suite Layers and the Communication Flow IST 7040: Data Communications and Networking Dr. Michael Blair Sep 9, 2020 2 Abstract In this article, I discussed the TCP/IP internet protocol suite which is one of the most important network architectures, and how each layer of the model illustrates the communication flow and end data to the other layers. The discussion also includes the explanation of the communication flow by taking a hierarchy of a college where they are looking to set up a new degree program by collaborating with another college and how the communication between different departments occur. Keywords: TCP/IP, Protocols, Network architectures, Communication flow. 3 TCP/IP Protocol Suite Layers and the Communication Flow TCP/IP protocol was originated by the group of computer scientists in 1970. The objective was to create an open architecture that would enable virtually all networks to intercommunicate. The user would connect at the one layer, usually the uppermost layer and will be separated from the details of the electrical signals located at the subsequent lower layer. The layers present in the TCP/IP protocol varies from different sources. Some sources refer to four layers and others present them as five layers. The five layers in the TCP/IP protocols are application, transport, network, network access, and physical layers. The function of various layers is, the topmost layer of the TCP/IP protocol suite is the Application layer, supports the network applications, and in some cases includes additional services such as encryptions or compression. The TCP/IP protocol suite includes several frequently used applications, HTTP, SMTP, FTP, and SNMP. The next layer in the TCP/IP suite is the transport layer. The transport layer commonly used to maintain an error-free end to end flow connection. The transport layer is used only at the two endpoints connection not in use while data pockets are expecting from point to point within the network. The two layers described so far perform their operations only at the beginning point and endpoint of the network connection. TCP/IP next layer is the network layer and also called the Internet Layer. This will generate the path for network addressing necessary for the system to recognize the intended end receiver. The next layer of the TCP/IP protocol suite is the network access layer. The network access layer is the layer that gets the data from the local area network. So network access layer transmission the data packets from LAN and the internet. The bottom-most layer in the TCP/IP protocol is the physical layer. The physical layer is the layer in which transmission of actual data, this transmission can happen through wires, cables or it can be a radio signal transmitted through the air. 4 TCP/IP logical and physical communication between different layers To understand the TCP/IP protocol suite’s logical and physical connections, the above chart shows how the logical and physical connections work. The dotted lines indicated in the chart show the logical connection between the layers and the solid blue line at the bottom indicates the physical connection. The logical connection between the layers means, those two layers will exchange commands and responses but the actual data flow will not happen between those two layers. For example, let’s take the application layer. A set of commands that are related to the application layer are shared between the sender and the receiver. The receiver responds to the application layer commands that are sent by the sender but the actual data flow will not happen between the application layers because they are not physically connected. They are logically connected and without a logical connection, the communication between the sender and receiver is not possible. Whereas physical connection is the only possible layer where the sender and receiver coordinate each other directly. Physical communication happened between the sender and the receiver on the bottom layer of TCP/IP protocol that is a physical layer, where actual 1s and 0s, the actual digital content of the message, happened through wires and airwaves. 5 Representation of TCP/IP flow across departments in an actual business hierarchy Here is a nontechnical example to understand better about logical and physical connections of TCP/IP protocol suite. The department of Arts and Science wants to create a new joint degree with the School of Business. To explain in detail, the communication flow between departments and divisions of science and arts. Every department of school has basic hierarchies, like the head of departments, committees, chairpersons, and secretaries. Like we discussed, creating a new joint degree with the school of business the communication flow as follows from the dean of arts and sciences could call the dean of business who creates the new joint degree before gets to the bean of business but they are not the ones who create necessary details so the first request goes to the chairperson of computer science, the chairpersons examine the request add the necessary details if required and then sends the request to the computer science curriculum committee, which designs new course design for new joint degree and then curriculum committee sends a request to the secretary, who prepares the memos and with all necessary details in it to create new joint degree. Then the memos will be placed in the inter-campus mailbox where the marketing depart of the school can access the details. Once the request reaches the marketing department of business, the secretary in the marketing department opens the memo and distributes to the marketing curriculum committee and then makes the necessary changes and additions to the memo which is received from the computer science curriculum committee. Once these changes are made and then the proposal reaches the chairperson of marketing who examines the proposal accuracy and required staffing needs which were suggested by the chairperson of the computer science department. The chair of marketing then heads the request to the dean of marketing, who examines the entire proposal and gives the approval for a new joint degree with few small changes. The request then reaches back to the secretary of marketing, who sends back to the secretary of Arts and Science and sends the reply 6 to all layers of business until it reaches to the dean of Arts and science. Below flow diagram gives us a brief idea, how the request for a degree moves up and down through the layers of the university’s departments. So this diagram gives us an idea of how data flow between the department of business, so it did not flow directly between deans nor chairpersons or committees. Instead, the data has to flow all the way down to the physical layer, in this case, the secretaries. 7 References White C. M. (2014). Data Coomunications & Computer Networks. A Business Users Approach Piscitello, D. M and Chapin A. L Open Systems Networking: TCP/IP and OS (http://www.interisle.net/OSN/OpenSysNet.pdf) Billington, J., & Bing Han. (2007). Formalising TCP’s Data Transfer Service Language: A Symbolic Automaton and its Properties. Fundamenta Informaticae, 80(1–3), 49–74. 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