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The Internet hourglass

Applications
Web

FTP

Mail

News

Video

Audio

ping

napster

Transport protocols
TCP SCTP UDP
ICMP

IP
Ethernet 802.11

Power lines ATM

Optical

Satellite Bluetooth

Link technologies
From Hari Balakrishnan

The Internet hourglass


Applications
Web

FTP

Mail

TCP

News

Video

Audio

ping

napster

Everything
Transport protocols
on IP
SCTP

UDP

ICMP

IP
Ethernet 802.11

IP on
Power lines ATM Optical
everything

Satellite Bluetooth

Link technologies

From Hari Balakrishnan

ASes typically
connect at all hubs.

Everything
on IP

IP
IP on
everything

Applications

IP
Hardware

Varied
systems

Robust
Mesoscale

Varied
components

The
LEGO
connector
protocol

The LEGO connector protocol


The patented stud-tube connection
is the heart of the LEGO system,
and its most important protocol
Ancillary protocols have been added
over time, to create an elaborate
protocol suite.
The basic module is the brick, but
additional modules have been added
Higher level protocols and modules
exist as well
The bricks and stud-tube protocols
make up a minimal LEGO (denote
by LEGOmin)
There are thousands of LEGO parts
and complex sensors, actuators, and
computer control systems

Systems

Robust
Mesoscale

Components

Uncertainty
Uncertainty

Robust

Systems

Robust
Mesoscale

Uncertainty
Uncertainty
Components

Robustness of the
LEGOmin protocol and
modules

Uncertainty
Uncertainty Systems

Robust
Mesoscale

Uncertainty
Uncertainty

Components

The snap connection allows for


A huge variety of new and different toys to be built
From a huge variety of different components
Both toys and components can be rearranged and
added in new ways

There are associated fragilities as well

Yet fragile
Add or remove a tiny amount of material from
either or both sides of a key interface.
The system may completely fail, even though
tiny amounts of material has changed, and the
components are visually indistinguishable.
Other parts of the bricks may be nicked or cut
with minimal impact
This robust, yet fragile feature of protocols is a
candidate for a universal law
What robustness/fragility properties do
alternative protocols have?

Systems

Robust
Mesoscale
Components