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Unformatted text preview: pletely different from the ones you were used to, you could easily adapt. Computers are not nearly so flexible. Many face-to-face protocols rely on people’s presence to ensure fairness and security. Would you send a stranger a pile of cash to buy groceries for you? Would you play poker with someone if you couldn’t see him shuffle and deal? Would you mail the government your secret ballot without some assurance of anonymity? It is naïve to assume that people on computer networks are honest. It is naïve to assume that the managers of computer networks are honest. It is even naïve to assume that the designers of computer networks are honest. Most are, but the dishonest few can do a lot of damage. By formalizing protocols, we can examine ways in which dishonest parties can subvert them. Then we can develop protocols that are immune to that subversion. In addition to formalizing behavior, protocols abstract the process of accomplishing a task from the mechanism by which the task is accomplished. A communications protocol is the same whether implemented on PCs or VAXs. We can examine the protocol without getting bogged down in the implementation details. When we are convinced we have a good protocol, we can implement it in everything from computers to telephones to intelligent muffin toasters. The Players
To help demonstrate protocols, I have enlisted the aid of several people (see Table 2.1). Alice and Bob are the first two. They will perform all general two-person protocols. As a rule, Alice will initiate all protocols and Bob will respond. If the protocol requires a third or fourth person, Carol and Dave will perform those roles. Other actors will play specialized supporting roles; they will be introduced later. Arbitrated Protocols
An arbitrator is a disinterested third party trusted to complete a protocol (see Figure 2.1a). Disinterested means that the arbitrator has no vested interest in the protocol and no particular allegiance to any of the parties involved. Trusted means that all people...
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- Fall '10