Principles of Protocol Design

New Edition

Alice and Bob
This book introduces the reader to the principles used in a large range of modern data communication protocols, including simple point-to-point data transfer protocols, multi-peer protocols and protocols for ensuring data security. After presenting the general principles in use, the book considers each of the OSI layers in turn, presenting commonly used protocols and classifying them according to the type of service which they support and the protocol mechanisms used to supply this service.

The presentation uses CSP notation to give a concise description of the protocols considered, and to permit verification of useful properties. OSI terms are used throughout, to ensure a uniform notation for protocols at all levels.

This is a completely new and revised edition of the book, whose first edition was published in 1994. There are three significant changes in this second edition of the book which particularly reflect recent developments in computer networks and distributed systems:

The text was originally written for third or fourth year students in Computer Science or Electrical Engineering, and is intended to be suitable for most final-year undergraduate or postgraduate courses on advanced data communications or computer networks. The reader is expected to have a software background, in particular including a basic knowledge of functional programming and concurrent programming, combined with some knowledge of computer systems architecture and data transmission. Although the approach used is a formal one, previous knowledge of formal methods, for example based on languages such as VDM or Z, is not essential, but to get the most out of the book you should know about the sort of discrete mathematics which is used in computer science and be aware of the basic concepts of mathematical proof.

The book contains a large number of exercises for the reader, and for bona fide teachers a set of solutions for selected exercises is available on application to the author.

Chapter headings:

  1. Introduction
  2. CSP Descriptions and Proof Rules
  3. Protocols and Services
  4. Basic Protocol Mechanisms
  5. Multi-peer Consensus
  6. Security
  7. Naming, Addressing and Routing
  8. Protocol Encoding
  9. Protocols in the OSI Lower Layers
  10. Application Support Protocols
  11. Application Protocols
There are two appendices which respectively summarise the notation used, and describe the standardisation of protocols. The book concludes with a bibliography and a list of more than 140 internationally standardised protocols referred to in the text.

For a more detailed table of contents click here.

Bibliographic details:

This completely new and revised edition of the book is published by Springer with the following bibliographic details:

Robin Sharp: "Principles of Protocol Design"
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2008.
ISBN 978-3-540-77540-9
e-ISBN 978-3-540-77541-6