Medium Access Control(Data link layer) and Multiple Access Control

In any broadcast network, the key issue is how to determine who gets to use the channel when there is competition for it. To make this point, consider a conference call in which six people, on six different telephones, are all connected so that each one can hear and talk to all the others. It is very likely that when one of them stops speaking, two or more will start talking at once, leading to chaos.In the literature, broadcast channels are sometimes referred to as multi-access channels or random access channels.

The protocols used to determine who goes next on a multi-access channel belong to a sublayer of the data link layer called the MAC (Medium Access Control) sublayer. The MAC sublayer is especially important in LANs, particularly wireless ones because wireless is naturally a broadcast channel.

First of all we need to know is:CHANNEL ALLOCATION PROBLEM.

The central theme here is how to allocate a single broadcast channel among competing users. The channel might be a portion of the wireless spectrum in a geographic region, or a single wire or optical fiber to which multiple nodes are connected. It does not matter. In both cases, the channel connects each user to all other users and any user who makes full use of the channel interferes with other users who also wish to use the channel.


The traditional way of allocating a single channel, such as a telephone trunk, among multiple competing users is to chop up its capacity by using the multiplexing schemes.If there are N users, the bandwidth is divided into N equal-sized portions, with each user being assigned one portion. Since each user has a private frequency band, there is now no interference among users. When there is only a small and constant number of users, each of which has a steady stream or a heavy load of traffic, this division is a simple and efficient allocation mechanism. A wireless example is FM radio stations. Each station gets a portion of the FM band and uses it most of the time to broadcast its signal.But when there is a large number of users this methodology creates a problem.

If the spectrum is cut up into N regions and fewer than N users are currently interested in communicating, a large piece of valuable spectrum will be wasted. And if more than N users want to communicate, some of them will be denied permission for lack of bandwidth, even if some of the users who have been assigned a frequency band hardly ever transmit or receive anything.

If we were to use time division multiplexing (TDM) and allocate each user every Nth time slot, if a user does not use the allocated slot, it would just lie fallow. The same would hold if we split up the networks physically.

Since none of the traditional static channel allocation methods work well at all with bursty traffic, we will now explore dynamic methods.


1. Independent Traffic: The model consists of N independent stations (e.g., computers, telephones), each with a program or user that generates frames for transmission. The expected number of frames generated in an interval of length Δt is λΔt, where λ is a constant (the arrival rate of new frames). Once a frame has been generated, the station is blocked and does nothing until the frame has been successfully transmitted.

2. Single Channel: A single channel is available for all communication. All stations can transmit on it and all can receive from it. The stations are assumed to be equally capable, though protocols may

assign them different roles (e.g., priorities).

3. Observable Collisions: If two frames are transmitted simultaneously, they overlap in time and the resulting signal is garbled. This event is called a collision. All stations can detect that a collision has

occurred. A collided frame must be transmitted again later. No errors other than those generated by collisions occur.

4. Continuous or Slotted Time: Time may be assumed continuous, in which case frame transmission can begin at any instant. Alternatively, time may be slotted or divided into discrete intervals (called

slots). Frame transmissions must then begin at the start of a slot. A slot may contain 0, 1, or more frames, corresponding to an idle slot, a successful transmission, or a collision, respectively.

5. Carrier Sense or No Carrier Sense: With the carrier sense assumption, stations can tell if the channel is in use before trying to use it. No station will attempt to use the channel while it is sensed as busy. If there is no carrier sense, stations cannot sense the channel before trying to use it. They just go ahead and transmit. Only later can they determine whether the transmission was successful.

Multiple Access Protocols:

As shown in the above diagram Multiple Access Protocols are divided in 3 parts.

1)Random Access Protocols

2)Controlled Access Protocols

3)Channelization Protocols

The first section discusses random-access protocols. Four protocols, ALOHA,CSMA, CSMA/CD, and CSMA/CA, are described in this section. These protocolsare mostly used in LANs and WANs. The second section discusses controlled-access protocols. Three protocols, reservation,polling, and token-passing, are described in this section. Some of these protocolsare used in LANs, but others have some historical value. The third section discusses channelization protocols. Three protocols, FDMA,TDMA, and CDMA are described in this section. These protocols are used in cellulartelephony.

Let us start with the Random Access Protocols.


In random-access or contention methods, no station is superior to another station andnone is assigned control over another. At each instance, a station that has data to send uses a procedure defined by the protocol to make a decision on whether or not to send. This decision depends on the state of the medium (idle or busy). In other words, each station can transmit when it desires on the condition that it follows the predefined procedure, including testing the state of the medium.Two features give this method its name. First, there is no scheduled time for a station to transmit. Transmission is random among the stations. That is why these methods are called random access. Second, no rules specify which station should send next. Stations compete with one another to access the medium. That is why these methods are also called contention methods. In a random-access method, each station has the right to the medium without being controlled by any other station. However, if more than one station tries to send, there is an access conflict—collision—and the frames will be either destroyed or modified. To avoid access conflict or to resolve it when it happens, each station follows a procedure that answers the following questions:

  1. When can the station access the medium?
  2. What can the station do if the medium is busy?
  3. How can the station determine the success or failure of the transmission?
  4. What can the station do if there is an access conflict?

The random-access methods we study have evolved from a very interesting protocol known as ALOHA, which used a very simple procedure called multiple access (MA). The method was improved with the addition of a procedure that forces the station to sense the medium before transmitting. This was called Carrier Sense Multiple Access (CSMA). This method later evolved into two parallel methods:

Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD), which tells the station what to do when a collision is detected, and Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA), which tries to avoid the collision.

Let us continue our discussion with ALOHA.


ALOHA, the earliest random access method, was developed at the University of Hawaii in early 1970. It was designed for a radio (wireless) LAN, but it can be used on any shared medium.

It is obvious that there are potential collisions in this arrangement. The medium is shared between the stations. When a station sends data, another station may attempt to do so at the same time. The data from the two stations collide and become garbled.

For this reason a new sub-method of ALOHA was found called PURE ALOHA.


The original ALOHA protocol is called pure ALOHA. This is a simple but elegant protocol.The idea is that each station sends a frame whenever it has a frame to send (multiple access). However, since there is only one channel to share, there is the possibility of collision between frames from different stations.

There are four stations (unrealistic assumption) that contend with one another for access to the shared channel. The figure shows that each station sends two frames; there are a total of eight frames on the shared medium. Some of these frames collide because multiple frames are in contention for the hared channel.Figure shows that only two frames survive: one frame from station 1 and one frame from station 3. We need to mention that even if one bit of a frame coexists on the channel with one bit from

another frame, there is a collision and both will be destroyed. It is obvious that we need to resend the frames that have been destroyed during transmission.

The pure ALOHA protocol relies on acknowledgments from the receiver. When a station sends a frame, it expects the receiver to send an acknowledgment. If the acknowledgment does not arrive after a time-out period, the station assumes that the frame (or the acknowledgment) has been destroyed and resends the frame. A collision involves two or more stations. If all these stations try to resend their frames after the time-out, the frames will collide again. Pure ALOHA dictates that when the time-out period passes, each station waits a random amount of time before resending its frame. The randomness will help avoid more collisions. We call this time the backoff time TB.

Pure ALOHA has a second method to prevent congesting the channel with retransmitted frames. After a maximum number of retransmission attempts Kmax, a station must give up and try later. Figure 12.3 shows the procedure for pure ALOHA based on the above strategy.

The time-out period is equal to the maximum possible round-trip propagation delay,which is twice the amount of time required to send a frame between the two most widely separated stations (2 × Tp). The backoff time Tb is a random value that normally depends on K (the number of attempted unsuccessful transmissions). The formula for Tb depends on the implementation. One common formula is the binary exponential backoff. In this method, for each retransmission, a multiplier R = 0 to 2K − 1 is randomly chosen and multiplied by Tp (maximum propagation time) or Tfr (the average time required to send out a frame) to find Tb. Note that in this procedure, the range of the random numbers increases after each collision. The value of Kmax is usually chosen as 15.

Let us now discuss Vulnerable time.


Let us find the vulnerable time, the length of time in which there is a possibility of collision.We assume that the stations send fixed-length frames with each frame taking Tfr seconds to send.Figure shows the vulnerable time for station B.

Station B starts to send a frame at time t. Now imagine station A has started to send its frame after     t − Tfr.This leads to a collision between the frames from station B and station A. On the other hand, suppose that station C starts to send a frame before time t + Tfr. Here, there is also a collision between frames from station B and station C.Looking at Figure we see that the vulnerable time during which a collision may occur in pure ALOHA is 2 times the frame transmission time.

                                             Pure ALOHA vulnerable time =2 * Tfr

Let us now talk about Throughput.


Let us call G the average number of frames generated by the system during one frame transmission time. Then it can be proven that the average number of successfully transmitted frames for pure ALOHA is S = G × e−2G. The maximum throughput Smax is 0.184, for G = 1/2. (We can find it by setting the derivative of S with respect to G to 0; see Exercises.) In other words, if one-half a frame is generated during one frame transmission time (one frame during two frame transmission times), then 18.4 percent of these frames reach their destination successfully. We expect G = 1/2 to produce the maximum throughput because the vulnerable time is 2 times the frame transmission time. Therefore, if a station generates only one frame in this vulnerable time (and no other stations generate a frame during this time), the frame will reach its destination successfully.

                                  The throughput for pure ALOHA is S = G * e^(-2G).

                         The maximum throughput Smax = 1/(2e) = 0.184 when G = (1/2).

Let us now talk about Slotted Aloha.


Pure ALOHA has a vulnerable time of 2 × Tfr.This is so because there is no rule that defines when the station can send. A station may send soon after another station has started or just before another station has finished. Slotted ALOHA was invented to improve the efficiency of pure ALOHA.In slotted ALOHA we divide the time into slots of Tfr seconds and force the station to send only at the beginning of the time slot.Figure shows an example of frame collisions in slotted ALOHA.

Because a station is allowed to send only at the beginning of the synchronized time slot, if a station misses this moment, it must wait until the beginning of the next time slot. This means that the station which started at the beginning of this slot has already finished sending its frame. Of course, there is still the possibility of collision if two stations try to send at the beginning of the same time slot. However, the vulnerable time is now reduced to one-half, equal to Tfr. Figure shows the situation.

                                                    Slotted ALOHA vulnerable time = Tfr


It can be proven that the average number of successful transmissions for slotted ALOHA is       S=G×e^−G. The maximum throughput Smax is 0.368, when G = 1. In other words, if one frame is generated during one frame transmission time, then 36.8 percent of these frames reach their destination successfully. We expect G = 1 to produce maximum throughput because the vulnerable time is equal to the frame transmission time. Therefore, if a station generates only one frame in this vulnerable time (and no other station generates a frame during this time), the frame will reach its destination successfully.

                                       The throughput for slotted ALOHA is S = G * e^-G.

                                       The maximum throughput Smax = 0.368 when G = 1.

Let us continue our discussion further with CSMA.


To minimize the chance of collision and, therefore, increase the performance, the CSMA method was developed. The chance of collision can be reduced if a station senses the medium before trying to use it. Carrier sense multiple access (CSMA) requires that each station first listen to the medium (or check the state of the medium) before sending. In other words, CSMA is based on the principle “sense before transmit”or “listen before talk.”

CSMA can reduce the possibility of collision, but it cannot eliminate it,which can be understood from the figure shown below.

At time t1, station B senses the medium and finds it idle, so it sends a frame. At time t2 (t2 > t1), station C senses the medium and finds it idle because, at this time, the first bits from station B have not reached station C. Station C also sends a frame. The two signals collide and both frames are destroyed.

Vulnerable Time:

The vulnerable time for CSMA is the propagation time Tp. This is the time needed for a signal to propagate from one end of the medium to the other. When a station sends a frame and any other station tries to send a frame during this time, a collision will result. But if the first bit of the frame reaches the end of the medium, every station will already have heard the bit and will refrain from sending. Figure below shows the worst case. The leftmost station, A, sends a frame at time t1, which reaches the rightmost station, D, at time t1 + Tp. The gray area shows the vulnerable area in time and space.

Persistence Method:

What should a station do if the channel is busy? What should a station do if the channel is idle? Three methods have been devised to answer these questions: the 1-persistent method, the nonpersistent method, and the p-persistent method.Figure below shows these different methods.


The 1-persistent method is simple and straightforward. In this method, after the station finds the line idle, it sends its frame immediately (with probability 1). This method has the highest chance of collision because two or more stations may find the line idle and send their frames immediately. We will see later that Ethernet uses this method.


In the nonpersistent method, a station that has a frame to send senses the line. If the line is idle, it sends immediately. If the line is not idle, it waits a random amount of time and then senses the line again. The nonpersistent approach reduces the chance of collision because it is unlikely that two or more stations will wait the same amount of time and retry to send simultaneously. However, this method reduces the efficiency of the network because the medium remains idle when there may be stations with frames to send.


The p-persistent method is used if the channel has time slots with a slot duration equal to or greater than the maximum propagation time. The p-persistent approach combines the advantages of the other two strategies. It reduces the chance of collision and improves efficiency. In this method, after the station finds the line idle it follows these steps:

1)With probability p, the station sends its frame.

2)With probability q = 1 − p, the station waits for the beginning of the next time slot

and checks the line again.

–>If the line is idle, it goes to step 1.

–>If the line is busy, it acts as though a collision has occurred and uses the backoff


Let us now discuss CSMA/CD:

CSMA/CD(Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection):

The CSMA method does not specify the procedure following a collision. Carrier sense multiple access with collision detection (CSMA/CD) augments the algorithm to handle the collision.In this method, a station monitors the medium after it sends a frame to see if the transmission was successful. If so, the station is finished. If, however, there is a collision,the frame is sent again.

To better understand CSMA/CD, let us look at the first bits transmitted by the two stations involved in the collision. Although each station continues to send bits in the frame until it detects the collision, we show what happens as the first bits collide. In Figure below stations A and C are involved in the collision.

At time t1, station A has executed its persistence procedure and starts sending the bits of its frame. At time t2, station C has not yet sensed the first bit sent by A. Station C executes its persistence procedure and starts sending the bits in its frame, which propagate both to the left and to the right. The collision occurs sometime after time t2. Station C detects a collision at time t3 when it receives the first bit of A’s frame. Station C immediately (or after a short time, but we assume immediately)

aborts transmission. Station A detects collision at time t4 when it receives the first bit of C’s frame; it also immediately aborts transmission. Looking at the figure, we see that A transmits for the duration t4 − t1; C transmits for the duration t3 − t2.

Now that we know the time durations for the two transmissions, we can show a more complete graph in Figure below.

Minimum Frame Size:

For CSMA/CD to work, we need a restriction on the frame size. Before sending the last bit of the frame, the sending station must detect a collision, if any, and abort the transmission.This is so because the station, once the entire frame is sent, does not keep a copy of the frame and does not monitor the line for collision detection. Therefore, the frame transmission time Tfr must be at least two times the maximum propagation time Tp. To understand the reason, let us think about the worst-case scenario. If the two stations involved in a collision are the maximum distance apart, the signal from the first takes time Tp to reach the second, and the effect of the collision takes another time TP to reach the first. So the requirement is that the first station must still be transmitting after 2Tp.

Let us have a look at the procedure:

The above diagram is the Flow Chart of CSMA/CD.

It is similar to that one as of ALOHA but there are some differences though.

The first difference is the addition of the persistence process. We need to sense the channel before we start sending the frame by using one of the persistence processes we discussed previously nonpersistent, 1-persistent, or p-persistent). The corresponding box can be replaced by one of the persistence processes shown in Figure of CSMA.

The second difference is the frame transmission. In ALOHA, we first transmit the entire frame and then wait for an acknowledgment. In CSMA/CD, transmission and collision detection are continuous processes. We do not send the entire frame and then look for a collision. The station transmits and receives continuously and simultaneously (using two different ports or a bidirectional port). We use a loop to show that transmission is a continuous process. We constantly monitor in order to detect one of two conditions: either transmission is finished or a collision is detected. Either event stops transmission. When we come out of the loop, if a collision has not been detected, it means that transmission is complete; the entire frame is transmitted.Otherwise, a collision has occurred.

The third difference is the sending of a short jamming signal to make sure that all other stations become aware of the collision.

Energy Level:

We can say that the level of energy in a channel can have three values: zero, normal, and abnormal. At the zero level, the channel is idle. At the normal level, a station has successfully captured the channel and is sending its frame. At the abnormal level, there is a collision and the level of the energy is twice the normal level. A station that has a frame to send or is sending a frame needs to monitor the energy level to determine if the channel is idle, busy, or in collision mode. Figure below describes the situation.


The throughput of CSMA/CD is greater than that of pure or slotted ALOHA. The maximum throughput occurs at a different value of G and is based on the persistence method and the value of p in the p-persistent approach. For the 1-persistent method, the maximum throughput is around 50 percent when G = 1. For the nonpersistent method, the maximum throughput can go up to 90 percent when G is between 3 and 8.

Traditional Ethernet:

One of the LAN protocols that used CSMA/CD is the traditional Ethernet with the data rate of 10 Mbps. We discuss the Ethernet LANs in Chapter 13, but it is good to know that the traditional Ethernet was a broadcast LAN that used the 1-persistence method to control access to the common media.

Let us now discuss aboutCSMA/CA.


Carrier sense multiple access with collision avoidance (CSMA/CA) was invented for wireless networks. Collisions are avoided through the use of CSMA/CA’s three strategies: the interframe space, the contention window, and acknowledgments, as shown in Figure below.

Interframe Space (IFS):

First, collisions are avoided by deferring transmission even if the channel is found idle. When an idle channel is found, the station does not send immediately. It waits for a period of time called the interframe space or IFS. Even though the channel may appear idle when it is sensed, a distant station may have already started transmitting. The distant station’s signal has not yet reached this station. The IFS time allows the front of the transmitted signal by the distant station to reach this station. After waiting an IFS time, if the channel is still idle, the station can send, but it still needs to wait a time equal to the contention window (described next).The IFS variable can also be used to prioritize stations or frame types. For example, a station that is assigned a shorter IFS has a higher priority.

Contention Window:

The contention window is an amount of time divided into slots. A station that is ready to send chooses a random number of slots as its wait time. The number of slots in the window changes according to the binary exponential backoff strategy. This means that it is set to one slot the first time and then doubles each time the station cannot detect an idle channel after the IFS time. This is

very similar to the p-persistent method except that a random outcome defines the number of slots taken by the waiting station. One interesting point about the contention window is that the station needs to sense the channel after each time slot.However, if the station finds the channel busy, it does not restart the process; it just stops the timer and restarts it when the channel is sensed as idle. This gives priority to the station with the longest waiting time. See Figure below.


With all these precautions, there still may be a collision resulting in destroyed data. In addition, the data may be corrupted during the transmission. The positive acknowledgment and the time-out timer can help guarantee that the receiver has received the frame.

Frame Exchange Time:

Figure below shows the exchange of data and control frames in time.

1. Before sending a frame, the source station senses the medium by checking the energy level at the carrier frequency.

a. The channel uses a persistence strategy with backoff until the channel is idle.

b. After the station is found to be idle, the station waits for a period of time called the DCF interframe space (DIFS); then the station sends a control frame called the request to send (RTS).

2. After receiving the RTS and waiting a period of time called the short interframe space (SIFS), the destination station sends a control frame, called the clear to send (CTS), to the source station. This control frame indicates that the destination station is ready to receive data.

3. The source station sends data after waiting an amount of time equal to SIFS.

4. The destination station, after waiting an amount of time equal to SIFS, sends an acknowledgment to show that the frame has been received. Acknowledgment is needed in this protocol because the station does not have any means to check for the successful arrival of its data at the destination. On the other hand, the lack of collision in CSMA/CD is a kind of indication to the source that data have


Network Allocation Vector:

How do other stations defer sending their data if one station acquires access? In other words, how is the collision avoidance aspect of this protocol accomplished? The key is a feature called NAV.

When a station sends an RTS frame, it includes the duration of time that it needs to occupy the channel. The stations that are affected by this transmission create a timer called a network allocation vector (NAV) that shows how much time must pass before these stations are allowed to check the channel for idleness. Each time a station accesses the system and sends an RTS frame, other stations start their NAV. In other words, each station, before sensing the physical medium to see if it is idle, first checks its NAV to see if it has expired. Figure above shows the idea of NAV.

Collision During Handshaking:

What happens if there is a collision during the time when RTS or CTS control frames are in transition, often called the handshaking period? Two or more stations may try to send RTS frames at the same time. These control frames may collide. However, because there is no mechanism for collision detection, the sender assumes there has been a collision if it has not received a CTS frame from the receiver. The backoff strategy is employed, and the sender tries again.

Hidden Station Problem:

The solution to the hidden station problem is the use of the handshake frames (RTS and CTS). Figure in the above discussion also shows that the RTS message from B reaches A, but not C.However, because both B and C are within the range of A, the CTS message, which contains the duration of data transmission from B to A, reaches C. Station C knows that some hidden station is using the channel and refrains from transmitting until that duration is over.

CSMA/CA and Wireless Networks:

CSMA/CA was mostly intended for use in wireless networks. The procedure described above, however, is not sophisticated enough to handle some particular issues related to wireless networks, such as hidden terminals or exposed terminals. We will see how these issues are solved by augmenting the above protocol with handshaking features.


In controlled access, the stations consult one another to find which station has the right

to send. A station cannot send unless it has been authorized by other stations. We discuss three controlled-access methods.


In the reservation method, a station needs to make a reservation before sending data.Time is divided into intervals. In each interval, a reservation frame precedes the data frames sent in that interval.

If there are N stations in the system, there are exactly N reservation minislots in the reservation frame. Each minislot belongs to a station. When a station needs to send a data frame, it makes a reservation in its own minislot. The stations that have made reservations can send their data frames after the reservation frame.

Figure below shows a situation with five stations and a five-minislot reservation frame. In the first interval, only stations 1, 3, and 4 have made reservations. In the second interval, only station 1 has made a reservation.


Polling works with topologies in which one device is designated as a primary station and the other devices are secondary stations. All data exchanges must be made through the primary device even when the ultimate destination is a secondary device. The primary device controls the link; the secondary devices follow its instructions. It is up to the primary device to determine which device is allowed to use the channel at a given time. The

primary device, therefore, is always the initiator of a session (see Figure below). This method uses poll and select functions to prevent collisions. However, the drawback is if the primary station fails, the system goes down.


The select function is used whenever the primary device has something to send.Remember that the primary controls the link. If the primary is neither sending nor receiving data, it knows the link is available. If it has something to send, the primary device sends it. What it does not know, however, is whether the target device is prepared to receive. So the primary must alert the secondary to the upcoming transmission and wait for an acknowledgment of the secondary’s ready status. Before sending data,

the primary creates and transmits a select (SEL) frame, one field of which includes theaddress of the intended secondary.


The poll function is used by the primary device to solicit transmissions from the secondary devices. When the primary is ready to receive data, it must ask (poll) each device in turn if it has anything to send. When the first secondary is approached, it responds either with a NAK frame if it has nothing to send or with data (in the form of a data frame) if it does. If the response is negative (a NAK frame), then the primary polls the next secondary in the same manner until it finds one with data to send. When

the response is positive (a data frame), the primary reads the frame and returns an acknowledgment (ACK frame), verifying its receipt.


In the token-passing method, the stations in a network are organized in a logical ring.In other words, for each station, there is a predecessor and a successor. The predecessor is the station which is logically before the station in the ring; the successor is the station which is after the station in the ring. The current station is the one that is accessing the channel now. The right to this access has been passed from the predecessor to the current station. The right will be passed to the successor when the current

station has no more data to send.But how is the right to access the channel passed from one station to another? In this method, a special packet called a token circulates through the ring. The possession of the token gives the station the right to access the channel and send its data. When a station has some data to send, it waits until it receives the token from its predecessor. It

then holds the token and sends its data. When the station has no more data to send, it releases the token, passing it to the next logical station in the ring. The station cannot send data until it receives the token again in the next round. In this process, when a station receives the token and has no data to send, it just passes the data to the next station.Token management is needed for this access method. Stations must be limited in the time they can have possession of the token. The token must be monitored to ensure it has not been lost or destroyed. For example, if a station that is holding the token fails, the token will disappear from the network. Another function of token management is to assign priorities to the stations and to the types of data being transmitted. And finally, token management is needed to make low-priority stations release the token to high-priority stations.


Logical Ring:

In a token-passing network, stations do not have to be physically connected in a ring;the ring can be a logical one. Figure below shows four different physical topologies that can create a logical ring.

In the physical ring topology, when a station sends the token to its successor, the token cannot be seen by other stations; the successor is the next one in line. This means that the token does not have to have the address of the next successor. The problem with this topology is that if one of the links—the medium between two adjacent stations—fails, the whole system fails.

The dual ring topology uses a second (auxiliary) ring which operates in the reverse direction compared with the main ring. The second ring is for emergencies only (such as a spare tire for a car). If one of the links in the main ring fails, the system automatically combines the two rings to form a temporary ring. After the failed link is restored,the auxiliary ring becomes idle again. Note that for this topology to work, each station needs to have two transmitter ports and two receiver ports. The high-speed Token Ring

networks called FDDI (Fiber Distributed Data Interface) and CDDI (Copper Distributed Data Interface) use this topology.

In the bus ring topology, also called a token bus, the stations are connected to a single cable called a bus. They, however, make a logical ring, because each station knows the address of its successor (and also predecessor for token management purposes).When a station has finished sending its data, it releases the token and inserts the address of its successor in the token. Only the station with the address matching the destination address of the token gets the token to access the shared media. The Token Bus LAN,

standardized by IEEE, uses this topology.

In a star ring topology, the physical topology is a star. There is a hub, however, that acts as the connector. The wiring inside the hub makes the ring; the stations are connected to this ring through the two wire connections. This topology makes the network less prone to failure because if a link goes down, it will be bypassed by the hub and the rest of the stations can operate. Also adding and removing stations from the ring is easier.This topology is still used in the Token Ring LAN designed by IBM.





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