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i) Simplex : this means the data associated with the application flows in one direction only.

An example is the transmission of photographic images from a deep-space probe at predetermined times since this involves just a unidirectional flow of data from the probe to an earth station; ii) Half-duplex, this means that data flows in both directions but alternately. This mode is also known as two-way alternate and an example is a user making a request for some data from a remote server and the latter returning the requested data; iii) Duplex, this means that data flows in both directions simultaneously. It is also known as two-way simultaneous and an example is the two-way flow of digitized speech associated with a telephony application; iv) Broadcast, this means that the data output by a single source device is received by all the other devices - computers, and so on - that are connected to the same network. An example is the broadcast of a television program over a cable network as all the television receivers that are connected to the network receive the same set of programs; v) Multicast this is similar to a broadcast except that the data output by the source is received by only a specific subset of the devices that are connected to the network. The latter form what is called a multicast group and an example application is videoconferencing, which involves a predefined group of terminals/ computers connected to a network exchanging integrated speech and video streams. vi) Asymmetric and symmetric. In the case of half-duplex and duplex communications, the bit rate associated with the flow of data in each direction can be either equal or different; if the flows are equal, the data flow is said to be symmetric, and if the flows are different, asymmetric.

Fig 1. Communication modes: (a) unicast; (b) broadcast; (c) multicast.

b) These are two common approaches to determining which bit is the first bit of an incoming character.

(i) Asynchronous transmission Asynchronous (start/stop) transmission is used in systems in which characters are sent one at a time without necessarily having any fixed time relationship between one character and the next.

Fig. 1 One character transmitted asynchronously. A typical example of such a case is that of a person typing. Each press of a key produces a character but the speed (data rate) at which the keys are pressed varies according to the speed of the typist. In such a case (Fig. 1), the source sends a start bit followed by the character bits and then at least one stop bit. This is to inform the receiver that a character is to follow after the start bit whilst the stop bit after the character is to inform the receiver that the bits for that character have ended. The next character sent is also preceded by a start bit and ended by a stop bit. This enables the receiver to identify each character as it is received. Such a mode of transmission is shown in Fig. 2

Fig. 2 Asynchronous transmission. 10%

Synchronous transmission

Synchronous transmission is used to transmit complete blocks of data at one time. In synchronous transmission, the duration of each bit is the same and, in character transmission systems, the time interval between the end of the last bit of a character and the beginning of the first bit of the next character is either zero time or a whole multiple of the time required to transmit a complete character. Figure 3 shows how the letters of the alphabet can be transmitted using synchronous transmission. With all of the characters joined together with zero time between them the receiver needs only to identify the first bit of the first character and then, knowing the character size and transmission rate, count off groups of bits correctly and reassemble the incoming bits into characters. This is shown in Fig. 4

Fig 3. Synchronous transmission

Fig. 4 Synchronous transmission-receiver counts off bits for each character. 10%

TRANSMISSION EFFICIENCY Synchronous transmission makes very good use of the data carrying capacity of a communications line because most of the data it sends after initial synchronising is usable data. Asynchronous data is less efficient because it carries extensive 'overheads'. For example, in the case of an ASCII transmission, with eight bits being transmitted for every character plus an overhead of one start bit and one stop bit, a total of ten bits is required for every character. However, only eight of the ten bits constitute useful data, therefore the maximum possible efficiency is 8/10 x 100 = 80% 10% C) Modulation is an alternative method of transmitting information over a serial link. It is to superimpose the data stream on a higher frequency signal, known as the carrier frequency

Diagram1 A Modulated Serial transmission.

Amplitude Modulation is a method of adding information to an electronic signal where the height (amplitude) of the
wave is changed to convey the added information. In the case of LANs, the change in the signal is registered by the receiving device as a 1 or a 0. A combination of these digits conveys different information, such as words, numbers or punctuation marks. For example, the amplitude might be raised a given amount for a 1 and lowered the same amount for a 0. Of course, amplitude modulation happens so quickly, thousands of changes can be registered each second, allowing thousands of 1s and 0's to be transmitted each second. This m turn allows thousands of characters to be transmitted each second. See Fig 1 below

Frequency modulation Modulation is the process of using a medium to carry information. We could "modulate" a flashlight beam by turning it on and off, thus sending digital information. An electrical sine wave travelling down a twisted wire pair can also be modulated to carry information. A sine wave is defined by its frequency, amplitude and phase. These are the only three parameters of a sine wave that can thus be changed to carry information. Frequency defines how many times a second a sine wave cycles. If you change the frequency, you can modulate the signal to carry information. This is called frequency modulation. Low speed modems use frequency modulation. See Fig 1 below

Frequency shift Keying FSK. A method of putting data on an analogue line. You modulate a carrier signal by shifting its frequency up or down from a mean value. Frequency shifts occur when there is a change from one binary value to another. In other words, the shifts come between two discrete values. In a sense this is changing analogue signals to digital signals. Pulse code modulation PCM: A very common way of converting an analogue signal -say from a telephone

conversation - to a digital signal. Picture this.. a voice analogue signal looks like a sine wave. In PCM, you take many "pictures" of the sine wave many times each second. You give each "picture" a number. Then you send the numbers of those pictures in digital form to the other end. If you send sufficient numbered "Pictures" you can recreate the analogue voice signal at the other end. The more times you sample (the more digital information you send), the closer the end result will be to the original voice. PCM is a very good method of representing voice. PCM samples the voice 8,000 times a second. It measures each sample in 8 bits. This means it encodes one second of voice conversation into 64,000 bits, i.e. 8 by 8,000. 20%

d) MAC Protocol Comparison Token Passing

Equal access for all nodes Predictable access window

Equal access for all nodes Access window can be unpredictable

Maximum wait time to transmit is token circulation time Average wait time to transmit is predictable-half the maximum circulation time Network congestion does not adversely affect network efficiency A node needs to wait for the token before being able to transmit One node cannot monopolise the network Large rings can result in long delays before a node obtains a token Consistent performance for large, busy networks

Maximum wait time to transmit is unpredictable and depends on collisions Average wait time to transmit is unpredictable Network congestion may result in collisions and reduce network efficiency A node may be able to transmit immediately One node may be able to monopolise the network A node can transmit when the network is quiet Unpredictable performance for large, buy networks due to possibility of collisions