15 August 2011

How the #Internet #architecture got its hourglass shape and what that means for the #future #web

(click to enlarge)

This illustration of the hourglass Internet architecture shows the six layers, from top to bottom: specific applications, application protocols, transport protocols, network protocols, data-link protocols and physical layer protocols.
(Credit: Constantine Dovrolis)
Illustration showing the number and age of protocols in each layer of the Internet architecture. In the middle layers, there are only a few protocols that are old and conserved.
(Credit: Constantine Dovrolis)
In the natural world, species that share the same ecosystem often compete for resources, resulting in the extinction of weaker competitors. A new computer model that describes the evolution of the Internet's architecture suggests something similar has happened among the layers of protocols that have survived -- and become extinct -- on the worldwide network. 
Understanding this evolutionary process may help computer scientists as they develop protocols to help the Internet accommodate new uses and protect it from a wide range of threats. But the model suggests that unless the new Internet avoids such competition, it will evolve an hourglass shape much like today's Internet.

Posted via email from colby pre-posterous

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