Thursday, 14 March 2013

Algorhyme - poetic network protocols from 1985

Researching data centre networking at the moment, and reading up on the origins of the spanning tree protocol. It was proposed in an ACM SIGCOMM paper in 1985 by Radia Perlman, and the abstract went as follows:

I think that I shall never see
A graph more lovely than a tree. 
A tree whose crucial property
Is loop-free connectivity. 
A tree which must be sure to span
So packets can reach every LAN. 
First the Root must be selected,
By ID it is elected. 
Least cost paths from Root are traced.
In the tree these paths are placed. 
A mesh is made by folks like me
Then bridges find a spanning tree.

If more papers went like this I'd probably get through them faster.

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