BBN Report 1822

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BBN Report 1822 specifies the method for connecting a host computer to an ARPANET router, called an Interface Message Processor (IMP). This connection and protocol is generally referred to as 1822, the report number.

The initial version of the 1822 protocol was developed in 1969: since it predates the OSI model by a decade, 1822 does not map cleanly into the OSI layers. However, it is accurate to say that the 1822 protocol incorporates the physical layer, the data link layer, and the network layer. The interface visible to the host system passes network layer addresses directly to a physical layer device.

To transmit data, the host constructs a message containing the numeric address of another host on the network (similar to an IP address on the Internet) and a data field, and transmits the message across the 1822 interface to the IMP. The IMP routes the message to the destination host using protocols that were eventually adopted by Internet routers. Messages could store a total length of 8159 Bits, of which the first 96 were reserved for the header (“leader”).[1]

While packets transmitted across the Internet are assumed to be unreliable, 1822 messages were guaranteed to be transmitted reliably to the addressed destination. If the message could not be delivered, the IMP sent to the originating host a message indicating that the delivery failed. In practice, however, there were (rare) conditions under which the host could miss a report of a message being lost, or under which the IMP could report a message as lost when it had in fact been received.

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