Soft state

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This article is about the computer science term. For the sociological term, see Soft State.

In computer science, soft state is state which is useful for efficiency, but not essential, as it can be regenerated or replaced if needed. The term is often used in network protocol engineering.

It is a term that is used for 'information that times out (goes away) unless refreshed.

While in general less efficient than well-designed "hard state" protocols when tuned for a particular network regime, soft state protocols behave much better than hard state protocols in an unpredictable network environment such as the Internet.[1]


  1. ^ Lui, J. C. S.; Misra, V.; Rubenstein, D. (2004). "On the robustness of soft state protocols". Proceedings of the 12th IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols, 2004. ICNP 2004. p. 50. doi:10.1109/ICNP.2004.1348084. ISBN 0-7695-2161-4. 

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