Before reading the paper:
- What are the goals for the design of Internet? If you were to design a new
network, what would the goals be? Try to list them in the order of importance
and compare them with those in the paper.
- The fundamental goal of the Internet is to connect different networks,
e.g. Ethernet, PPP. These different networks have different characteristics in
terms of addressing, reliability, bandwidth, delay, etc. When connecting them,
you must make an assumption about their capacities. How would you make the
assumption? Do you assume the minimal capacity, i.e., the least common
denominator about their capacity, or you beef some networks up to have a
better common ground?
- Why does the Internet emphasize survivability in the face of failure? What
are the approaches to achieve survivability?
- One goal of the Internet is to support a variety of services at the
transport level. Is this a good goal? Which one is better: a separate network
for services such as telephone, cable, and TV, or a combined network for all of them? What are the
advantages and disadvantages of having a single network?
After reading the paper:
- For any system, there are two types of requirements: 1) functionality
requirements such as connectivity and reliability; and 2) performance
requirements such as bandwidth, loss rate, and delay. What is the emphasis of
the design of the Internet? What are the implications?
If you have time, you can also read [Cla00],
which is a discussion on the same topic by the same author, but 12 years later.