Paper Review:
Ethernet: Distributed Packet Switching for Local Computer Networks

Reviewer: Oleg Elkhunovich


The paper addresses a problem of development of an effective data link layer for local area networks.


The paper describes the basics behind the design of the Ethernet and several associated algorithms and protocols. The contribution is very significant as Ethernet is an accepted standard for local computer networks.

Main Ideas

  • Ethernet is a system for local communication among computers. Ether is a shared, passive communication facility.
  • Control is distributed among the stations, with packet transmission being coordinated through statistical arbitration.
  • Packets will be received correctly at intended destinations only with high probability.


    This paper introduces the technology that is now a standard and allows for existance of local computer networks, so important in today's world.
    Methodology is very convincing. It is very helpful that authors actually built an ethernet operating at 3Mb/Sec and laid 1 km of cable. The descriptions of their tests are very thorough and clear.
    One of the limitations discussed is the limitation on packet size. Performance will drop significantly if the packet size increases to approximate the size of the slot.

    Emphasis on distributed control paid off in results. Very high level of reliability was achieved.